Saturday, March 10, 2018


At first I thought she was giving herself away for nothing. Then I thought he was callow. I wondered at the two different judgements, then watched how the relationship changed, like the light on the same building, day after day.

She nails how unfair it was that he wrote in paragraphs without dialogue. She's turning the tables, she's writing about having sex with the author of novels that takes the male perspective. Her affair with him is turning the tables, except there is asymmetry. He is rich in money and knowledge and experience.

There's trouble when the narcissist gets what he wants, adoration, but to keep being kind and present is how to raise above the gratification. He sneaks in thoughtfulness towards her. He shares his wisdom and resources, but guards himself as well but it doesn't seem too much yet.

I keep looking at the photo of her, imagining I'm Philip Roth. Is this the ultimate Roth fan jerk off?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Manhattan Beach

Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach has interesting vectors. She knows words for little things like chignon and peignoir.

There are fun words like Wallabout Bay, which is where the navy yard is in Brooklyn. I used to run around it when I did my circle going over the Brooklyn Bridge and then running back on the Williamsburg Bridge. There's a city pool over there that is a nice layover on a hot day.

There is also the nautical stuff. The early diving stuff.

And then NYC during WW2 stuff. The flux of ethnicities described before political correctness.

I've been thinking about reading downhill. Certain books are all downhill and a pure joy. Some books take an investment and then run downhill. Some books are like a mesa, initial investment, smooth flat surface, and then sharp downhill at the end.

How much you bring to the downhill is another question.

A thing I don't like about reading on a tablet is that you don't have the physicality of the book to tell you how much more you have. And no book ends on 100%, there's always varying degrees of fluff at the end, from a chapter in the next novel to essays to just a few pages. You could go to the contents and check it out, but it's not physical. I'm always afraid of losing my place even though I know I could find it.

Egan writes about the character seeing the newsreel of the Missouri being launched, and you can see it online.

In the end, a lovely American tale.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

4, 3, 2, 1

I saw Paul Auster read from Mr. Vertigo, which is a lesser novel. I love the NYC trilogy. His last ones have been pretty good. I've read all his novels except the one about the dog. Couldn't get through that one. I saw his movie. I've read his wife's work and his wife's sister's excellent work on Charcot at Lew Aron's suggestion when I was in a study group. I've listened to Sophie Auster, Paul's daughter on spotify.

I read a bad review of the book, but then saw that he was longlisted for the Booker prize. I saw the book at the library.

I started the book which has an grand beginning, it feels like an family epic. But now I want perfect times to read it, no distractions, not tired, clear headed. Of course with a toddler that is pretty impossible, when she goes to bed, I tend to gork out and sleep. When she's awake it's a bit of a hurricane. I need to get less precious.

It's a long book. I don't really like long books anymore. I think the last tome I read was We, The Drowned. And I read that on a tablet. (BTW, I've lost my Kindle but these new ones look awesome.)

Friday, September 8, 2017

New bookstore in Queens!


I read that 3 former Barnes and Noble employees who worked at one of the 3 Barnes and Noble bookstores that closed down and left a vacuum in Queens New York City, except for the Astoria Bookshop. The rest are Christian. Of course there are Barnes and Nobles in Nassau county on Long Island, and in Manhattan. 

Anywho, so I walked over to this one, and it was not open. The paper in the windows suggests they are still remodeling. It's on Lefferts in Kew Gardens, across from the 7/11, down from the Gourmet store. Down from Danny's the famous pizza place. Several blocks from the train station, near where Kitty Genovese was murdered. Walking home, I walked past the Charlie Chaplin home near there. There is a lovely independent movie theater there. I'd say after Astoria, Long Island City and Forest Hills Gardens, that Kew Gardens is a hip neighborhood, and a bookstore really makes it hip.

I thought print media was going to die with readers. I love my apps that I use with my tablets because my eye sight is going and I can enlarge the text. I can't read as long with normal books. Even so, there's nothing like a book in your hand, and seeing how you progress, looking at various parts of the book. It's a better experience to read a real book, even if it is more expensive and takes up so much space.

Found a picture of the owners. They raised over 70k on Kickstart.

In other news, I have read recently What We Talk About When We Talk About Ann Frank. I love that story and the other stories aren't bad either. I saw Englander was talking in Manhattan, but it cost so I didn't go see him.

I love Raymond Carver's story "What we talk about when we talk about love".

The other book was My Italian Bulldozer. It was a fun little romp. I might try out more of Alexander McCall Smith's books.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Here is a cafe Hemingway hung out in.

The Dearborn biography does a good job of disillusioning someone that perhaps Hemingway was a great man. He lied, he cheated, he was venial. I guess it's good to see people's clay feet.

I'm reading The Sun Also Raises. At first I felt a connection to the beats, who celebrated celebration. They threw a lot of parties, and the Americans in Paris drank a lot. They got "tight". I like the silly slang and nick names he gives in his dialogue. You can feel he could be a good friend (as long as you were not in competition with him). You could feel he was a good friend until he wasn't.

By giving the narrator an inability to perform in standard sexual ways, and because they probably didn't want to go into other practices, Jake is an interesting narrator, who at once wants but can't have, and is also perhaps not fully embroiled.

Being in Paris at that time seems romantic. I sat in a cafe in Paris and the owner was really cruel to his puppy dog. I like the photo above, there's a kid there. It's kind of like a beer garden, or perhaps a bar that is also a restaurant. I love the family getting one's drunk on.

He's about to go fishing, a lovely respite.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Dearborn's Hemingway

OK, so he's a piker, didn't take responsibility for leaving Hadley, his first wife. He took credit for things he did with others that were good and then took no credit for things that looked bad.

He was an ungrateful git. Sherwood Anderson got In Our Time published and to pay him back Hemingway wrote a book making fun of his latest novel. He used it to get out of a contract with a publisher who published his first book.

Then Fitzgerald got him working with Max Perkins and edited The Sun Also Raises. Then he wrote shit about him in A Movable Feast.

A friend called his second wife daughter, and she called him Papa, and that's the origins of that nickname.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Thoughts on Dearborn's Hemingway

Ms. Dearborn has two negative interpretations on Hemingway. By him describing hair, he is obsessed sexually with hair. She also makes his career struggle to be immature and petty. I guess I'm like one of those people who stand up and say how Hemingway made him possible, made him who he was.

I went to the wiki page on the actress Hem flirted or had an affair with, and they don't mention the relationship. I wonder if they don't want to go that deep into her private life, or whether they really want me to add that in and cite the book I'm reading.

I'm on page 141 and some manuscripts are lost and he thinks he's going to be a father, and that leads to a manic output of journalism and attempts to get recognized in the literary world, through friends like Ezra Pound.

I was surprised Hemingway was influenced by Sherwood Anderson, knew him and carried letters of introduction with him to Paris from him. I've read Winesburg Ohio, which is free.

Another surprise influence was Kipling. I've been listening to the Just So Stories on Librivox. I've ignored Kipling and maybe I can read them to my daughter.