‘Death in Venice’

This morning I woke up early, read more of Jefferson S. Chase’s literary analysis of Thomas Mann’s ‘Death in Venice’. An analysis I am learning a great deal from. Chase details Mann’s use of repetition in ‘Death’ and calls the writing symphonic, likens the story to the compositions of Mahler and and Wagner. Like music, there are motifs which keep surfacing in the narrative and paragraphs or phrases which echo other earlier phrases. This type of repetition makes a great deal of sense to me, as I attempted something similar in my own novel.

It is late afternoon already. I made a protein treatment for my hair composed of black strap molasses, organic eggs, coconut milk and lemon. I attempt this routine every Sunday and every Sunday I curse myself and say I will never enact such madness again. But the following Sunday I find myself back at the same merciless process. This afternoon I sat with this concoction on my hair and listened to the classical music station and read more of George Orwell’s ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’.

This evening I will read and write more. The goal is to finish ‘Death in Venice’. For now, I am posting the trailer of Luchino Visconti’s 1971 Award-winning film version. It is almost comedically dated. It’s amazing how much trends in cinema and art change. 


Life isn’t always smooth. If it were, we would never grow and develop as human beings. If we succeed, we are envied; if we fail, we are ridiculed and attacked. Sadly, this is how people are. Unexpected grief and suffering may lie ahead of you. But it is precisely when you encounter such trying times that you must not be defeated. Never give up. Never retreat.

Contemporary Buddhist wisdom

Patricia Highsmith’s ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’

To limit yourself to books containing characters you can like is to deny yourself a healthy proportion of the finest literature. It is to deny the complexity of humanity. It is also – let’s not mess around – pathetic, needy and wimpy. If you can’t cope with Hamlet being a bit of a pain, how can you possibly cope with real people.

From the Guardian Newspaper’s ‘Reading Group Feature’ article entitled ‘ Tom Ripley, the likable psychopath’

It is an overcast Sunday afternoon here in Hamburg. This past weekend has been a quiet one. Each day I promised myself I would be more productive, that I would do something other than read, write and listen to music. It hasn’t happened. For two days this is exactly what I have done. No exciting news to report. But I will post the link to this article which I quite enjoyed on Patricia Highsmith’s famed novel about American expatriates living in Italy in the late 1950s: a story of lies, intrigue and a charismatic killer, ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley‘.

For the full article, click the following link:  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/02/tom-ripley-the-likable-psychopath-patricia-highsmith



A Good Week

Enormously accomplished. Smooth, beautifully crafted.

This were the words of the literary consultant in the States who read the beginning of my novel. An esteemed editor and too, the author of several critically acclaimed novels and other works of non-fiction, she has nurtured a number of manuscripts by writers who were struggling to get their first works published. All five of her recent clients, after her editorial consultation, were accepted by significant publishing houses – and several have won literary awards. She only works with a ‘select’ group of novelists. After reading my novel pages, she says she would like to work with me. 

She would like to begin in August.

I’ve just completed a proposal for an artist’s grant which I hope to submit to an individual who might fund the aforementioned editor’s contribution. I guess this would require what is known as an ‘angel investor’.

“An affluent individual who provides a onetime injection of seed money… Angel investors are interested in investing in a person or idea rather than reaping a huge profit from their business investment.” From the article ‘How Angel Investing Works’, from Bloomberg.com.

Yesterday afternoon I had tea with a woman from Italy, a writer and newspaper newspaper columnist. She is closely connected with an Italian publishing house and has asked me to send her the first 35-40 pages of my novel. She read the segment in Italian I had translated and said something interesting. She claimed the original English was far more poetic than the Italian rendition. This lead me to believe that the nature of the text will demand a very seasoned literary translator if it is to be adapted into any language, particularly the segments of the text which are more lyrical in nature, ‘The Fifty-Seventh Room’ is one such example and also, chapters the likes of ‘Exorcism’ and too, ‘Champagne’.

All for now.