A rime of proteccioun from the tyme of Kynge John, recorded yn an oold boke: 'Leaves turne redde upon the tre Pumpkyn spyce be far from me'— Chaucer Doth Tweet (@LeVostreGC) August 19, 2015
Friday, August 21, 2015
Clara Ward (1961)
Mahalia Jackson (live) (the call-and-responses really make this)
Mahalia Jackson (live, 1964) (the sound dynamics she shows off here are jaw-dropping)
Itty bitty Natalie Cole (I think she's in her mid-twenties? here). If you only know her from "Pink Cadillac" you are in for a surprise. UTU comment says Natalie Cole was taking part in "In The Spirit" with Rev James Cleveland, Marion Williams, Dorothy Norwood and The Southern California Community Choir at All Saint's Church, Northampton, England on Thursday 27th November 1980.
I'm going to adopt a self-important middle-aged white guy so I can understand Franzen.— Jeff Fecke (@jkfecke) August 21, 2015
I considered adopting #JonathanFranzen to better understand out-of-touch, White men but watched C-SPAN instead http://t.co/YTRpQ4siYR— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) August 21, 2015
an editor talked Franzen out of adopting an Iraqi orphan. remember that the next time you wonder why editors are still needed.— Mensah Demary (@mensah4000) August 21, 2015
Sometimes Franzen sits down with his Iraqi war orphan and cries softly on his shoulder. "I can't not be a white man," he says. "I've tried."— Shannon Hale (@haleshannon) August 21, 2015
I'm looking forward to the sitcom where Franzen adopts a robot but he's the one who learns what it means to be human.— Anne Ursu (@anneursu) August 21, 2015
"I don't know why any writer would use social media," Franzen said, settling down for a lengthy chat about his new book with the Guardian.— Jennifer Weiner (@jenniferweiner) August 21, 2015
"Have you considered fostering?" "I have, and I am." Franzen said, lovingly stroking his journal. "His name is the Great American Novel."— Eric Smith (@ericsmithrocks) August 21, 2015
Oh, Franzen. But then, what do you expect from the great practitioner of using humans as objects for a formalist exploration of his own self— Helen Rosner (@hels) August 21, 2015
And then Anne Thériault terrifyingly brings it all back home:
So I'm quoted (sort of?) in this Guardian piece about Franzen and already the franzboys are out in full forcd pic.twitter.com/KlBsqT4DNJ— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) August 21, 2015
I get that this is all very academic and hilarious to Franzen but like LAST MONTH a man shot up a movie theatre because he hated feminists.— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) August 21, 2015
I guarantee the same franzboys telling me to shut up forever are also rabid defenders of free speech. Just not when it comes from women.— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) August 21, 2015
- William Deresiewicz on Kurt Vonnegut
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
—Mary Renault, The King Must Die (1958)
- The Rumpus interview with Lacy M. Johnson
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Monday, August 17, 2015
I did know a lot of BRO-type DFW fans (they dominate the discourse over on Goodreads AKA Badreads, sadly) but I first read Infinite Jest because it was about addiction, and I know a lot of other people who've done the same. Did he often act like a dirtbrag bro, even write like one? (I have never read Hideous Men and don't fucking plan to.) Sure, it was a macho pose; a pose a lot of other male intellectuals assume because GOD FORBID someone with a DICK value something other than fighting and fucking (the girly version of this is GOD FORBID someone WITHOUT a DICK values something other than makeup and babies. One of the worst things about sexism is how anti-intellectual it is, on both sides). If you want the epitome of smart-sensitive-guy-crushing-himself-beneath-macho-armour, look no further than Hemingway.
I don't think DFW was quite that far gone, but any time a guy announces his intention to go off antidepressants because he wants to be more creative, or he wants to be free, or he wants to be calm, or perfect, I hear the same old bullshit: men are supposed to need nothing. (Women get the opposite treatment, our daily lives and thoughts are pathologized into male-centered illness. You don't want a career, you're hysterical because you don't have a dick and want Daddy to fuck you! and so on.) Add in an unhealthy slug or two of perfectionism bred of child-prodigy status and you should be good enough to do this all by yourself turns into not just a mindfuck but a twisted moral imperative.
So yeah, it's not surprising young male intellectuals In Pain because they're Nice Guys flock to the shrine of the bandana. But that was armour too, that's not where his heart was. (It never fails to amuse me the media absolutely does not pick up on how the bandana was a STYLE for young rappers and bangers back in the day. I dunno how popular it is anymore, but when I see a guy wearing it I instantly flash back to Santa Fe in the mid-eighties.) He suffered from that whacked-out Lockean ideal that you can peel back all the qualities (the bandana, the addiction, the pretension, the intelligence, on and on) to some kind of Pure True Self that would be able to transcend everything. But that's like someone with polio deciding to crawl out of the iron lung because they want to run a marathon.
His brain was sick -- not his self, but his brain -- and when it wasn't treated, the disease overwhelmed his mind, that big, beautiful, powerful engine of treasure, and killed him. That's it. That's what happened. That this happens over and over in literary history doesn't just tell us this is true, but also how powerful the myth is that we want to believe will overcome that truth.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Friday, August 7, 2015
DFW: If past experience holds true, I will probably write an hour a day and spend eight hours a day biting my knuckle and worrying about not writing.
CR: Worrying about not writing. ....Not worrying about what to write.
DFW: Right. Yeah. Worrying about not-writing.
- DFW on Charlie Rose, 1997
(He is SO SHY. And OMG, the poor dude has like NO armour! He rears back when CR is like "Respect means a lot to you" -- "You can....read this in my face?" His speech is so soft and intense and not quite pressured and he obviously wants to be articulate and thoughtful.) ("You're seriously asking me for my view on The English Patient?")
Nearly twenty years ago, now. Man.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
- Spalding Gray
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
81. Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings, Shirley Jackson (2015)
82. We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s, Richard Beck (2015)
83. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, Jessica Hopper (2015) (rather ehh....very, very bloggy)
84. Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett (1996) (reread - still as classic as ever)
Friday, July 31, 2015
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
I'm not from here (¿De dónde eres?)
I'm not from there (¿A dónde vas?)
Where am I going? (¿De dónde eres?)
Should I care? (¿A dónde vas?)
When will I get there? (¿De dónde eres?)
Can you even say? (¿A dónde vas?)
I'm in the moment (¿De dónde eres?)
I'm on my way (¿A dónde vas?)
I'm on my way
I'm on my way
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
- The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia Journalism Review Books), Dean Starkman
Saturday, July 25, 2015
If people are on Twitter talking about our national mental health problem it usually means a white person just killed several people.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) July 24, 2015
This single paragraph explanation of the financial crisis by Prof Mark Blyth cannot be shared enough. Please RT pic.twitter.com/EBCB8MOrqf— Clive Peedell (@cpeedell) July 23, 2015
Two demons condemned to fill the sea with sand and the desert with water. Walters Ms W.624, fol. 94b, 16th century pic.twitter.com/bOPRQAlIZm— Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) July 23, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
I just fucking love how they're all in a circle and the person doing the verse steps in and then steps back -- essence of the group, right there.
AND THEN DESSA SINGS AND HOLY SHIT. From the UTU comments: 'They did this song in Fort Collins Colorado and Dessa jumped off the stage and was walking around the crowd in the pit during her entire verse... She walked up the railing on the outside of the stairs and was hanging out over the pit from the raised 2nd level during the final hooks while she was throwing those backing vocalizations... Heavenly.'