Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Eyes to See the Coming Nick and Slaughter

One slightly disturbing but weirdly pleasant side-effect of aging: novels read 40 years ago do not violate my Eternal Unchangeable Rule that I cannot reread two novels in a row, there must be a first read, to completion, quit as many as I must but one first read before another reread, this amendment to the Eternal Unchangable Rule the last change to the Eternal Unchangable Rule until the next. I can continue with the reread if I quit a first read ONLY if a new first read started within two daylights of quitting the first read, but more importantly, a novel I last read in 1981 or earlier can now be considered a first read rather than a reread though it is in fact a reread

Here's the next last new amendment until the next: a first read novel can be read simultaneously with a reread novel if I'm also reading for the first time a massive collection of short stories, some of which I've read, the majority not, and I will read one chapter/section of each first read novel every day as well as one of the short stories everyday as well as a chapter/section of any reread in progress. I do need read the novels front to back, I cannot spot read the novels, but I may choose to read the short stories in front to back or can move about at will but must in that case identify which stories have been read or reread, depending. At the moment I am reading the short stories in the order of the book, it's Library of America's gorgeous object, Barthelme's collected short stories, I don't want to ink and/or dogear the book. I can be reading/rereading more than one novel as long as I'm currently first reading a novel. If the abandoned reread is a second or third or fourth simultaneous reread I do not need replace it with a new reread but I must always have - wait, the last new amendment until the next: I do NOT have to always have a reread in progress

My current first read (as opposed to the current three rereads I'm reclassifying as first reads), Henry James' *Golden Bowl,* this years attempt to figure out why my late dead friend and thesis mentor Dennis read and reread every James and told me repeatedly if I ever get it I'll owe him pints. I believe the two daylight clause will be activated by mid-afternoon today. I'm first reading John Gray's *Feline Philosophy,* but not every day though I will finish. Since I rarely read non-fiction I have no rules for how I read non-fiction.When I was in the Montgomery County Public Library's used bookstore on Boiling Brook looking for a James (not necessarily *Golden Bowl,* the fucker wrote 436 of them, each with a preface telling you before you read what genius you're about to encounter) I found a mass-market *The Sot-Weed Factor* by John Barth and a mass market *Little Big Man* by Thomas Berger and a trade paperback of Norman Rush's *Mating,* $5.50 spent on all three as rereads (though now considered first reads, all read before 1982), I remember enough of my at least two rereads of Barth when I'll quit this time if I do but I haven't before and do you remember when *Mating* came out in 1981 what a boom it had back when books in my tiny world boomed? I remember loving it, that's it, I remember hating the sequel "Mortals," and does ANYONE remember Thomas Berger in 2021? I will be editing this monologue until I stop.

Odds I finish one? two? three? four? Over/under one and a half. I saw other James I did not buy but might someday in the Montgomery County Public Library bookstore where I was just short of or just over the mean average customer age, including a James novel with the name Roderick in the title, I can fail that for a dollar next summer. *Little Big Man* has a chance, I find it funny to read a 1964 novel interrogating the genocide of indigenous Americans and the whitewashing of American history, *Mating* has a chance, I find it funny to read characters in a 1981 novel mouthing what you'd expect a novel set in Botswana to explore, how nothing's changed except the shittiness everyone agrees exists exists forty years in the future and is, as predicted, shittier. Why did I stop playing my Bjork CDs? I'm betting I finish none of novels now in my backpack. You're right, you haven't ever read about my reading poetry rules.

New Anne Boyer
Heads I win, tails you lose
Total mass media blackouts
Motherfucking Democrats
Culture wars are long wars
The anxieties of a beautiful day
Neoliberal necropolitics
I didn't make a conscious choice to stop listening to Bjork, I always liked almost to loved her music if mehhed her schtick. I do still occasionally put on a Sonic Youth CD but not like once, it has nothing to do with Thurston divorcing Kim
Maggie's weekly links
Dead treesDead malls
{ feuilleton }'s weekly links
Nevada State Route 722
Even in our tiny Evan Dara bubble, the silence, yes?
My next first read


