So I finished not one but two books today – Giorgio Agamben’s The State of Exception that I had been reading for a couple of days, and Luis Ferdando Verissimo’s Borges and the Eternal Orangutans that I started only yesterday. Agamben was rather exceptionally good and thought-provoking, and surprisingly readable at that – a rare treat among the good books of philosophy and thus comes highly recommended.
Regarding Verissimo’s little book: if you happen to be a fan of either Borges or Poe – or especially if you happen to like both – then do yourself a favour and get it. The whole book is a homage to those two writers (JLB in particular) and their different short stories, with plenty of others such as Lewis Carroll, H. P. Lovecraft, and a 17th century occultist writer John Dee thrown in for a good measure, and further peppered with references to yet more characters, books and stories, both known and obscure. If you know all this stuff, it is great fun. Unfortunately this also means that if you don’t, you really need not to apply – I’m afraid that for someone who hasn’t read Borges, Poe or Carroll – or doesn’t like them – Verissimo’s short novel would probably be very silly and tedious.
I will have to be in LA by June 11th, so that leaves me almost two weeks that I have to make up my mind about. Main choices are 1) staying at Stanford, 2) going to Las Vegas for WSOP or 3) flying to Hawaii for a week – so I am open to suggestions!