Currently reading

City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire
Roger Crowley
Progress: 605/823 pages
A History of Venice
Peter Dimock, John Julius Norwich

The reading list of a melancholy teenage music lover

The Doors Of Perception: Heaven and Hell (thINKing Classics) - Aldous Huxley, Robbie McCallum Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience - William Blake, Philip Smith City of Night - John Rechy A Spy in the House of Love - Anaïs Nin Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me - Richard Fariña, Thomas Pynchon


I'm reminded by local media that Jim Morrison would be 70 today -  were he less unhappy with his life. That's really strange, the way he'd acquired the cult status here many years after his death (during his lifetime there'd been iron curtain and only a few crazy music fans would have had the information). In comparison, nobody's heard of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix except for a small niche audience.

In what now seems almost another life - my late teens and early twenties - old Jim was a major influence on my reading habits. Heck, I read "Ulysses" while still in high school though it took me the longest time ever, half a year I think. I did enjoy it, actually - probably wouldn't have if I read it now. As it is, I remember it every time I start my period :)


Other books from the Morrison list:

Aldous Huxley "The Doors of Perception"

William Blake "Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience"


and lesser known, from which the enterprising Morrison also filched titles and bits:


John Rechy "City of Night"

all you wanted and didn't want to know about the gay (and trans etc) underground (I would even say underbelly) of the US in the fifties - an engaging book that sometimes reads as a picaresque but ultimately depressing


Anais Nin "A Spy in the House of Love"

I was bored and couldn't understand why a seemingly intelligent woman always had sex on her mind when there were so many other interesting topics to think of, the meaning of life and everything the lack of it for example. I was a cerebral young thing.


Richard Farina "Been Down So Long"


This book is like a blur in my mind but I think it captures well the general feeling of sub-depression that is nothing like a clinical depression but more of a constant hum, background bleakness so aptly described by the title "been down so long it looks like up to me". All the better for fact that the hero isn't moping and languishing, he's too busy messing up his life but it doesn't give his life meaning, he's too intelligent to get really distracted.


And there were more of these books I probably would never go back to, but enough for my little tribute.