Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

April Books 5) The Search For Roots 6) The Book of Imaginary Beings

5) The Search For Roots: a personal anthology, compiled by Primo Levi
6) The Book of Imaginary Beings, compiled by Jorge Luis Borges

Quite by accident, this turned into an interesting paired reading: both books are selections from literature and science made by writers who were great in their own right. Levi's collection is the more interesting of the two: a series of extracts ranging from one page to six of thirty favourite pieces of reading. I only knew four of them (The Book of Job, Gulliver's Travels, Moby-Dick and Murder in the Cathedral) and some of the others I think lose rather in translation (eg the Italian vernacular poetry of Giuseppe Belli) but there were a few pieces here from authors I would like to follow up for myself some time (Thomas Mann, Rabelais).

Job chapter 40, on the Behemoth, pops up again in Borges' light-hearted compilation of tales of strange animals from the ancients to C.S. Lewis (whose Perelandra is quoted twice at length). Not really a lot more to say about it than that, though I realised that it had provided much source material for another important work of my youth.

Top UnSuggestion for The Book of Imaginary Beings: Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic.
Tags: bookblog 2007, writer: jorge luis borges, writer: primo levi

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