Thursday, November 10, 2022
Tuesday, November 01, 2022
Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Monday, August 22, 2022
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Tuesday, August 02, 2022
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Another horror of the modern age.
Might have to see it, just for the blood-bath of criticism it will stir up in me.
Read a different edition this time, and had just as pleasurable an experience this time as I did 12 years ago. If pleasure is the right word for one of the best, and most unusual, novels about WWII.
In the special introduction to the 1976 Franklin Library edition of the novel, Vonnegut wrote:
The Dresden atrocity, tremendously expensive and meticulously planned, was so meaningless, finally, that only one person on the entire planet got any benefit from it. I am that person. I wrote this book, which earned a lot of money for me and made my reputation, such as it is. One way or another, I got two or three dollars for every person killed. Some business I'm in.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
I enjoyed this novel, yet found myself constantly turning back to the copyright page, to reassure myself that I had read it correctly and that the novel was published in 1983. I think it takes place in the 1960s, but indeed it reads like a novel of the thirties or forties. Concerning a watchful, self-torturing, quiet female librarian in London, embarking on her first real friendship and love affair, who is just beginning to take writing seriously and plans a career doing it, it is correct and laced-up in diction, in character, in dialogue. On the surface,there is no hint of anything swinging about London except the occasional "sex shop" the narrator passes in walking around the city. There is no mention of technology beyond the occasional shared telephone.
That said, the book is a withering, compact 200-page study of loneliness, social vs. private character, and the power of the bold and attractive and lively, over the cautious and quiet.
The savageness is not in the setting, but in the seething feelings the narrator reads in the faces and words of those around her.
"I saw the business of writing for what it truly was and is to me. It is your penance for not being lucky. It is an attempt to reach others and to make them love you. It is your instinctive protest, when you find you have no voice at the world's tribunals, and that no one will speak for you. I would give my entire output of words, past, present, and to come, in exchange for easier access to the world, for permission to state 'I hurt' or 'I hate' or 'I want.' Or, indeed, 'Look at me.' And I do not go back on this. For once a thing is known it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten. And writing is the enemy of forgetfulness, of thoughtlessness. For the writer there is no oblivion. Only endless memory."
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Friday, July 01, 2022
Tuesday, June 07, 2022
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
the deep waters of everything lived through
were backed up in the soul. . . I can't answer! (91)
if I run into it. I say: I've racked my narrative
for signs of hubris. (255)
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Monday, March 21, 2022
Monday, March 14, 2022
Monday, March 07, 2022
Monday, February 28, 2022
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
Sunday, February 13, 2022
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LIE: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy By Leslie Brody
Interesting if thin biography of Fitzhugh. There was an earlier one from 1991 by Virginia Wolf that is apparently more scholarly. This one is decidedly not. Brody does a lot of speculation about what Harriet might have done, whom she might have, how she might have felt. She does talk to secondary sources, and has some access to correspondence. Her lifelong correspondence with James Merrill and Peter Taylor would be interesting to see. But the photo section is paltry and it seems like an entire book could be made of Fitzhugh's paintings, drawings, and illustrations. Each published book is plot summarized at length. There's a lengthy afterword explaining the tight control over her unpublished work exercised by her estate (which I would have preferred as a preface). And Fitzhugh's final years are covered in snap - she died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 1974 at the age of 46. And the decline must have been sad.
She drank too much and seemed to suffer from manic depression/bipolar. There is a real sadness behind it all that is intermittently touched upon.
Fitzhugh was a monumental figure in both her revolutionizing of children's literature, and the strong unapologetic presentation of her sexuality.
Buy the books on Amazon, and watch videos of some readings. Please.
My son and I saw THE HIDDEN FORTRESS at AFI Silver yesterday afternoon, what a masterpiece! The 21-year old Misa Uehara as the Princess was ...
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LIE: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy By Leslie BrodyInteresting if thin biography of Fitzhugh. There was an earlier one from 1991 by Virginia Wolf that is apparently more scholarly. This one...
Really like this unusual book. I don't know if it's "the most important book of the last ten years," as Edmund White blu...