Monday, February 27, 2006

More Canadian writerly goodness

There will be more Canadian writerly fun tomorrow night at John Carroll University as part of the so-far quite excellent Red, White, and Read program. Nino Ricci will be reading at 8 pm, following up on Tim Taylor's solid reading and interesting discussion from two weeks ago; then you've got Stephen Marche coming to town on March 14th. Click here for a PDF of the Red, White, and Read brochure with the upcoming schedule for March and April. Or just check my blog obsessively until I post about the next reading like half an hour before it happens, because I'm awesome and on top of things. (Get it? Canada? On top? Yeah, I didn't mean for that to happen.)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Howevermany Books Challenge Round-up #1

Last year I did the 50 Book Challenge, and hit like 60 or something. This year I guess I theoretically sort of nominally signed up for the 75 Book Challenge. But now I'm sort of like, whatever. I'll read a lot of books and learn as much as I can from what I read and learn to enjoy literature in new ways and blah blah blah. There's only so many
hours in the day, see, and I have things I'd like to do with my life other than read, like become a rock star and walk on the moon and drink PBR on David Foster Wallace's yacht, and of course string together the occasional hopefully entertaining post about my adventures as a nerd, and plus when I do read, I'm honestly a real slow reader--if I get through as many books as I do it's because I have no life and I spend all my time reading--and as well there's a lot of big books I'd like to tackle this year--I think it's time to re-read The Brothers Karamazov, for instance, since it's been ten years now, and I think it's also time to finally get through The Lord of the Rings maybe, since it's been a while since the movies stopped coming out, and there's You Bright and Risen Angels over there which I want to wade my way through now for real, since I've read the (even longer) Europe Central. And I'm disturbingly serious about wanting to do Bleak House, too, actually. There's any number of other books in the piles right now that are over 500 pages long. Like The Unconsoled, by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I've bitched about previously; I really want to give that another shot. And...okay, the list goes on.

The list goes on, and it's just damned depressing to think of how it's going to just keep going on, long after I die; and how I won't even have the beginnings of a handle on the list as it stands even right now before I head off to the big library in the sky. So, you know: fuck it. I'll read what I read. I could pad the list with quick reads just to boost the numbers for the sake of the boosting and the padding, but, we're talking about books here, not boobs. Not, uh, that this should stop you from talking about boobs in the comments, mind you. See. And...

And okay! Right. It's agreed: if I want to worry about the numbers, I'll go read some math books, but I'd like to focus on the words, and I find the target thing sort of distracting from the main mission, and, right. I'm still going to count, of course, because when I was in college I picked up a Math minor and some habits are just hard to shake. So.


Anyway, here's what I've read so far this year.

  1. Ch'Ae Man-Sik, Peace Under Heaven

  2. Douglas Coupland, Miss Wyoming

    I posted some thoughts on the above two books here.

  3. David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster

  4. David Foster Wallace, Oblivion

    I kind of just kept mentioning DFW a lot in January. I don't know if I ever actually came out and said, like, that the books were really good, duh. I might not have mentioned that Consider the Lobster felt a little dated. Just a little. In a, yes, pre-9/11 sort of way. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the book, nor do I think it's necessarily a flaw.

    What is a flaw is that it's been ten years (!) since Infinite Jest was published, and we don't have a new DFW novel yet. That's sad.

  5. Kristin Allio, Garner

    I never actually said on the blog that I read this, I think. It was the most recent Litblog Co-op Read This! book. It was fine. Fine book. For me, though, it kind of fell into the shadow of what I read next.

    Do check out the LBC blog though, it was Garner week this week, and I still need to read through the postings myself, actually. Man, I suck at the Internet.

  6. Elizabeth Crane, All This Heavenly Glory

    Fantastic opening sentence. Also, is not "chick-lit".

  7. Ander Monson, Other Electricities

    The upper-cut to Elizabeth Crane's jab. (Or, uh, insert appropriate punching metaphor here.)

  8. William T. Vollmann, Europe Central

    Refer to this blog's sidebar. Click on the link to the February 2006 archives. Scroll at random. Read.

    Or, just make yourself sad, very sad, and you'll kind of be in the same boat as me.

  9. Thomas Beller, How To Be a Man

    My girlfriend picked this out for me because I could use some instructin'. (Ha ha!) Turned out what she really gave me was the best possible way to follow up Europe Central. Personal essays, nothing overly complex, good humor value. I just liked it. Like a long-held-off-on inhalation.

