Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


Crystal Bloggiversary

Hard to believe that I've been doing this for fifteen years, even if it's slowed way down, keeping my wheel to the shoulder rather than the other way round, feel free to pass. Of course, nowadays blogging seems as quaint a vehicle as an Amish buggy, but I've been online nearly twice as long, always involved in some forum or other, talking books*, yet another outmoded medium, as for that matter the written word is being forsaken for image or emoji. Yeah, that's overblown, what with all the would-be writers, unlike say the coarsening of public reasoned discourse (promoted in and by the late lamented blogosphere, which is really merely less prominent) in other media (where I steer clear). That this here blog is public is almost incidental; it's more a matter of collecting my thoughts and giving them intelligible form, sharing more an afterthought, and as I've said before, my writing is mostly in the service of my reading. Part of the difficulty in adding to this accretion is in not restating what went before; another part is that much of what I'm thinking requires overarching context that's just too much work to elaborate (the occasional nonliterary post provides a bit of that). Also, I tend towards a succinctity meant to be unpacked in multiple but complementary ways.

One upside of such sporadic posting is that my last visit to the Bookshelf of Good Intentions is still on the front page. So this time round, a reread of Homer (after 50 years!), Fagles rather than Pope (well, also Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science, but that's a whole nother thang). Seemed timely, since reading The Odyssey's conflict between Zeus and Poseidon coincides with Jupiter and Saturn being visible in the otherwise sparse metro area night sky (and then that is now there's Alice Oswald ...)

And a downward glissando (that is, quick notes, in descending order) on BTBA reads since my last post (EEG took the title):
Vigdis Hjorth, Will and Testament (Charlotte Barslund) [Verso]: dysfunction radiating thru family ties that bind, delayed reveal intrinsic to plot [TWR]
Christos Ikonomou, Good Will Come From the Sea (Karen Emmerich) [archipelago]: follow-on to Something Will Happen, You'll See, which was tauter though less interwoven [BOMB]
Ariana Harwicz, Die, My Love (Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff) [Charco]: Mommie Direst, postpartum manic depression [LatAmLit]
Selva Almada, The Wind That Lays Waste (Chris Andrews) [Graywolf]: evangelical fabular encounter, well wrought but not too remarkable [pshares]

The biennial collection of throwaway lines:
wash your face don't touch your elbow hand in your cough and stay at least six feet away from home
in lowercase no one can hear you scream
parody is the sincerest form of irony
do I ruin it for the kiddies when I tell them the ball pit is bouncy rubble?
so, liquid propane gas, which is it, liquid, gas, or just a phase it's going through?
semi-autofiction comes with trigger warnings
he couldn't get the clock to run backwards so he mounted it in the corner next to the mirror on the adjoining wall but it still gave the correct time from behind the mirror
every integer can be represented using a decimal point followed by an infinite number of nines, except zero
been so busy lately I had to spend the weekend catching up on my procrastination
(on Dec31) I'd like to apologize to everybody I called just after midnight to wish a happy New Year's Eve. But they're not taking my calls any more.

* this spring saw an online reunion of the NYTimes BookForum, 20 years after I'd joined; despite efforts to start anew, it quickly petered out ... its independent rump successor forum was also recently wiped clean, while readerville (Salon TableTalk successor) was disappeared some long time ago. Activity on the surviving forum I frequent has also waned (mine included). And a sad if inevitable end of an era: Evelyn C. Leeper of Usenet's rec.arts.books (where I newbied) has shut down her bookstore page ...


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