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David Axelrod’s Favorite Books of 2010

It’s that time of year when Best Books of the Year lists abound! Today, Paper Fort steps into the fray, with our series on Oregon’s writers and readers favorite books of 2010. As most people’s reading material in any one year is not limited to books published in that year, these lists can include, but are not limited to, books published in 2010, as our first author’s list illustrates!

Here’s what the poet David Axelrod had to say about his favorite books of 2010:

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee — I thought I would never laugh out loud at
anything Coetzee wrote…until now.

Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew by John Felsteiner —A very good, even accessible, reading of this very inaccessible poet.

The Land of Green Plums by Herta Mueller— A grim portrayal of the moral
inertia of a society corrupted by ideology.

Nox by Anne Carson—A beautiful facsimile of a handmade book, and smart, emotionally satisfying elegy to the fragments of a sibling’s life.

The Melancholy of Reistance by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. — “[A] slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type.” And so much more! It’s Herta Mueller meets Beckett during the coldest week of the year.


Through Naked Branches by Tarjei Vesaas, The Silence Afterwards by Rolf Jacobsen, The Procession of Memories by Harry Martinson, and Under the Iron of the Moon.— All are mid-century European poets I’ve returned to this autumn after reading a Facebook post (yes) in which a contemporary poet “re-discovered” Robinson Jeffers and how “odd” and “scary” he seemed. I like these poets as they still live at a considerable distance from our rapidly “denaturing” consciousness. Think cold, salted cod,mud, fallen fruit, wild animals, darkness at noon.

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