  10. David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

    Actually I'm not done yet but I will be soon. Beller put me in the mood for the humorous personal essay sort of thing, and this book's been on the coffee table since Sedaris came to town, sometime in 2005. Sedaris is as funny as ever (I loved Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day, of course) but I'm wondering if maybe I'm seeing a little more of a dark edge to these stories? That's not saying much though; February and all, I could find the dark edge at the heart of a candle's flame, so.

Friday, February 24, 2006

And also

Lauren Ambrose and I did not spend Tuesday hanging out on David Foster Wallace's yacht.

"Bummed," as a word to describe my feelings regarding this, could easily be classified as being one of those things in this world that do not wholly represent the reality of the situation at hand.

A little bit about Vollmann

Here's an interview with William Vollmann that's been making the blog-linked rounds.

And here's the fact that that original seven volume set of Rising Up and Rising Down that you'd wished you'd bought when it was in print? You really now wish you'd bought it so you'd maybe be able to think about selling it.

(More random bits of Vollmannishness, as they catch my eye, should appear at my "vollmann" page. I'm trying to sort of create tags for authors to collect the relevant web-stuff as it catches my eye. You'll find a couple more half-baked attempts at this down in the tag cloud down near the bottom of this blog's side bar, which area of the side bar is about all the Web 2.0-y goodness you're likely to see around these parts, the tag cloud and the live feed of my "books" links and my Flickr badge I mean, at least until I hit the lottery and get rich and devote my life to trying to develop the form of this blog into something that masks the huge vacuous core that is its recent content. I wouldn't hold your breath. Though really I would love to do this thing up far fancier than I've been able to do to date, sadly, I think right now the extent of my mad-web coding 1337 knowledge is expressed pretty fully in the random header image script with the text floating over it. Which I'm afraid probably just looks like complete crap in anything but IE or FireFox anyways, so. Uhnm. Right. Anyways if things look painfully slow here lately just go check out the books tag feed down there and see what you might see. Chances are I'm seeing plenty, I'm just completely apathetic about actually saying anything about it other than, hey, look, there's a thing. As much as I totally dig, agree with, fully endorse, and send out a major crap-ton class level "Hallelujah" to the sentiment that we should STFU about blogging about blogging and just bloody well blog already, February, I'm afraid, has had other plans for me, and they involve it making me not even feel all that enthusiastic about, like, feeling enthusiastic. So. Like note that the opening sentence of this post actually originally said "inteview" and I almost left it, not as an ironic commentary on my apathy, but because I was actually just apathetic. But then I fixed it because I was too apathetic to leave it at that. I'd say there's a joke here, a meta-joke maybe, but, hopefully you gave up on this parenthetical already, and are surfing links off my vollmann tag page. Which if you get bored with that you can always hit the "this tag by all users" link somewhere over there, wherever, and be treated to god only knows how much crap. Y'know. So.)


Like I said, for sure.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Data, with conclusion


  1. Today, Maud Newton mentioned a writing contest at Opium Magazine.

  2. Grant Bailie--who is both TDAOC-endorsed and girlfriend-of-TDAOC-endorsed--has been published by Opium.


  1. Ig Publishing has recently published Proud To Be Liberal, which includes a contribution by Maud Newton.

  2. Ig Publishing published Grant Bailie's novel Cloud 8, which is approved and endorsed by both TDAOC and girlfriend-of-TDAOC.


  1. Maud Newton and Grant Bailie are, stunningly, not actually the same person, though it is clear that inadequate study of the data could lead one to believe the opposite.

  2. I am totally hardcore awesome for bringing all this to your attention.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

William T. Vollmann's Europe Central kind of defies the hack-blogger to come up with funny blogpost headlines about it

We prefer our personal tragedies, because we're all cowards and bastards.

- Europe Central, p 695

So I finished Europe Central on Monday. I can't say I totally loved it. I also can't say I liked it as little as I was afraid I would after the first hundred pages. Nor can I say that every page was of "the most depressing thing ever"-type caliber. I think it's fair to say that my earlier statement--that the words "annoying" and "brilliant" kind of summed up the book--held true through to the end.

And yet for all that I miss the book, already. And while I still think the book would hold up well, if not feel like a very much better novel, during a re-read (a theory that gains some evidence in my much-improved understanding of the novel's opening section when thumbing through it after I'd finished the book) I'm not going to re-read it any time soon. Even though I sort of do want to.

