“Short, snappy, easily attempted, easily completed or just as easily discarded before completion, the cigarette is the symbol of a machine age in which the ultimate cogs and wheels and levers are human nerves.”—Richard Kluger from Franzen’s How to be Alone (via frenchy-a)
“You know who my gods are, who I believe in fervently? Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson — she’s probably the top — Mozart, Shakespeare, Keats. These are wonderful gods who have gotten me through the narrow straits of life.”—Maurice Sendak on religion and faith. [complete interviews here] (via nprfreshair)
I can’t help but feel like this particular melodrama circa 2000 could have been solved by my mother hearing Wayne’s lecture on Adrienne Rich’s “Diving Into the Wreck” & the dissolution of the subject-object relation.
hey guys, remember the time I took some medicine to help me focus on rapidly revising a paper due in the morning and ended up sitting on the couch for three hours straight picking my split ends & thinking about my childhood, eventually having a “breakthrough” about how my “internalized biphobia” (ie why I am so self-conscious & secretive & weird) is in part directly traceable to something my usually open-minded & supportive mother said when I was 16 or 17, about something I wrote in my zine?
“At its best, criticism is itself a form of indirect self-expression. To read, say, Walter Benjamin or Susan Sontag or Roland Barthes is to encounter a sensibility as distinctive, and a voice as powerful, as any in 20th-century literature. “The motive of the critic who is really worth reading,” as H.L. Mencken put it, “is not the motive of the pedagogue, but the motive of the artist.” Mencken certainly regarded himself as a critic worth reading, so he was referring at least as much to his own work as he was to criticism generally. Books like Batuman’s, Lethem’s, Dyer’s, Baker’s, and Wilson’s bear out Mencken’s claim, while also revealing the motive of the critic as the motive of the autobiographer. Our experience of art can, after all, never be anything but subjective. To write about that experience in an explicitly autobiographical way might therefore be the most natural form of criticism, even if at the same time it is the most artful.”—
SUPER relevant to the “report” I just submitted for my Master of Arts degree in literature. in which I talk overtly about my personal life. because can’t we just skip to the part where I am Susan Sontag.
hmmm… maybe I shouldn’t have started my celebratory post-Masters-report-submission bender before have actually submitted my Masters report. or before I have to finish a novel and bake cookies for the class I’m teaching at 8 AM. on the other hand, I am really proud of my work. and hey, professors paid for the booze.
guess I’ll go submit the online part, smoke a celebratory cigarette, walk my dog and chill out for awhile.
I will have more tumbl-able feelings later tonight, is what I’m thinking.