Roundup

  • Since Tao is chronicling all, here are the windows currently open on my screen: Windows Explorer (open to a directory of audio files), OpenOffice Calc (containing a spreadsheet that lists what I have to do this month), Windows Explorer (Search — I was trying to find a graphic that I created years ago and did not think to Alt-F4 this window), Audacity (a file that I’ve been intermittently mixing for the past thirty hours, working on it five minutes at a time), Thunderbird, Firefox (Bloglines), and Firefox (the window in which I am now typing this post). This represents a pretty typical setup, although I generally work with about ten windows open. In typing this post, I’ve decided to Alt-F4 the Search window, because there was no reason for me to keep it open. I suppose this was laziness on my part, and I guess I should apologize or something, perhaps to the computer. I haven’t downloaded any audio files like Tao, but I suppose I should probably do this soon. I finished reading one of the books I have to review about an hour ago. I have not eaten or drank anything in about six hours, although I succumbed to a few handfuls of peanuts. Before that, about twelve hours ago, I had kingfish (sauteed with a bunch of produce)*, broccoli, and rice — which I cooked myself and was quite tasty. (And there’s some leftover fish in the fridge I may cook up later this week.) I do read Ron Silliman’s blog, and in fact found a semi-interesting link to it, which I included in this roundup. I’m going to be interviewing an author today. I’ve only slept about four hours and I may go back to bed. But I’m strangely excited and ready to tap dance or something. Alas, there are very few places to tap dance at six in the morning. And I don’t want my neighbor downstairs to wake up when she hears my thumping from her ceiling. Never mind that she and her boyfriend sometimes fuck at 3:30 AM and are quite noisy and sometimes actually turn me on a tad and make me smile because of the beautiful sounds they make. But I keep odd hours. So I don’t mind. Right now, it is relatively silent. There is no fucking going on, but there’s a minor din of traffic I can hear just off Flatbush. I often hear the roll of trucks and even the pleasant horn of a semi even at this hour. There is no Death-O-Meter, however. In large part because I don’t think many people have been killed near this section of Flatbush. But I am only offering speculation and not facts, and you should probably not believe me. For all I know, people have been killed — perhaps many of them — and I’m just allowing my optimism to get in the way of ferreting out the facts.
  • Josh Getlin asks whether Hollywood is playing it safe in acquiring books to adapt into films. Particularly those pertaining to Iraq.
  • Memo to Chip McGrath: What the hell does Edmund Wilson’s sex life have to do with his criticism? If you care so much about who Wilson was boffing in his seventies (two paragraphs!), maybe you’re the one who’s the “literary hobbyist.” (Found via this article, via Wet Asphalt)
  • Speaking of which, here’s what Updike has to say on the subject: “When an author has devoted his life to expressing himself, and, if a poet or a writer of fiction, has used the sensations and critical events of his life as his basic material, what of significance can a biographer add to the record?”
  • So are any of these characters gay? Or will we learn about their sexual orientation years after this book is released and sales have dropped?
  • This year’s Guardian First Fiction shortlist. (via Three Percent)
  • Are you kidding? Romance is perfectly appropriate for Halloween! (he said days later)
  • Does Guy de Maupassant’s “Le Horla” rank alongside Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw?
  • If you think Depp’s assaults on books is bad in the atrocious Roman Polanski film The Ninth Gate, consider Polanski’s assaults on Arturo Perez-Reverte’s great novel, The Club Dumas, arguably worse in dumbing the book down.
  • Physicists on ghosts, vampires, and zombies.
  • Sorry, kids, the Led Zeppelin reunion has been postponed. Both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are suffering from a case of fractured hubris, and hope to perform once their collective egos have been amped up to 11.
  • Harper Lee has been awarded the highest civilian honor from the President: 24/7 access to the Lincoln Bedroom. And this only hours after the President finally had one of his advisers finish reading To Kill a Mockingbird. But it’s the thought that counts.
  • The Winter Blog Blast Tour.
  • How exactly do you read Ed Baker? (via Ron Silliman)
  • Another of your favorite children’s shows, The Electric Company, is being recycled. (via The Shifted Librarian)
  • When a dinner costs more than a half & half from a high-priced callgirl, “actually quite a deal” is the most telling sign that you’re cut off from democracy and common sense. Particularly when you’re the Best Young Sommelier in America.

* — Speaking of kingfish, I have to say that I like this photo quite a lot. Not just because the woman in the photo is fairly attractive in a Naomi Watts sort of way and probably having a good time (although these are admittedly factors), but because that is a very big kingfish and its horizontal juxtaposition is absolutely incongruous with the attempted cheesecake pose.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for being so complete in your chronicle! Who was that guy who left something like 79 volumes of his daily life to posterity? If i did not have just landline to use the interwebs i’d google it. Oh, and it’s ‘have not drunk anything” but you knew that…

  2. Memo to Ed: Wilson insisted that his journals, with all their details about his sex life, be published in uncensored form. He thought of his personal life — including the sexual aspects of it — as of a piece with his critical work. His erotic history with Millay, for example, affected much of what he wrote about her.

    He himself practiced biographical criticism in the old-fashioned European mode of Taine and Sainte-Beuve. His writing is littered with passages like the one you find offensive in McGrath’s piece. He made his own life, and his subjects’ lives, part of his work. So, this is some part of what his sex life has to do with his criticism. At any rate, I don’t think anyone who had actually read Wilson in any depth would have asked the question you asked.

    Also, just a point of information: McGrath has dedicated only one paragraphe to whom Wilson was boffing in his seventies. The other is about whom he was boffing in his twenties.

  3. A new “Electric Company”? That’s outstanding. Of course, the three best things about the old “Electric Company” included…
    1) Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader
    2) The superhero guy who could jump over letters in a single bound.
    3) The live-action Spiderman bits.

  4. I have to agree with Updike. Which makes me think that instead of a biography of Philip Roth, someday his publisher will just reissue a boxed set of the Zuckerman novels instead.

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