It's not a comforting head-space to be in, when you're in there, in that book. It's definitely not comfort fiction. You don't want to read this book to be happy. The loose trilogy of chapters sort of in the middle, about Vlasov ("Breakout") and Paulus ("The Last Field-Marshal") and Gerstein ("Clean Hands"), those are just incredible chunks of imaginative historical fiction, technically and aesthetically astonishing, but they're not going to make you happy. You should read them, but you should expect it to hurt. And not just in a "Wow that was great story" way but in a sort of deeply and personally felt moral experience sort of way. ("Moral." This book begs us to discuss that word. This book was published at the wrong time for us to truly, deeply discuss that word, though. It's part of a package of religious-type language that's been sort of co-opted, see. Which makes me sad. But.)

And yet, for this notable lack-of-happy quality it's got going on, the book is sort of addictive. You get in there, you start to get the feel for Vollmann's weird prose style, and what he does with all these seemingly random chunks of story, and...I dunno. There's really nothing else I've ever read quite like this book. Even when it doesn't quite make sense, or even when you feel like you've just missed so many things--which unless you're some kind of freak genius I guarantee you're going to miss things in there--you're still kind of unable to consider reading anything but the book, once you get far enough into it. Does that make sense? Or am I generalizing too much?

I'm generalizing too much. Okay. Let's get personal. Look. What I'm trying to say is this: the book, like February, like long winters, sort of fucked me up for a while. This book for me has sort of been my February this year, actually. And I'm really glad to be done with the book, for that; when February ends, I'll be glad in much the same way. And yet, I miss the weight of this book's pages in my hand, and I miss the density of this book's prose in my brain.

Is this what it means, when they say that a book can read the reader?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

And in other news

It should of course be noted that the best blogging on this blog usually happens by people who aren't me. Case in point: Robert Ellis on Rick Moody & music & writing. Also, Arethusa poses a mind-sploding question.

And while I'm mentioning and replying to comments--an activity I really normally suck at but please don't be offended, whenever you kind people do comment I immediately run outside in my joy and do a sort of arcane dance to thank the blog gods for the kindness of commenters and their comments, which let's just say the dance involves hula-hoops and torches made out of print newspapers and, maybe, just maybe, mystical incantations, and let's leave it at that--let me say that hey Jenny, yeah, I'd totally plan on making the thing with the stuff, but see, I'm kind of double-booked since I have that weekend slated for my annual "Be a huge freaking wuss" thing, see, and, uhm...yeah...ermm...

Europe Central

I'm now halfway through William T. Vollmann's Europe Central, and I've come to a uniquely stunning conclusion: war really fucking sucks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Random things about writing and reading, with a digression about German techno and sex

All things via the MetaxuCafe headlines page:

  • Quote of the moment: "Writing is a habit that is too easily broken." So very damned true.

  • Now here's a neat idea. Using a Wiki to track books read. I don't even have a list written up for this year, not that it's that big yet, but this might be something I try, before I completely forget everything I've read. "David Foster who, you say?"

  • A post at Kate's Book Blog on the connection between music and writing. She mentions an anecdote about Peter Robinson; I think I heard/read somewhere, the same basic story, but with Rick Moody and...uhm, The Ice Storm, maybe? Interesting, in any case. Judging by the amount of electronica-ish music I've been listening to lately, the "spirit of the time" I'm capturing in my writing is probably one of obscure German pixie-like women tweaking dials that control how people gyrate; as ideal, optimistic (if cynically so) visions of the future go, it's one I could live with. (Seriously, some of the beats on Ellen Allien's Thrills album are designed solely to make the listener want to have sex. It's crazy. Definitely not something to listen to before meeting with the board of directors. "And as you'll see by our profit-loss margin indicated on this slide, unh, the way I'd like to slide you across this conference table, slide, please.") And then there's also my basic inability to get tired of Squarepusher's "Tetra-Sync" off the Ultravisitor album, which track we'll loosely classify as "future-space jazz," for lack of any other current, widely-accepted classification terminology. Determining the "spirit of the time" I capture when I listen to that ten minutes of synthed-out drummed-up freak-funk Arthurian-reverbelot is left as an exercise for the reader.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yeah, I used to be geographically agnostic, but it turned out it was just a college phase

Cue Jim Eastman with your Wine & Politics--er, Technology & Community--laugh of the day.

