2021 Reading Log: July (+ Writing Update)

Completed reads for July:

  • The Caesars, by Emperor Julian the Apostate
  • The A.B.C. Murders, by Agatha Christie
  • Five Little Pigs, by Agatha Christie
  • The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-4 of 6)

The Works of Poe is the six volume 1896 edition, edited by Stoddard. The library was missing the first volume (poetry), so this month I contented myself with reading volumes 2-4, which cover Poe’s prose fiction (complete short stories, his Arthur Gordon Pym novel, and several essays and literary reviews). The unread volumes 5-6 are his remaining essays and reviews, which can wait for another time. Poe wrote a lot of stuff, some of it genius, but much of it not actually that great, and I feel I need a break from him for now. My inner completest will just have to wait.

I have also been doing substantial reading of a certain other meaty text, but I haven’t yet finished it.

Further progress on Old Phuul this month – another chapter completed, and the manuscript currently sitting at around 44,300 words, after editing. Editing is a rather strange experience for me, since while I certainly do trim words and sentences, I find my initial drafts tend to be underwritten… which demands a greater level of descriptive detail. Ergo, I cut words while editing, and then add entirely new ones as I further develop the scene.

(I am also rather pleased with this month’s work, because I initially feared I had written myself into a corner. As it was, I was able to disentangle things without resorting to a certain green deus ex machina).

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