Here she is. All of us are a little possessive of Y, it’s funny. She is my Y, mine, nooooo mine! She takes amazing photos, go see if you can talk her into selling you one. I love the blogs because many talented women are now… visible. Who needs a book deal? A photo exhibit? We’re going renegade around here, and have been for awhile.
Speaking of books… Mine is going well. I’m at 305 pages now and 88,008 words (nice!). If you’re not impressed with that, then I’m asking you, What the hell is wrong with you? Cuz that’s a lot of words and pages and commas, all put together by moi. You’ll buy an e-copy when it’s done, yes? Yes! (I hope so, anyway.)
And speaking of books, part deux… Classics book group was last night — we read Aristophanes’s play, “The Frogs.” It is from 404 B.C. or something like that, which is apparently a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time ago. Ribbit. I liked it, it was hilarious. Just the fact that the text (different versions of it, who knows which one is the closest to “real”) has survived all these centuries is pretty cool.
Next we’re reading Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American.” I’m already in on the joke — Americans aren’t quiet. The only quiet American is a dead American.
Hmm. We’ll see if I can get through it, here’s hoping. After that we’re reading “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” “Robinson Crusoe,” “Heart of Darkness” (which Steve already finished and I have almost finished — Norton’s edition is best, I’ve heard — I’m reading the Penguin Classics version. I’m finding the notes helpful and yes, I do understand where one of my favorite writers of all time, Chinua Achebe, is coming from, in regards to Conrad).
As Beth would say, That sentence is too long, I’ll start over.
We’re reading Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer,” too. We reading only books by dead white guys. (Typo that I refuse to correct. “We are reading…” make that, for you copy editors out there.) This fractures me, as I managed to avoid most of them in college. Dead white guys, not copy editors. I wrote for the student newspaper and edited the college literary magazine. You couldn’t move two feet without elbowing a copy editor or two, drinking all the coffee and bitching that they would have to return cans if they wanted some beer money.
But now I’m reading the dead white guys for fun — irony, see?
I was an English major. You learn all about irony and how to avoid work as an English major. OK, let’s just ponder that one for a moment and then have a good laugh. Seriously! Here is who I studied in college: Tillie Olsen, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Ntozake Shange, SHAKESPEARE!! (didn’t avoid all of ‘em, see?), Chinua Achebe, Zora Neale Hurston… and a bunch of dead white guys. Dreiser, James, Fitzgerald… all good. So when I saw “Moby Dick” on our list… (“Mopey dick!” — Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) heehee I am looking forward to reading Mopey Dick for our September book. Cuz I would read Raymond Carver all day long, but keep Updike, Cheever, and Mopey Dick the hell away from me. I did enjoy Milton, and Wordsworth and… Donald Barthelme, of all people.
(“OK, now you’re just name-droppin’!” — anon. critic in my head)
No, I’m not! I would start reading Kerouac aloud at 11 at night with a friend and keep reading until we’d finished the book.
(“College is hard, but it ain’t work” — my friend Jim, who I read Kerouac with)
If you asked me, which writers have most influenced your writing, I would have to pick Toni Morrison, Stephen King and Donald Barthelme. And Raymond Carver. OK, that’s a little scary, eh?
I somehow ducked and wove and arranged my own deal, all through college, man my professors were something, y’know? They sized me up and said, It’s gonna take some work, with this one. And they let me go for it.
Thank you, English Department at Portland State University. I love them so much for what they gave me, I might just send them a check. Or maybe just copies of “The Bluest Eye,” “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved” to hand out to some deserving students.
Let’s. All. Read!
Except for me, I have to write for awhile, then clean the house. But tonight? I read. Right after we get the results from “American Idol,” make that. hahaha.