Come Up You Fearful Jesuit

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Toros (and Myth Today)

Posted on December 10, 2009 in Reading Project

So I have sort of bogged down in the reading things. This is a little disturbing, but what’s really odd about it is that it happened during “Myth Today,” which is something I really love. When I was at NYU I once joked that I wasn’t ever going to bother reading anything new, and that I was only going to devote time to gaining a complete understanding of stuff I had already read, but maybe “Myth Today” doesn’t have anything else to say to me right now (except for the joke about the bourgeois lion; that will kill me every time until the end of time.) This isn’t to say I’m done with it. No, “Myth Today” is an astounding piece of work, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading it again at some point in the future.

On a more personal note, I have finally succumbed to West Coast life, and become a total weakling when it comes to the cold. I guess it could also be the fact that I’m becoming less comfort-averse in my old age, or that there is something about the creeping cold in houses that weren’t made to keep it out that is somehow worse than a blizzard whipping along Delancy (if you are of a certain disposition.) At any rate, we’re short of thawings here, and that could be better.

When I think “maybe I should read Barthes,” and then think “eh,” I have been prone to reading Something To Tell You by Hanif Kureishi. I have been a huge Kureishi fan since about the middle of the second chapter of The Buddha of Suburbia, but it hasn’t always been easy. I remember reading a book that contained both Intimacy and Midnight All Day and thinking that he probably wouldn’t ever write about anything other than how hard it was to dump your wife and have a much younger mistress (as if he’d turned from an English author into a French director), and in any other tone than gratingly melodramatic.*

Well, Something To Tell You is fucking incredible, and I’m quite pleased to have been in error. One of the things that I loved so much about Buddha and The Black Album is that their treatment of race, counterculture and sexuality were so free from resentment. The divorce-fiction was, naturally, one-hundred percent resentment (or even RAY-ZON-TAY-MONT as Nietzsche might say.) At any rate, we’re done with that now, and back to being arch brilliant. Good stuff all around.

* I have no idea why authors agree to have collections of short stories published. Because people gravitate naturally towards certain themes in writing, collections of short stories always end up being tedious repetitions of a particular piece of material.