Maugham: The Appointment in Samarra (1933)

This is included in the Kennedy/Gioia “Introduction to Fiction.” I asked Marna and Barb about when they found the time to read, as it’s been now years since I’ve really given reading any time in my schedule. They read first thing in the morning, and right before bed. I’m desperately trying to cling to anyContinue reading “Maugham: The Appointment in Samarra (1933)”

Boccaccio: Day 2, Story 2

I can hardly believe I haven’t touched this book since October, though it’s been many times that I’ve needed it. This is about as close to success as I’ve ever been, and yet I still feel profoundly sad–the answer, of course, being to just say fuck it and ignore it. I do this by tryingContinue reading “Boccaccio: Day 2, Story 2”

The Theory of Ruin Value

Dogpatch USA: an abandoned amusement park in Arkansas I once visited during childhood. First I was trying to figure out how to use the weather channel website–I check the weather less than once a year because it’s pretty much the one thing over which I feel I don’t have supernatural power. And while I stillContinue reading “The Theory of Ruin Value”

Young and Innocent (1937), Mixed Nuts (1994), and This is 40 (2012)

I’ll take any opportunity to use this lovely photo of good ol’ Nova Pilbeam again. I was in love with a British girl once, and I couldn’t understand a thing she said–and she wasn’t trashy either, she was quite proper and dainty, perhaps the daintiest person I’ve ever met. But I couldn’t understand anything sheContinue reading “Young and Innocent (1937), Mixed Nuts (1994), and This is 40 (2012)”

Will Durant: Political Elements of Civilization: “Law”

Routine: “It is routine that keeps men sane; for if there were no grooves along which thought and action might move with unconscious ease, the mind would be perpetually hesitant, and would soon take refuge in lunacy. A law of economy works in instinct and habit, in custom and convention: the most convenient mode of responseContinue reading “Will Durant: Political Elements of Civilization: “Law””

Sade: Philosophy in the Boudoir: “First Dialogue”

So, we proceed through the first dialogue, which contains a hint of incest, some men engaging in violent anal play (a girth of six inches rammed in without lubrication), and perhaps the finest description of a girl ever written in any language. The audience? Those of whom have a classical education under their belts: DearContinue reading “Sade: Philosophy in the Boudoir: “First Dialogue””

sing softly to me: why crooning is a revolution

And that is, in music, from what I can tell, the birth of a vocal personality, the movement from “song” to “singer.” No longer is it just the piece of sheet music you buy and play after dinner with your family, it’s now the sound of Rudy Vallee singing to you alone. The sound of someone’s voice intimately.