...and several false starts, I finished “The Joke” on 7/30/12.
“Do stories, apart from happening, being, have something to say? For all my skepticism, some trace of irrational superstition did survive in me, the strange conviction, for example, that everything in life that happens to me also has a sense, that it means something, that life speaks to us about itself through its story, that it gradually reveals a secret, that it takes the form of a rebus whose message must be deciphered, that the stories we live comprise the mythology of our lives and in that mythology lies the key to truth and mystery. Is it an illusion? Possibly, even probably, but I can’t rid myself of the need continually to decipher my own life.”
(Oops, sometime between my last entry for this goal and this year, I read “Slowness” and “Immortality.”Immortality was a total wipe-out, as it requires every ounce of the reader’s attention. Amazing work—and I had to walk away in fear of subconsciously measuring it against his earlier novels I was yet to read. Hence the long hiatus.) 16 months ago