I have, I know, posted almost not at all over the last month plus. This is because I've had, in a way, too much in my head to put it out. And then again the medium, the blog, it's not ideal. It's far worse than not ideal, really. It's quite unsatisfactory. And I, too, am unsatisfactory. More than unsatisfactory, insignificant. So I feel less and less inclined to impose--or seek to impose--my insignificance upon the world. Or, rather, the minor subset of the world which constitutes my readers.
But I'm having some difficulties. Let's say only that. Let's not devolve into self pity and the rending of clothes, or even the rending of pretend clothes. Let's not do that. So I'm going to locate myself in the familiar and banal, which is safe--or safe enough.
And in that world, the familiar and undangerous, I'll say a few small things about what I've been reading and viewing. To wit: 1) Chabon's Kavalier and Clay very much lived up to all its hype. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good--a great--book. In a Martin Amis review of Updike he says something to the effect that, reading his first Updike novel he has the sensation--the unpleasant and regrettable sensation--that "now I'm going to have to read everything he ever wrote." I understand completely what he means. And this is how I feel about Chabon. Every time I read a new piece of his, I am again reminded that I need to just get on with reading everything he ever wrote. Because he's worth that time.
Old John Williams, the New York intellectual, put me in the way of The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury. And that was very very funny. He was right, that intellectual Brooklynite. Worth a read.
I've found a website--for which I surely SHOULD provide a link--in which you sort of..toggle various adjectives (funny/sad/erotic/serious) and adjust them, really, to various degrees... (i.e.: adjust 'funny' to..not at all funny, or to very funny, or whatever) and based on the degrees that have been toggled, book recommendations are produced. I could easily find the link, I'm sure, but I'm not going to. Anyway, the first book it spat out was "The Ask" by Sam Lipsyte. Who seems to be a rising cougar, in the great savannas of the night. But, no, I say--no. The Ask is yet another example of an artifact which substitutes cynicism for wisdom. It's a snide fried dough pie of trite Brooklyn intelligensia despair. If it were to be burned at the stake--and such it surely deserves--the stake in question should be best a cheap, East Texas pine. Certainly nothing like cherry, or mahogany.