28 August 2013
Looks like I won’t be sleeping tonight, considering how screwed up my body clock is lately. Taking this time to clear my inbox (405 unread e-mails!). Some things I’ve read/found that you might find interesting:
• Opening Lines of Emily Dickinson Poems Not to Be Used as Pickup Lines. Oh, I don’t know about the person who wrote this, but I would probably be interested in someone who says, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” to me. Also, “I am afraid to own a body.”
• Tchaikovsky’s “Wrong” Note. “I think this F is a charming anomaly, an instance of inexplicable compositional inspiration and lovely asymmetry that greatness often displays. I feel moved when I hear this alternation between the tender innocence of the F and the heightened expressivity of the following B-flat.”
• The Books We’ve Lost by Charles Simic. Charles Simic on used bookstores: “What made these stores, stocked with unwanted libraries of dead people, attractive to someone like me is that they were more indiscriminate and chaotic than public libraries and thus made browsing more of an adventure. Among the crowded shelves, one’s interest was aroused by the title or the appearance of a book. Then came the suspense of opening it, checking out the table of contents, and if it proved interesting, thumbing the pages, reading a bit here and there and looking for underlined passages and notes in the margins.”
• Bookshelfies. I think I am one of the few people who abhor the term “selfie.” I’ve been living under the rock so I’ve only heard it recently, and at once decided how wrong it is. Apparently it is short for ‘self-portrait’, and I wonder how much of an effort it takes for people to pronounce an extra syllable instead of using this awful word. Anyway—this one I could (maybe) tolerate: the bookshelfie. I don’t know how this came about; probably a jab at everyone, probably an honest-to-goodness desire to fill a need. I confess that I love seeing other people’s bookshelves. Wish there were more books than there are people’s faces, but what can I do, eh?
• I guess it’s time to read and reread these two books which are going to be films now–The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen:
I especially love that T.S. Spivet is going to be directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, as he is one of my favourite directors. The trailer reminded me so much of the opening scenes in Amelie!
From this point forward – at least for the next half year – you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those, later.
Until some time around Christmas, you can’t write: Kenny wondered if Monica didn’t like him going out at night…”
Instead, you’ll have to Un-pack that to something like: “The mornings after Kenny had stayed out, beyond the last bus, until he’d had to bum a ride or pay for a cab and got home to find Monica faking sleep, faking because she never slept that quiet, those mornings, she’d only put her own cup of coffee in the microwave. Never his.”
A really wonderful read. Quite guilty of this, so I will strive hard to follow his advice.
• EatWith. This is wonderful, and something to look into again when I finally have the time and resources to travel.
• Guide to Understanding the Introverted. I don’t necessarily agree with everything, but that part about energy sounds like me.
• There will be a Selected Letters of Robert Creeley book! I can’t wait.
• And finally, Calm. Just open it on a new tab and enjoy.
I have started this letter early (about two in the morning), and now it’s past eight. I have whittled down the contents of my inbox to about 80+ unread emails. Progress! But that also means that my brain is fried. So am off to bed now. I’ll probably wake up the same time that you do.