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trends, again

Of the two books I’ve read in the past five days, both were written by men named “David”, describe acts of marijuana shotgunning, and also numerous instances of listening to Kate Bush, who, I might mention, also made an appearance in my conscious world via the Olympics Closing Ceremony yesterday.

Am I ok?

August 14 2012 | music and musings and words | 1 Comment »


He translated his previous words to “You have beautiful eyes.” and I laughed.

August 25 2011 | travels and waffle and words | Comments Off on stage

pattern recognition

Happy 101th post! And very very belated birthday to pocket universe.

The reading page has been quite active lately. There is any number of reasons why there is a sudden upsurge in my page-consumption, but that is not the topic of this post. The topic is that I am becoming suspicious of my reading pattern.

Bear in mind – these books are all fiction only because upon returning from Aspen and re-settling, discovered all these books in my ownership still unread.  Thus a pre-requisite was established.

The current book “on my floor” is I am Charlotte Simmons (Tom Wolfe), a tale of a small-town girl who exceeds her stereotypical small-town expectations to attend a very large, athletics-focused university but struggles to exceed her own limited mindset. She suffers and veers but ultimately finds what is presumed to be a redemption.

I have never encountered a book so infatuated by its own pretentiousness, stereotypes, and enjoyment of abusing its unbelievable heroine (Even only halfway through the book and no other writings of his in my repertoire, there’s actually no question that Tom Wolfe lacks capacity to write realistic women.) Bret Easton Ellis’s chronicles on similar themes are anorexic next to Wolfe’s bloated writing. Or maybe his accounts of the “shocking issues” on a university campus are unimpressive because what he details is essentially the lifestyle the majority of higher-education attendees experience – or at least are aware of – at some point in their years at respective institutions. And everyone knows that. But it’s also quite difficult for me to imagine that a small-minded but supposedly extraordinarily bright girl in a big university also lacks adaptability skills and self-sufficiency in a place that undoubtedly offered options.

Man, I lived under a rock- also known as the watchful eye of an Asian upbringing- for most of my life before college, but that doesn’t mean I became the rock either.

Maybe not incidentally, one of the universities Wolfe observed during the course of writing this novel was my alma mater. The book was given to me by a friend at the time as we attended said university together, which is the only thing keeping me plowing through (though it took me somewhere around five years to pick it up again after the first try.) This friend no doubt identified with much of the novel, but my place was in a different circle of the university planet and one that- detailed as Wolfe would like to think he is being- is completely overlooked in the novel. Therefore, I digress and totally rant off topic many years later when I’m attempting to concrete a post.

Anyways, prior to this high blood-pressure implement, I had steamrolled through The Song is You (Arthur Phillips), Solar (Ian McEwan), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon), Pattern Recognition (William Gibson), Zorro (Isabel Allende), and About a Boy (Nick Hornby) over the course of four weeks. All were decent reads- especially the Chabon, which had some truly beautiful, almost breathtaking writing and moments, though his prose has fair competition in the elegant stylings of Arthur Phillips.

Yet, there is a trail of themes between many of the books (which did detour for a bit even through those put aside for another time: After the Chabon, The Unbearable Lightness of Being was placed aside after only a few pages because I didn’t feel it would be healthy to read two Hitler-effected character narratives in a row.  You Only Live Twice– yes, the 007 novel- was also stopped because it seemed such a silly caricature when presented in the footsteps of Allende’s loving portrait of Zorro- another iconic action hero.) If we water down the subjects, a strange path can be drawn them books that looks something like “story of a man of shady yet tragic motivations –> story of a man of shady and irredeemable motivations –> motivated boys create action heroes but unexpectedly become men during the process –> girl unexpectedly becomes action heroine –> origin story of an action hero who never really grows up –> dim grownup man guides boy to being a boy while boy guides dim grownup man to being a grownup –> tragically dim girl thinks she is growing up by interacting with men, every last one of them possessing shady and irredeemable motivations.”

Based on this current stream, what on earth will pop up on my bookshelf next?

“Dim, tragic girl unexpectedly becomes action heroine. Fights a man with shady and irredeemable motivations: Hitler.”?

Name the book.

September 22 2010 | waffle and words | Comments Off on pattern recognition

words, edition I

+ consistently misspelled words

+  words probably overused

November 24 2009 | words | Comments Off on words, edition I