As has been mentioned elsewhere, I was in France for a while. Now I’m back. I’m not. . . thrilled. Now I’m kind of figuring out what’s going to change and what’s going to stay the same. As you probably know, C is moving out some time around September in order to teach in a slightly less harrowing environment. While this is a bit complicated, to say the least, it’s also probably a bit of an improvement in terms of everyone’s mental state, and if our contacts become less frequent, at least the odds of me feeling appreciated during them will be increased.
The big thing, though, is a sort of shift in my sort of mental state regarding my, I don’t know, let’s say “condition” for lack of a better word. I think that in a lot of ways living with C and S has created a sort of suspension or deferral where I’m sort of waiting for things to happen in regard to them, and now that’s gone so I have to do things now, which is going to be strange. I’m not sure I’m up for that any more. I’m not even really very clear on what things are. I guess I’m just going to have to keep my eyes open.
So about a month-and-a-half ago I finished The Past Regained, the final volume of Remembrance of Things Past. I was going to say something about it, but then I didn’t. Life is always, I suppose, getting in the way of things that are “marvelously about life.” At any rate, while I recall having all kinds of exciting things to say at the time, I suppose I’m now mostly interested in saying that it got good again, which I suppose makes sense, seeing as how it was written at the same time as Swann’s Way, and before it descended into pure sniveling.
The aspects of the book having to do with recollection are much more explicit, which I suppose is the point. Simply laying out the theoretical armature in volume one would have been boring, and not nearly as effective. By the time the curtain is being pulled away from Proust’s ideas about memory and experience he’s already dragged the reader through a narrative that has approximates that sort of experience primarily by being too detail-rich for the reader to hang on to much of it. This kind of enacting what you write is a marvelous skill, even when it’s clear that the filler content could have been a little more varied, if you know what I’m saying.
So if you care you probably already know that Kieron Gillen is killing Phonogram. Despite strong rec’s, I haven’t gotten around to reading any of it. That’s about to change, though, because I decided to read the linked farewell, and Gillen says:
We’ve — and these are ones I really treasure — made some people get what’s going on inside music obsessive’s heads, when they’ve previously never really got pop.
and I thought, “Wait, maybe I can remember how to be a pop obsessive.”
Because I used to be really pop-obsessive. I mean, if I like a song I can tell what elements of it are being underserved by a sound system, and the first thing I put on after reading this (not immediately, but definitely because of) was Circus Maximus, a record that is really, truly by and for obsessives (also: hilarious coincidence city, right?) Of course, it’s also really old. So old that it probably doesn’t even qualify as pop at all. Leaving aside questions about what’s the Momusian analogue to classic-rock status aside, I’m trying to figure out how I can become pop-obsessive again, because I think that I liked that about myself.
I think the MP3 revolution killed my obsession with pop music. I bought the very first iPod about a week after it came out, but by the time that one died they had become too ubiquitous for me to not turn up my nose about acquiring another. Nevertheless, I had moved to NYC and was a student at that point, and I succumbed to the urge to just put everything on my computer and have done with it. Maybe the thing to do now is to become some kind of beardy format-maniac. Obsession rewards masochism.