While in Boston

Downstairs at the Coop I picked up the last two novels in the Ripley series and managed to get through The Boy Who Followed Ripley yesterday afternoon. It's got Ripley in drag! Curiously Highsmith lowers his performance ability in this one. Before Ripley could always fool people into believing his disguises (for example when he impersonated Greenleaf and later Derwatt), and he was flawless. But in this novel most people can recognize that he is a man beneath the dress and makeup. Although not the best book thus far in the series, one part that I like especially is how Ripley feels affection for Berlin because of how the city relishes its artificiality.

Today I am reading No-No Boy by John Okada and weighing whether to assign it for my course on contemporary U.S. lit this fall. The subtitle of the course might be "After the Age of Extremes," a nugget that I picked up from one of the dissertations listed in the commencement program. It was a very long ceremony.

M just finished The Buenos Aires Quintet by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán which reminds me to pick up the latest paperback in the Inspector Montalbano series, Excursion to Tindari. If memory serves me right, then Camilleri, in good Borges fashion, chose his inspector's name as a kind of homage to Montalbán. In case anyone misses it, there is even a minor character in the second or third Montalbano book that is said to physically resemble Borges. Camilliri always makes me feel like preparing elaborate meals, something that I don't have much time for anymore.

Duncan just scratched the hell out of my finger when I tried to take away M's hairband. Guess things are back to normal.

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