- Taschenbuch: 368 Seiten
- Verlag: Vintage; Auflage: VINTAGE BOOKS. (25. Februar 1997)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0679776249
- ISBN-13: 978-0679776246
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 2 x 20,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 828.605 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Size of Thoughts: Essays and Other Lumber (Vintage Contemporaries) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. Februar 1997
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Novelist and essayist Nicholson Baker has had a small but well-deserved cult following since his first book, The Mezzanine, and the publication of the literary sex-bomb Vox saw his popularity mushroom. Baker's great gift is a precision of observational detail that has a peculiarly incisive effect on a reader's consciousness. Here is over a decade's worth of his essays and articles, including the much-praised card catalogue article first published in the New Yorker. The Size of Thoughts, through its varied forays into the realms of the overlooked, the underfunded, and the wrongfully scrapped, is a funny and thought-provoking book by one of the most distinctive stylists and thinkers of our time. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.
A collection of essays which range from "The history of the comma" to an amusing account of reading aloud, from a lament on the disappearance of conventional library classification to an appreciation of cinema-going. Nicholson Baker has also written "The Mezzanine", "The Fermata" and "U and I" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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In his new book of essays, "The Size of Thoughts," Baker deals with such weighty issues as the machinery of movie projectors and the relationship between rarity and writing on rubber. But don't get the idea that Baker's book is a frivolous rambling; included in this collection of essays is a careful mini-history of punctuation, a report on the computerization of library card catalogs, and a hundred pages devoted to an exacting essay on the word "lumber."
Arranged under six headings (Thought, Machinery, Reading, Mixed, Library Science, and Lumber), the essays in this collection range from playfully comical to earnest and sentimental. Among Baker's more informal offerings are a recipe for chocolate sauce, a collection of mistyped sentences put in poetic form, and excerpts written under the influence of "nearly a hundred dollars' worth of marijuana."Baker's sentences are rolling and pun-laden, his vocabulary sharp even under a cloud of THC. A good part of his talent rests in his ability to articulate the quirky joys and silly idiosyncrasies that we all share but are shy to admit. His "Model Airplanes" may well put many readers in toy store aisles looking for the biggest B-17 on the shelf and three little jars of olive drab. His "Clip Art" will have readers closely inspecting the chrome plating of their fingernail clippers, searching for tiny clues to their origins.
These essays and others reveal an amateur's curiosity, a dabbler's impatience, and a romantic's simultaneous love of and disappointment with the new. Baker's writing, both here and in his earlier works, evidences a mind in motion; his prose jumps flaming hoops and juggles chainsaws. His observations are sharp and smart, frequently pushing up a good laugh. "The Size of Thoughts" is full of closet-size thoughts, and maybe some house-size ones, too.
Back in rainy Britain I'd woken up with a dry mouth and aching head after one of my farewell parties in a friends house. Desperate for something to read I spied this book upon a shelf. Attracted by the tasteless pink and orange cover adorning this particular edition I picked it up and immediately disappeared, enthralled, into the lumber-room of someone else's mind. This charming book is filled with some of the irrelevant bits and pieces that somehow sneak into our brains. We turn them over from time to time, pulling them out of our subconscious like a paper covered boiled sweet from a fluff-filled pocket.
The author leads you down the byways and alleys of his thought processes, challenging and amusing you by turn and always asking questions that you wish you had thought of. This gentle philosophical meandering leads you to look at your surroundings with fresh eyes and broadens your horizons because you suddenly understand how at least one other human being thinks. It's a charming book to suit a wistful mood, a beach, a cloud, a river. Pack it in your holiday suitcase and wander gently through it at a holiday pace when the mood takes you. You won't be disappointed.
In fact, Nicholson Baker has been assaulted once or twice in the past by a reviewer or two for being a minor pornographer on the last two novelistic outings, and I guess that he is now asking for our forgiveness. He portrays himself here as a regular guy, with a great interest in the most minute particles. The careful essays are about simple things: changing your mind as opposed to making decisions, the size and shape of thoughts, and rarity in life and experience. Baker is also a physical guy and likes his hands on the machinery, so he devotes a word or two about typewriters, model airplanes, clipping your nails, and the movie projectionist.
He is a severe literary critic (refer to U and I), and Baker here elaborates his views on the literary profession which include the art of reading aloud, the history of punctuation, thoughts about Alan Hollinghurst and J. E. Lighter's The Historical Dictionary of American Slang. Things read at weddings, typos, a recipe, dewey decimal system, and books as furniture are thrown in the shuffle; glue keeps it all together. And finally a long essay about the history of lumber, where he comes out in favor of lumber, is his most strongly political. I say that I love lumber! Ever since I was hit on the head by a two by four as a child.
The essay on card catalogs makes me want to scream and tear my hair out. I have a few friends who are librarians. I have raised Baker's issue with them, and they are to-a-t EXACTLY how he would have predicted. "Well, we're not really archivists."
Wonderful, compelling stuff here.