by carl wilson

Bookmark Over Troubled Waters


Depressing fact of the day: Art Garfunkel is better-read than you are. According to this log of his reading from June of 1968 to last January, rhymin' Simon's shadow has been holding up his bookend very diligently. His pace isn't unrealistic - three or four books a month - but he heavily favours the classics, steering wide of the bestsellers and trends, adding up to a formidable grounding. His list of 135 favourites is topped by Rousseau's Confessions and finishes with Bukowski's Post Office, and is lighter in-between on fuzzy-headed (sorry) post-sixties philosophy than you might expect, though it does include Madame Ouspensky and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Strangest top-10 finisher: Bill Moyers' Listening to America (better than Proust and Jung, really, Art?); top (well, only) CanLit: Robertson Davies, Fifth Business (no. 29). We'll excuse the presence of Carrie Fisher's Postcards from the Edge at no. 83, since she's another ex of Paul Simon, so they have a lot in common. But generally, you could do worse than to follow the Art Garfunkel Course in Great Books.

For all that learnedness, Art doesn't seem to know better than to jump on the so-and-so-sings-the-standards bandwagon. His new album Some Enchanted Evening comes out this month.

| Posted by zoilus on Friday, January 12 at 4:10 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (5)



Bandwagon, Yes. Jumping on it .... not really.
I recall a wonderful version of "I only have eyes for you" some 30 years ago.

Posted by Rich on January 15, 2007 10:17 AM



Wow, that's an impressive list!!

Posted by knitgirl on January 13, 2007 12:59 PM



I really liked the depiction of the machismo inherent in the Socratic method in Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Don't remember anything else about the book though!

I've only seen it once, and it was 20 years ago, but I thought Art blew Nicholson away in "Carnal Knowledge" -- much more convincing as a teen-ager and as a middle-aged man. Interesting guy. (Though I'm not optimistic about the idea of him doing Standards.)

Posted by john (in Seattle) on January 12, 2007 8:28 PM



It looks like Art's top 135 is in chronological order, not order of preference, so Moyers may not actually be in the top 10.

Posted by john on January 12, 2007 5:36 PM



wow - that is sort of depressing. i'm surprised iris murdoch's "a severed head" would make it into anyone's favourites. i'm a big fan of hers and find that one mediocre. "the sea, the sea" is the one to check out, for those who are interested.

ever seen Art in Nicholas Roeg's "Bad Timing"? funny stuff.

Posted by fig on January 12, 2007 4:55 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson