Monday, April 27, 2009

so many books!

"When I was little, I was so girlie and ambitious, I was practically a drag queen. I wanted to be everything at once: a prima ballerina, an actress, a model, a famous artist, a nurse, an Ice Capades dancer, and Batgirl. I spent inordinate amounts of time waltzing around our living room with a doily on my head, imagining in great detail my promenade down the runway as the new Miss America, during which time I would also happen to receive a Nobel Prize for coloring.

"The one thing I did not want to be was a hippie."

"...'you're not a hippie,' said my mother, fanning incense around our living room with the sleeves of her dashiki. 'You're four years old. You run around in a tutu. You eat TV dinners and complain when the food doesn't look exactly like it does on the packages. Hippies don't do that,' she said. 'Hippies don't make a big production out of eating their Tater Tots.'

" 'Come to think of it, hippies don't torture their little brother by trying to sell him the silverware, either,' she added. "if I were you, I'd worry less about being a hippie and more about being an extortionist.' "

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote about Susan Jane Gilman: "Publishers' frantic search for the 'female David Sedaris' may have finally come to an end."

David Foster Wallace

Chapter E Unibus Pluram
television and U.S. fiction

Fiction writers as a species tend to be oglers. They tend to lurk and to stare. They are born watchers. They are viewers. They are the ones on the subway about whose nonchalant stare there is something creepy, somehow. Almost predatory. This is because human situations are writers' food. Fiction writers watch other humans sort of the way gapers slow down for car wrecks: they covet a vision of themselves as witnesses.

But fiction writers tend at the same time to be terribly self-conscious. Devoting lots of productive time to studying closely how people come across to them, fiction writers also spend lots of less productive time wondering nervously how they come across to other people. How they appear, how they seem, whether their shirttail might be hanging out of their fly, whether there's maybe lipstick on their teeth, whether the people they're ogling can maybe size them up as somehow creepy, as lurkers and starers.

The result is that a majority of fiction writers, born watchers, tend to dislike being objects of people's attention. Dislike being watched. The exceptions to this rule -- Mailer, McInerney -- sometimes create the impression that most belletristic types covet people's attention. Most don't. The few who like attention just naturally get more attention. The rest of us watch.

Life before death

"I had a teacher I liked who used to say that good fiction's job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforable."

readers, writers, book reviewers - and bloggers

"Books are humanity in print." ~ Barbara W. Tuchman

Never too young for Shakespeare

My oldest grandson and youngest granddaughter were in a Shakespeare production in Denver a few weeks ago. The grandson played the part of Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet and the granddaughter was Le Beau from As You Like It.
Another granddaughter will be at a Shakespeare Camp in Winedale, Texas this summer.
I know that I certainly didn't know much at all about Shakespeare when I was eight years old (as is youngest granddaughter) and not a great deal more when I was fourteen years old (as is oldest grandson).
My husband and I still remember with delight the twelve year old granddaughter (who will be at the Shakespeare Camp in Winedale) singing non-stop with her older sister on a trip from New York to Massachusetts - never missing a beat and remembering every word to every song. Now: Shakespeare! {This little prodigy also plays the guitar and writes her own songs - sometimes singing at "Open Mike" nights in The Berkshires.}
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. "
As You Like It (II.i.1–17)