May 15th, 2019


Season of the witch

Some advice to the depressed I came across on tumblr-I-think said 'you don't have to do everything. Just floss your teeth.' As I sink into my spring SAD, I've decided that whatever else I do or don't, I will at least floss my teeth. Supposing I can stay awake long enough because lord! but narcolepsy has me in its clutches these days.

Weather doesn't help. Monday I went out without gloves and regretted it bitterly (see what I did there?) Yesterday wore my winter coat and last night still had the heat on, as winds made bicycling a pain. Today was tshirt weather until the sun went in and a thunderstorm blew through. And now I want the heat on again though tomorrow will be back in the low 60sF.

Tanith Lee, Companions on the Road
--plucked off the shelves, fairly certain I never read it, finished in an afternoon on Sunday. Everything is vaguely kimoi these days, and Lee is no exception, even though this has a happyish ending. Maybe it was the overlapping kimoi of As I Lay Dying, begun right afterwards, that coloured my experience.

Reading now?
Perennially, and getting nowhere:

Seraphina, which I must decide am I reading it or not because it's due back at the library on Saturday. Does it spark joy? No, but it's good enough. Which is good enough until it ceases to be, and then I want something else.

Edmund White, Inside a Pearl
-- subtitled 'my years in Paris.' I had no high hopes of this: expected it to be 'newly famous American author goes to Paris and is feted by the French literati: expect many famous names.' Well, not quite. White goes to Paris as a Vogue writer, having assured them he speaks French fluently, which he doesn't, at all. This would give me anxiety attacks; but White is one of those guys who thinks faking it is a lark. Except that he does then have anxiety attacks over his interviews, which, well, you knew that when you signed on, guy. Still, compared with the bumptiousness of men who go to Japan and fake things, White has a certain charm. For one thing, he works really hard at improving his French, by spending hours lying on a sofa and reading everything he can get.

His American fame doesn't open doors for him, or not for long. He notes that the literati will fete him *once*, and then move on to the next new thing once they've seen this new face that everyone must see. This doesn't bother him because he's busy with his sexual pursuits and affairs with foreigners. It's the foreign lovers who get him into film festivals and the art world, which run differently from the intellectuals, and thank god.

There's still a veil of- alright, here's that word again- kimoi that hangs over the text. Whether it's me in my current funk, whether it's the 80s AIDS crisis background to White's life, whether it's that partial memory I have of reading Caracole in Tokyo where, trust me, its bizarreness read doubly bizarre, I can't say, but I feel I have a 100 Demons' type fuzzy black Thing lowering over my shoulder as I read the list of Famous People White runs into in Paris: none of whom seem at all happy, let alone cheerful.

G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Aquinas
-- bought years ago from a guy selling his library outside the quondam Rochdale, once a counter-culture drug haven, now assisted housing. I figured I could read Chesterton without pain. Not sure I can now. To quote poliphilo over on LJ:
"Chesterton was a polemicist- which is a fancy name for pub bore- and is always banging on about his blasted opinions. He once accused H.G. Wells of having sold his birth right as a story teller for a pot of message- and if there was ever a case of the pot calling the kettle black..." And this isn't fiction, so Chesterton can rant away for pages. Can, hell: does.

Reading next?
Some ebooks may be coming from the library in time for the long weekend. Maybe I should do a reread of 100Demons or even Rainy Willow, just because.