"Your brain works with all the subtlety of a malicious child."
— Steven Erikson, Gardens of the Moon (OH DISS SON)
a beautiful dream, perhaps, but entirely divorced from life as it is
— Steven Erikson, Gardens of the Moon (OH DISS SON)
I started this playlist in April for my sister, who is the best. I just finished it. Its value has decreased, but I think she will still enjoy it, and she definitely earned it.
Also, Shan, you are really going to enjoy this video and the little dance prodigy in it:
These lyrics always get me:
so slip off what you don’t want ripped off baby it’s all in my way
put my mouth over those stupid things you’re taught you ought to say
Why is Chekhov close to today’s South?
He loved the singularity in people, the individuality. He took for granted the sense of family. He had the sense of fate overtaking a way of life, and his Russian humor seems to me kin to the humor of a Southerner. It’s the kind that lies mostly in character. You know, in Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard, how people are always gathered together and talking and talking, no one’s really listening. Yet there’s a great love and understanding that prevails through it, and a knowledge and acceptance of each other’s idiosyncrasies, a tolerance of them, and also an acute enjoyment of the dramatic. Like in The Three Sisters, when the fire is going on, how they talk right on through their exhaustion, and Vershinin says, “I feel a strange excitement in the air,” and laughs and sings and talks about the future. That kind of responsiveness to the world, to whatever happens, out of their own deeps of character seems very southern to me. Anyway, I took a temperamental delight in Chekhov, and gradually the connection was borne in upon me.”
there’s a great love and understanding that prevails through it, and a knowledge and acceptance of each other’s idiosyncrasies
— Eudora Welty. The truth about the South. Also basically sums up my role as a therapist.
— John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, Crazy Sunday (via fitzgeraldquotes)
— Oh Neal Stephenson.
— The Moviegoer
Tomorrow I’ll drive alone through rural east Alabama, Georgia, and north Florida to head to a wedding. I am strangely looking forward to the long drive there and back. A few of my favorite country driving and thinking songs:
I just stood and looked out at the open space and a farmhouse out a ways. And I wondered about the people who lived in it and I wondered if they were happy and content.
I saw your face so clear and bright, I must have been crazy but it sure felt right.
Will you take me as I am, strung out on another man?
I see my light come shinin’ from the west down to the east.
“Then he began to feel a little angry at Irma Fliegler. He wondered whether she appreciated what a right guy she was married to. Probably not. She probably just took him for granted. That was the other side of it: a woman married a louse that beat her and cheated on her, and she got so she took that for granted; and another woman married a real guy, a square shooter from the word go, and she didn’t see anything unusual about that. Al almost but not quite reached the opinion that all women are so used to getting the dirty end of the stick that they took it for granted when they did get it, and took for granted they were going to get it when they didn’t. The hell with them. He wanted to forget about them.
But that was not possible here, at the Stage Coach. It was a woman’s place. All dance places, night clubs, road houses, stores, churches, and even whorehouses—all were women’s places. And probably the worst kind of woman’s place was a place like this, where men put on monkey suits and cut their necks with stiff collars and got drunk without the simple fun of getting drunk but with the presence of women to louse things up.”
A passage on the concomitant powerfulness and powerlessness of women, and a weird little bit of misogyny, from Appointment in Samarra that feels relevant, presently.
This month’s starred trax playlist asks, bluntly, can a listener rapidly ping-pong between punk, pop, folk, country and ‘other’, and still be sane? Answer unclear. It’s un étrange mélange. Try for yourself.
“That summer she thought of her life after college in three ways: she thought of it as unicellular, but a life that reversed the amoeba’s performance. The days got together and formed one life, losing their separate identities. Again, she thought of those four years as calendar years, broken formally by the Assembly (New Year’s Eve), the July 3 Assembly, Easter, Hallowe’en, Labor Day. Put together, they made four years, the length of time she had passed at Bryn Mawr, and like the years of college in that they seemed so long a time and so short a time, but also not at all like the college years, because she felt she had got something out of college. These four years had not had the compactness of college, and they seemed wasted.”
Oof, the Caroline English (née Walker) chapters of Appointment in Samarra are good, too good.
Kwon and Avett-the-Younger cover Beyonce’s Halo.
Could they have done anything better than this to provide relief on a crappy day? Yeahhh, NO. Nope.