Updike: A&P (1961)

After the Lord of the Flies epiphany, I went straight to Borders Books and Music and asked at the info desk for more books about “human nature” or “the human condition” or something like that. I remember they chuckled at me, handed me Catcher in the Rye, and suggested I continue down the path of post-war New Yorker writers,Continue reading “Updike: A&P (1961)”

Chuang Tzu – “Independence” (4th cen. BCE)

Ah, the beauty of textbooks, which tell you what questions to ask. 1. What part of this story is the exposition? How many sentences does Chuang Tzu use to set up the dramatic situation? Here’s the deal. There’s this guy who sits outside on the back fire escape coughing all day and all night. Literally.Continue reading “Chuang Tzu – “Independence” (4th cen. BCE)”

Grimm (Segal) – Godfather Death (1812)

I don’t know upon what tales children are raised anymore, and I know that I had a my fair share of contemporary children’s stories and picture books to make me feel okay about life. The ones that I recall most clearly are the classics, the ones that are a little spooky. Perhaps that’s why I’veContinue reading “Grimm (Segal) – Godfather Death (1812)”

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”

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””

Obama vs Romney as explained by Marquis de Sade

From my experience, erotica by left-leaning authors tends to be pretty lovey-dovey; erotica by right-leaning authors tends to be FILL AND FLOOD EVERY ORIFICE. Take your pick! “Whereas the state institutions provided by Rousseau’s Social Contract allow us to recapture some of the goodness and innocence we enjoyed in our original “Nature,” Sade sees allContinue reading “Obama vs Romney as explained by Marquis de Sade”

Bataille: Story of the Eye: “A Trickle of Blood”

I’m getting pretty great at picking out foreshadowing. Regarding the final two lines of the last chapter, which I attempted to explicate before giving up and going to bed, the beginning of the next chapter goes in further depth (without coming to any more satisfying a conclusion than I did). Tough shit. In short: urine =Continue reading “Bataille: Story of the Eye: “A Trickle of Blood””