(His closing statement, by the way, is why I like to admit that I'm a moron.)

Europe Central

Well, I'll say this: you could do worse with your time than to block out a couple hours to sit down at the bookstore and read "Breakout," the Vlasov chapter from Europe Central. Just...I guess...well, be ready to feel like the air's been sucked out of your brain, by the end of it. I just finished that chapter, and now I'm kind of wondering why we ever bother to get out of bed, ever.

Dickens? In Cleveland? Hating on the mainstream media? What era are we in? ALSO: I'm a big dork and I'm exhausted, too

Been meaning to link to this for a while (actually, been meaning to link to a lot of stuff for a while, but, well, sometimes you got to take your book-bloggin' street-level, get down and nasty with the gluebound-funk, makin' deals in secluded library corners with your lit-posse, if you know what I mean...which if you do, that would make you weird, since I don't have any idea what I mean). John Ettorre has some fun Dickens facts for you, including that there's actually a Cleveland Dickens Fellowship (which I will admit to an intense, almost overpowering, sudden curiosity about), and that Dickens actually once visited Cleveland. That factoid has that real weirdly anachronistic feel to it. Like when you found out recently--when they stopped letting you send them--that telegrams had actually been around for a really long time, and you really thought about it? No, it didn't make sense. How did cavemen invent telegrams? Didn't they need electricity for that? How did they convince cowboys to put down their lassos and hitch up their utility belts to string all that wire? No. It makes no sense at all. And yet, there it is: true. Same for me and Dickens and Cleveland. I mean, the guy, he like, defined England, right? So what was he doing over here? And what kind of boat back then could cross an entire ocean? I don't get it. Truth be told, I don't even actually believe it. Lies! LIES! John Ettorre, in light of certain recent discussions about the nature of online conversations, I'm going to have to take off my gentleman's gloves and put on my fightin'-words gloves, and tell you how I really feel. You spread lies on the Internet! On the Internet! Yeah! Expletive! Expletive! Yee of low moral standing! You're a coward and a cur! Hiyah!

Yeah, wow. I didn't know that paragraph was going to go there. Live television, folks! Note to self: don't blog when tired.

Anyways, Dickens: if you ask me, I'm cool with Dickens. I'm due to read some Dickens, since I haven't in a while. And by in a while, I mean, I think what Dickens I have read, I can't actually count as having read anymore (link via). But I do remember trying to read Great Expectations in high school and thinking that Dickens was a little bit too British for my tastes at the time, but then I gave it another shot sometime after college and I remember thinking that Dickens was actually a little bit too awesome for my tastes. And then there was whichever one book I did manage to find time to read when I audited that Dickens class in college. I'm sure I'm pretty much cementing my reputation here as a completely hopeless dork, but whatever. It's cool. I'm cool with Dickens. Even though I actually literally can't remember which book I read when I took that class. Sorry. Audited that class. So not only am I a dork, but I'm a lame dork. Go me. (It was either David Copperfield or Dombey and Son. Wait. What the hell? Dickens wrote a book called Dombey and Son? A really long book called Dombey and Son? Seriously, what the hell? Was this guy paid by the word, or something? Er, oh...) Oh! And I do remember reading some of his journalism/essays in that class, too, which were actually really fun pieces. Short! Blog-posty in length, if I recall. I remember liking those. And I guess I read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, on my own time, too. Which doesn't make sense, I know. Also, I've checked the shelves, and it seems I have two copies of Great Expectations. What? Who am I?

But yeah, now that you all know I'm a big lame clueless memoryless dork, anyone want to read Bleak House with me? It's the one Dickens book I own that I know for an absolute fact I never read, except for maybe the first hundred pages, which I think I might have tried to read, before realizing I was about to graduate from college, and that reading was for chumps and suckers and that I didn't need to read anything ever again. So I figure maybe I'll try to tackle it this year. Say, maybe, in June, or July, which'll be about when I finish Europe Central, maybe?

Monday, February 13, 2006

In praise of Canada

Okay, so I'm totally kicking myself in the face for having missed this recent Dan Chaon event (as neatly discussed by Maureen McHugh, who I think would be great fun as the focus of a similar type thing). But it's okay, because I'm going to make up for it. I'm committing myself to attending as many of these upcoming Red, White, and Read events as I can make (there's a PDF of a brochure for the event linked off that page).