Jacqueline Allen Trimble

This carpetbagging, gentrifying Aryan mother’s son cut
through our neighborhood buying houses. Called himself
a community developer, clipped all the live edges and liberty
neat and bound for himself and his posterity. Declaration of Independence
just doing what it do. And he was pursuing that happiness all right,
as if it were being stolen or massa-they-is-running-away down the street
with him after in full stride. Boy, could he smile, unhinge that jaw,
clip it to his ears, wide and sparkly and toothy as an old toothpaste
commercial to buy and sell all abandoned buildings and occupied ones too.
Some folks who knew better could not fly fast enough
to miss the buzz saw of his charm or his sign-on-dotted-line
readiness that left them standing outside their generational house
admiring a stranger’s yard, boxes of their shit stacked on the sidewalk. And then,
he painted his own house Alt-White and even Black neighbors followed suit,
mouthing something about clear, pure lines and look, as if good intentions
could emerge from a paint can. We all know there is fur beneath the closest
of shaves. Wolf comes uninvited as five o’clock shadow, and even lambs
sacrificing both wool and meat for somebody’s pretty cudgel have eyes to see
the coming nick and slaughter. At least, I know very well I do. Fucker.


  1. meanwhile, north of the border

    Inuk leader and former ambassador Mary Simon has been chosen as the next governor general of Canada — the first Indigenous person ever to be appointed to the role.

    During a news conference across the river from Parliament Hill this morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the Queen has accepted his recommendation to appoint Simon — a past president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national Inuit organization — as the 30th governor general.

    "I can confidently say that my appointment is a historic and inspirational moment for Canada and an important step forward on the long path towards reconciliation," said Simon from the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.

    "Indeed, my appointment comes at an especially reflective and dynamic time in our shared history."

    Simon is an Inuk from Kuujjuaq, a village on the coast of Ungava Bay in northeastern Quebec. She was born to a local Inuk woman and a fur trader father who worked at a Hudson's Bay Company outpost.

    Simon, who is bilingual in English and Inuktitut, attended the federal Fort Chimo day school in the Nunavik region.

    Asked about her lack of fluency in French, Simon said she never had the opportunity to learn Canada's other official language while at this institution — a school that has been the subject of lawsuits over the mistreatment of students by administrators.

    "I was denied the chance to learn French during my stay in the federal government day schools," she told reporters. She promised to learn the language while on the job.

    Simon said that she lived a "very traditional lifestyle" growing up in a subarctic region, but she also learned from her father, a white man originally from Manitoba, about the "non-native world."


    Her appointment comes during a time of reckoning in Canada's relationship with Indigenous Peoples — after radar technology discovered what's believed to be the unmarked graves of hundreds of children near former residential schools.

    When asked about her unique position as the first Indigenous person representing the Crown in Canada, Simon said she doesn't see any conflict between her identity and her new role.

    "Because as the Queen's representative in Canada, I am very concerned about the circumstances that led to some of the events that we are seeing today. I do understand as an Indigenous person that there is pain and suffering across our nation," she said.

    "When I was asked whether I would take on this important role, I was very excited and I felt that this was a position that would help Canadians together with Indigenous Peoples."

    Monica Ell-Kanayuk, the president of the ICC, said Simon already has experience representing the Crown.

    "As Canada's former ambassador to the Arctic, and ambassador to Denmark, our new governor general has experience acting on behalf of the Crown and understands the challenges faced by Inuit and other Indigenous Peoples in Canada," she said in a statement.

    "Canada has appointed a skilled diplomat to a position that can contribute to the reconciliation process Canada is engaged in."


  2. As always, lengthy: I was reading Leon Edel's bio of James a while back, shamefully skipped through a few sections (I have a rule about that, but only for non-fiction), and came across this vignette of Henry walking on the English seaside with a young woman, a visiting female cousin from Amerika. She observed the sea was like a jewel that afternoon; James replied "That is 'jew-el', not 'jool', dear." They walked on; she mentioned the need to fuel her interests. James said, " 'Feu-el', not 'fuool'." "Oh, Cousin James; you can be so cruel!" The girl replied; James let a beat go by and then said, a little ruefully, "That is 'cru-el', not 'crool', my dear."