“A little too much anger, too often or at the wrong time, can destroy more than you would ever imagine. Above all, mind what you say. “Behold how much wood is kindled by how small a fire, and the tongue is a fire” — that’s the truth.”—Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
“The paradox is that friendship cannot be merely about itself. It must be about something else, something that both friends are committed to and passionate about besides one another.”—Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
1. favourite childhood book? i loved the anne of green gables books … but then i learned of the emily of new moon books when i was older, and i love those better. (teddy!!!)
2. what are you reading right now? madeleine l’engle’s walking on water, jonathan franzen’s the kraus project, krys lee’s drifting house, banana yoshimoto’s hardboiled and hard luck, and c.s. lewis’ surprised by joy. i have to have at least 5 books going at the same time, so i can hop around as my mood flips.
3. what books do you have on request at the library? sad to say i do not have a library card, but, you know, this is actually a good thing because i’m terrible at keeping due dates. also, i like owning books; i’m possessive that way.
4. bad book habit? erm, i err on the side of taking too much care of my books? i don’t fold corners or crease spines, although i do mark passages i like with a pencil. although i guess i’ve gotten less anal retentive in recent years. i always have a book with me, and i carry giant tote bags, so my books have been getting more wear, which is nice — i’ve grown to like that slightly worn look.
5. what do you currently have checked out at the library? see number 3.
6. do you have an e-reader? i have an ipad and her name is zöe but i basically use her only to browse flipboard and watch movie trailers.
7. do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? see number 2.
8. have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? no.
9. least favourite book you read this year (so far)? haruki murakami’s hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world. i couldn’t stand it and only finished it because it was for book club.
10. favourite book you’ve read this year? meg wolitzer’s the interestings. have you read it yet? no? please do.
11. how often do you read out of your comfort zone? i don’t know how i would define “comfort zone.” i know the style of writing i like and the kinds of stories i like, and i guess that could be a comfort zone because i don’t deliberately try to read from different genres or such. i don’t really see a reason to. i do try to be deliberate with being more balanced in the books i read, specifically by reading more women and more korean authors in general.
12. what is your reading comfort zone? "they" call the genre "literary fiction." so "literary fiction" and the classics.
13. can you read on the bus? i have horrible motion sickness. i can read on trains and planes, though, granted that turbulence is not a thing, but i can’t read on buses or cars — it’s hard even to be a passenger in buses and cars, so it’s a good thing i love driving.
14. favourite place to read? at my desk, in bed, on the subway.
15. what is your policy on book lending? i’ll lend you books, ok, but i want them back in the exact condition i’ve leant them to you.
16. do you ever dog-ear books? no, that’s why post-its were invented.
17. do you ever write in the margins of your books? yes. in pencil. usually in a scrawl i can’t read.
18. not even with text books? you should’ve seen the hate i wrote in my casebooks.
19. what is your favourite language to read in? english. because my korean isn’t fluent enough for reading literature. although that doesn’t stop be from buying korean literature in korean on a semi-regular basis. (one day soon, i’ll buy kim young-ha’s memories of a murderer.)
20. what makes you love a book? good writing. i need a good narrative and fleshed-out characters, but it’s the writing itself that really gets me.
21. what will inspire you to recommend a book? if it gets me in the heart and in the gut. the interestings got me in both my heart and gut. so did michael ondaatje’s the english patient. (ondaatje’s writing in the english patient also just shredded my heart; his language is so fucking spectacular and heart-breaking.)
22. favourite genre? see number 12.
23. genre you rarely read (but wish you did)? erm. sometimes i wish i liked non-fiction more? sometimes, i wish there were more creative non-fiction that was interesting.
24. favourite biography? ugh. i am so not a biography person. that said, i’ll read pretty much everything written about sylvia plath. (i have a shelf for sylvia plath literature alone.)
25. have you ever read a self-help book? i have better ways to waste my time.
26. favourite cookbook? deb perelman’s smitten kitchen cookbook. also, love her blog. hilariously, i’ve cooked from her blog several times but have yet to cook something from her cookbook. it’s too pretty to get dirty in my kitchen!
27. most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? meh do not like this question; skip.
28. favourite reading snack? coffee (obviously) and a cheddar scone. cheddar scones are great. especially if they also have scallions and bacon. i’ve really got to start baking them myself.
29. name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. hm. strangely enough, i can actually count several examples of the reverse happening, where i thought i’d hate a book because of hype but ended up loving it instead … like ian mcewan’s atonement and jonathan franzen’s freedom. (ok i can’t say i loved freedom, but i found it a lot more compelling and thought-provoking than i expected. the corrections, though — now, that’s my franzen book.)
30. how often do you agree with critics about a book? i very rarely read anything critical about books. when i’ve finished a book, i go searching for author interviews, though.
31. how do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? just be honest. bad writing is bad writing.
