who knew law schools start accepting applications next week? not i.
off tumblr/lj indefinitely; message me on gmail if there’s something urgent you feel needs to be called to my attention, like, oh, pictures of maru dressed as a twinkie (this will never not be relevant to my interests).
01 When it comes to relationships, I’m constantly calculating and rationing out my affections. How much do I put into this person? Does he or she appear as interested in me as I am in them? Who is it that’s making the phone calls and initiating meet-ups? How do I stand in relation to them and our other, mutual friends? When we talk am I a sounding board for all of their problems or do they take the time to ask me how I am, in order to show that they care? In other words, am I made a priority?
K.’s recent post resonated with me in this respect. I think we all do it to some extent. In romantic relationships I can imagine these tendencies being amplified a hundredfold; but luckily, me and B. are pretty equal in how into each other we mutually are.
02 I talk to B. for hours every night and at lunch. He is interesting and smart and patient and liberal and devoted and so well fitted to me that it kind of deeply freaks me out. YOU DEAR, SWEET MAN, COULD YOU POSSIBLY BE REAL?
03 Still nuts for football. I want to quit my job and watch this sport forever. :(( Drunken caterwauling with Em outside and inside of sports bars need to happen when I next come to Chicago.
In which, very beautifully, nothing happens.
The back cover calls Mrs. Dalloway the first novel to split the atom. Congrats, Harcourt. That’s a ingenuous way of marketing what would for most people be utterly unreadable, unbearably stuffy drek. Did I just say that aloud? Whoops. Well, no surprise: there’s a threshold between you and liking this book. If you have an ear for rhythm in language, if you like artless, offhand, china-boned meditations on life and living, if the idea of all of this set to the tune of roughly six ongoing and interpenetrating levels of leitmotifs and symmetries and Big Ben striking hour upon hour upon hour thrills you to no end, you are much more likely to bear through two hundred pages of Mrs. Dalloway nattering breathlessly about flowers.
Do I sound mildly disgusted? I don’t mean to. Mrs. Dalloway is an extraordinarily beautiful book. I just don’t want to oversell it. I could say stuff here about living tapestries of words and beautiful breathable metaphors and prose that radiates, like, unremitting showers of priceless gold coins. And I suppose that I just did. But, honestly. I read this for an undergrad survey course when I was nineteen and came away indifferent. Now it’s like a hearing aid has switched on in my ear. The meter is masterful. There are sentences that read like they were so carefully sewn. I can just feel Woolf briskly snapping off the thread with her teeth and knotting it tight.
I’ve come to realize that I read so much because books are music to my ears. Language ripples, is musical, scales worlds in a jump. Sentences ring like singing through my head. Literally, if you were to take an MRI of my brain while I read Lolita or James Baldwin the areas that’d glow neon on the x-ray would probably be the same ones that’d flare up, with my brain on Chopin. So in many respects, this was eye-popping stuff. Certainly Woolf is in complete command of her writing, and her knack for pinning the kicking verb, for netting bagfuls of lively flopping characters, is I’m sure unsurpassed.
Still, this book really illustrates for me the irritating and apparently omnipresent tension between “beauty of writing” and “something fucking happen before I put my foot through my computer screen”. It’s a rare combo platter that features both. Natalie is supposed to be writing me The Perfect Novel that does just that — in other words, the greatest, loveliest, most moving novel you could ever dream of, about organic vampires — yes, please harass her with me, I’m amassing signatures for a petition — but who knows when that’ll come out? And in the meantime, I’m lost. There’s only so much Dorothy Dunnett in this world.
Kaka: Hello, children! Thank you for welcoming me to your school on the wonderful day. I am really looking forward to answering your questions, so who has the first one?
Dani: Hi, Kaka. My name is Dani and I’m eight. My question is: What is your favorite thing about Spain?
Kaka: That’s a very good question, Dani! I have lots of favorite things about Spain. The people, the food, the culture. It’s all very special. But above all else, I love my friends here. Like all of you! Thank you, Dani. Who has another question?
Bill: Hi, Kaka. I’m Bill and I like Real Madrid. Will you kill Barcelona until they are dead this season? Please say yes.
Kaka: Heh, no no no, we don’t want anyone to die, Bill. Of course we hope to beat them this season and win the title, but that’s all. We don’t want violence in football.
Felix: Hi, Kaka. My name is Felix and I’m nine. If you are sold to Chelsea or back to Milan for a lot less than what Real paid for you, does that make you a failure?
Kaka: Wow. Where did you get that idea, Felix?
Felix: I read the papers.
Kaka: Uh, wow, you’re a little young to be reading newspapers, aren’t you, Felix? No, I don’t think it makes me a failure. I’ve had some injuries and couldn’t do as much as I would like for Real, but I think this season I will prove my worth to those papers. Who, uh, who has another question?
Briana: Hi, Kaka. I’m Briana and I like hammers. Why did you let Brazil do so bad at Copa America? My mother said you abandoned them the way my dad abandoned our family when he met that tramp Sandy.
Kaka: Oh wow. Wow, I, uh- I didn’t abandon anyone. I just needed a break after the long season and I knew Brazil would be better off calling up someone else. Wow, I’m sorry about your family and Sandy, but. Wow. Does anyone else have a question? Maybe about the new season and how exciting it will be?
Xavi: Hi, Kaka. My name is Xavi and I’m 31. Cesc is suffering.
Kaka: That’s, uh, that’s not a question Xavi. Why are you here? Please, do any of the children have one more question? Perhaps a question about football and happiness?
Eric: I have one!
Kaka: Excellent! Please, ask away, young man.
Eric: I’m Eric and I have two dogs. Xavi just gave me a note telling me to ask you this: “Cesc is suffering.” And then he wrote 18 exclamation points. I think he’s crying now. Why did you make him cry, Kaka?
— from this Dirty Tackle Exclusive.
I—I have nothing intelligent to add. sob.