Red, White, and Read is a program being put on by the English department at John Carroll University (my alma mater). Judging by the kick-off reading, it's going to be a personally painful series, because I've gone into book-buying lock-down mode (when certain books decide they need to be purchased and read immediately, cutting in front of the other 20-30+ books on the coffee table that have been waiting patiently for their turn since way too long ago, never-even-mind the number of books I've been holding off on buying because I'd go broke if I did so, certain drastic corrective measures have to be taken), but I'm going to be strong and go anyway. Even though I'll be leaving empty handed. I'll be strong.

It's a neat idea and a fun theme. I made it to the Ann-Marie MacDonald reading last week. Her reading was captivating and entertaining (I now have an entirely new appreciation for the word "Bullshit!"), and whenever I grant myself use of credit and/or library cards again, I'll be picking up her stuff. This week Timothy Taylor will be reading on Tuesday and Nino Ricci will be appearing at the end of the month. And then there's four more writers after that in March and April. So, come join me, and send a little love up north.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

And at the quarter, it's Thumb Drives and Oven Clocks 1, and William T. Vollmann OMG WTF?!?

Warning: scattershot reactions ahead.

So I'm around about a quarter of the way through Europe Central, depending on whether or not you count the end notes. (I, generally, haven't, though in some cases, I have.) My reaction so far can be summed up by the words "annoying" and "brilliant", in varying ratios, depending on the page, paragraph, hell, the sentence I'm reading at the time. It's like, I know that 20th Century military/cultural history is difficult, complex stuff, but at times, I wonder if Mr. Vollmann isn't going out of his way to make things more difficult than they need to be. (His weird rhetorical verbal ticks often just annoy the hell out of me; compare to DFW's "like"s which are mostly just fun. When WTV's narrator(s?) repeatedly says, "you know," I mostly want to grab him [them?] by the throat and say, "No, I don't! Why do you think I'm reading this book! It's your job to make me know!") And then at other times I'm wrapping the gold book in a lemon slice and bashing my brains out with it, when he drops a line or two of seriously Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster levels of genius. So yeah, I dunno.

It's just a big damn difficult muscle-car of a book which is sometimes really rewarding and sometimes just really difficult and I guess there's no way around it.

Maybe it's weird, but I do like the longer chapters better; I think he does better when he tells an actual story and has real narrative flow upon which to drape his observations and ideas and thoughts and whatever. Admit it: you secretly adore shorter chapters in novels, because it makes the book feel snappier and sometimes less like "work". But in Vollmann's case, the shorter (couple page) chapters have kind of made me roll my eyes in advance, because, chances are, if there's going to be places he loses me, it's going to be those chapters. (Like, if DFW tried to write Infinite Jest as a piece of flash fiction...although maybe that's a bad example because DFW's longer chapters in IJ often epitomized the idea of "literature as work", so take that as you will.)

Mostly as ever I feel my shortcomings as a reader; here's a lot of data and info and story and what not and I'm sometimes just not processing it right, I worry. It's a book I'm already wondering if it wouldn't be better digested when re-read. Not that I really intend on re-reading it right away--I've got a lot of other damn large books I'd like to read this year.

Lest this reaction seem too negative: the 80 page chapter "The Palm Tree of Deborah," which I just read yesterday, was pretty much completely ecstatic and lemon-slice-wrapped-gold-brick painful. (Also the longest chapter so far, and looks like second longest in the book, and knowing what I think I know about the way this book is going, I really can't wait for the longest chapter, which is way the hell out there near the end of the book; fab.)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Further proof that 2006 is the coolest year in the history of coolness; or, if I learn of one more thing I have to look forward to, I'm gonna lose it

I...I just...words, they...the facts...oh, yes, the fact.

Here, let's state the fact: Mark Z. Danielewski has a new book coming out this year.

I'm. I'm like. Oh, oh gosh.

Oh no.

Oh. Hell yeah.

Hell. Yes.

(Syntax of Things has links.)

Monday, February 06, 2006

One thing I can say right away as I work my way into William T. Vollmann's Europe Central... that it's not a book to try to read when you're tired. I imagine you can see cartoon question marks of confusion floating like balloons off the top of my head, right now. Yeah.

*bug-eyed stare*

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Random thoughts on a snowy Sunday afternoon, following a breakfast and shower that were in the wrong order, while now waiting for the coffee to brew

Actually, no. I've got nothin'. Mostly I just needed to get that blogpost title out of my head.

