Monday, October 18, 2010

An effulgent review

The lead review in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review is of Nicole Krauss’s Hearts Full of Sorrow, which I probably won’t read, despite the fact that the reviewer, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein gives it a rave.

Goldstein at one point compares it to Krauss’s previous book, and says, “The History of Love, despite its tragic underpinnings, is anything but solemn. Its sorrow is rambunctious, its anguish rollicking. Its fulgerating pain comes out in shrieks of unlikely laughter.”

To which my chastened response, peering around guiltily to make sure nobody could hear me was, “What does ‘fulgerating’ mean?”

Well, to merely literate people (not including me, obviously) it means to emit flashes of lightning, or to emit light in flashes. So perhaps I am fulgerating my Photon when I’m stuck high on El Capitan  and sending SOS signals to rescuers in the valley. Or maybe not.

But, aha!, to a doctor, “fulgerating” refers to pain that is lightning-like, electric, sharp.

Which, combined with that rollicking anguish and rambunctious sorrow, actually makes me want to read The History of Love.

110 days, 8 hours, 10 minutes, 33 seconds to wheels up out of LAX, bound for NZ. But the trip? I can take it or leave it.

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