Reading Diario De Un Genio or, in English, Diary of a Genius, by Salvador Dali, which he says is excellent. He got the book about eight months ago at a bookstore on Telegraph in Berkeley and has been enjoying reading Dali's musings about anything from the intimacy of couples to self portraits of himself with grass seeds over his eyes to, and maybe this is most interesting, a chart which lists, on the y-axis, about 10 artists and, on the x-axis, about 10 characteristics such as originality, themes, genius. Filling out the chart are ratings between one and twenty....with even a few 0's--Manet rated a 0 in genius, while Dali rated close to twenty! (Other artists scored well also--it was not entirely egotistical.)

He's a big Dali fan, and even pointed me towards a song about him by the Spanish group, Mecano. There's a video of the song on YouTube. Most people, he says, think of Dali as only a visual artist, but that he was a writer as well. The book, he said, is entertaining with a lot of plays on words.

Other books he's been reading--philosophy and Buddhist texts.

His favorite book of all time--The Stranger, by Albert Camus, which he read in the original French before taking a French literature class. He said what makes it so good is the transition of how the reader goes from feelings of hatred toward the main character, who has no remorse about the death of his mother, to empathy toward the character at the end. The Cure wrote a song about it called Killing an Arab, which was very controversial.

He loves books and, before he began studies to become a school psychologist and counselor, used to teach remedial reading to first and second graders. What did he use to hook them? Not The Stranger or Buddhist texts, but Clifford the Big Red Dog, written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell and Curious George, by Margret and Hans Augusto Rey--classics in their own right. (check out the 10/28/06 post for more Curious George fans.)


His friend was reading We Are Their Heaven, Why the Dead Never Leave Us, by Allison DuBois. He found the book on the street, at 31st and Folsom, soon after a friend of his died. Leading up to finding the book he had been hoping that his friend would appear to him in his dreams.

His favorite book--One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.