But so long as I'm here I'll mention that I started reading William T. Vollmann's Europe Central last night so, aside from my usual random mid-book thoughts, it might be a little while before I come around here raving about something I've read. This will give you the chance to catch up on my most recent new favorites. Unless you are friend Chris, then you need to finish reading the Steve Erickson books from last year. Also, unless you are my girlfriend, in which case, you need to pretty much do whatever you want, because you're more awesome than me.

Also, "ulysslexia" is the best new word of 2006.

And well, also, I know it came out in 2003, but if you never picked up a copy of the Steve Burns album Songs for Dustmites then, hey, no time like the present, right?

Okay. Coffee's done. Go Browns! Woof woof woof!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Aw, geez

Sometimes good literature sticks together in the reading pile. Elizabeth Crane's All This Heavenly Glory blew me out of the water only for me to then a couple days later land in the cold snow of Ander Monson's Other Electricities. Two very different books you really should read.

It's a funny thing, books, that are good or bad; I don't know how much you're like me when you read but I often have my mind made up pretty early on in a book: this is a good book, I'll think, and then it stays good; or this is a dull book, and etc's, with many pages left to go. Elizabeth Crane's book pretty much staked out its ground as a very good book from the get-go: that first sentence/paragraph/story is just awesome. And the rest of the book delivered on the promise of it. But it kept surprising me; it never really fell into the doldrum of being just thoroughly good. It kept catching me off guard. I laughed out loud, a lot. (Seriously, best use of Christina Applegate outside of Donnie Darko ever.) I kept reacting. It kept me there, the whole time.

Ander Monson's Other Electricities, I honestly think maybe I didn't think I was going to like the book much, once I started it. Don't know why. Sort of like I was thinking it was just another book like "that kind of book". It was okay and all but, it was following a tough act. But dammit, the book won me over. Just...damn. Damn. That's some writing right there. (The "Elsie and Henry" story is as life-affirming a piece of story-telling as I think I've read in a long time, and is surely not to be missed.)

So, the next time someone insists literature is dead, send them my way. I'd like to tell them to go to hell. Because, seriously: it's not. So very not.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Not to get topical, but.. it just me, or is the bloggers-vs-MSM hate-fest actually just a big huge hate crush? The only thing I can't tell is, which side is Jason Lee, which side is Joey Lauren Adams, and where we're going to find a Ben Affleck to bring them all together in one sweet weekend of love-making. And baby-making.

Er, oh, wait...the movie didn't end that way, did it. Damn. Back to the overcooked metaphor drawing board.

But anyway, what do you think that bastard baby offspring would look like? I know: it'd look like someone who would STFU about it and get the job done.

Yeah. Huh. Crazy.

Bullet point rock: the things/products I'm generally looking forward to consuming edition

  • This.

  • This.

  • This, whatever it turns out to be.

  • This (third story from the bottom) (though I probably already basically have it, sort of, in pieces/parts).

  • This guy is coming to town. Guess I have to get that album now, huh. Also, just found out about this group of guys. Oh, none of it's the same or could be the same as the Catherine Wheel, but...something, right?

  • This. I think, at least. I mean...Jim O'Rourke as producer? You tellin' me you callin' in the O'ROURKE FACTOR? Get the hell out. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm calling it: the Wilco of 2006 is Beth Orton.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Where was this information two months ago?

The funniest thing you'll read this week is at Intersecting Lines:

For decades, the debate has been raging amongst literary scholars: "Which is better? James Joyce, or a train timetable?"


A train timetable: "Pro: Can be used as a bookmark, thus making it even more useful."

Ulysses, by James Joyce: "Con: Huge book. Can not be used as a bookmark, ever."

Red brackets

Red brackets
Originally uploaded by thegrue76.
This is the kind of thing I get caught up in, when I'm suposed to be doing things that are marginally more important. It's no wonder I'm not famous yet.

More of that hard-hitting, in-depth TDAOC literature analysis you've grown to love and loathe

If Elizabeth Crane's novel All This Heavenly Glory is "chick lit," then dress me up in Prada and hand me my pitchfork, because, yes, this book rocks like all hell.

(There's convo this week about the book at the Litblog Co-op, along with a podcast I'll have to download. Elizabeth Crane should be blogging there today, too (Wednesday). Bonus!)