32. if you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? russian. i want to read tolstoy and dostoevsky not-in-translation, damnit!
33. most intimidating book you’ve ever read? most intimidating book i’ve started/tried to read? proust’s in search of lost time.
34. most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? james joyce’s ulysses. i feel like part of the intimidation is pure hype, though. also i’m too lazy to pick this up.
35. favourite poet? hands down, t.s. eliot. pfft, i make it sound like i actually read a whole lot of poetry. i don’t. but i still love t.s. eliot.
36. how many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? when i was in university, i had at least 15 books checked out at any given time, most of them scholarly works or academic texts that were too expensive for me to buy. sobs. i miss university resources.
37. how often have you returned a book to the library unread? pretty much most of the time. but i also usually returned them after i’d made copies of relevant chapters/essays.
38. favourite fictional character? i always hate these questions; skip.
39. favourite fictional villain? see above.
40. books you’re most likely to bring on vacation? books i’m most likely not to read on vacation. like proust and dostoevsky. pfft. luckily, i’ve got some of my favourites already on zöe (like kazuo ishiguro’s never let me go, david eagleman’s sum, michael ondaatje’s the english patient, sylvia plath’s unabridged journals, and john berger’s and our faces, my heart, brief as photos, tobias wolff’s old school, and charlotte brontë’s jane eyre) or there’s a bookstore to be found, so i end up with something satisfying to read.
41. the longest you’ve gone without reading. never? i have periods of reading intensely (usually january-february and autumn), but i’m always reading at least a little all the time.
42. name a book that you could/would not finish. i couldn’t do this before — if i started a book, i had to finish it — but now i don’t bother forcing myself to read something that doesn’t compel me. like david mitchell’s cloud atlas. i’m sorry, but, wow, i can’t get into it. and gabriel garcia marquez’s one hundred years of solitude. i might get reamed for this, but, oh man, i read about fifty pages of it and was bored to death. and i was reading it while working at a law office, so i honestly couldn’t get more bored than i already was.
43. what distracts you easily when you’re reading? when i’m in a book, i’m in a book, aka don’t talk to me. one of my biggest peeves ever = people talking to me when i’m reading. just don’t. i guarantee you aren’t as interesting as my book.
44. favourite film adaptation of a novel? i love joe wright’s adaptation of pride and prejudice.
45. most disappointing film adaptation? this can go on forever, so let’s not start.
46. the most money you’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time? we aren’t going there, nope.
47. how often do you skim a book before reading it? never? what’s to be gained by this? (also, i hate spoilers.)
48. what would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? if the book holds me at arm’s length.
49. do you like to keep your books organised? yup, by publisher then by author. it doesn’t mean my books stay organised like this, though, but that’s my system!
50. do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? keep them, duh.
51. are there any books you’ve been avoiding? david foster wallace’s infinite jest. i don’t know why. (haha life’s funny, though — i’ve recently become good friends with this girl who’s a huge wallace fan, and i happen to be a huge franzen fan, and i’ve never read wallace, and she’s never read franzen, but we sit and talk about them quite often.)
52. name a book that made you angry. ayn rand’s the fountainhead pissed me off the whole way through.
53. a book you didn’t expect to like but did? i honestly walked into atonement thinking it would be whatever. instead, it ended up being the book that ended my dry spell and reignited my love for literature — that and daphne du maurier’s rebecca.
54. a book that you expected to like but didn’t? i thought i’d like tea obreht’s the tiger’s wife a whole lot more than i actually did. love her prose, though, but the book itself was a little too unsure of itself for me.
55. favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading? everything? i only read books i enjoy reading, so it’s all guilt-free pleasure reading for me.
“Ultimately, though, it’s living people that frighten me the most. It’s always seemed to me that nothing could be scarier than a person, because as dreadful as places can be, they’re still just places; and no matter how awful ghosts might seem, they’re just dead people. I always thought that the most terrifying things anyone could ever think up were the things living people came up with.”—Banana Yoshimoto, Hardboiled & Hard Luck
apparently, 2013 is the year i read banana yoshimoto. so far, i’ve read kitchen, goodbye tsugumi, the lake, n.p., and lizard, and i’m reading hardboiled & hard luck now. after this, i’ll only have asleep and amrita left, and then i’ll have read all her books — at least, all her books that have been translated into english.
… might as well obtain asleep and amrita and officially make 2013 the year i read banana yoshimoto!
today was one of those days i should've just stayed home.
i like clinton hill — i do — but, oh, man, is it a pain to get to manhattan or what.
thanks to the G and A/C being slow as usual and the F doing … i don’t even know what, i missed a book club meeting i was looking forward to (i finished the book, too! even though i didn’t like it much! and in two days no less!), so, to make up for that, i decided to cobble together Qs from the EW book quiz because, well, why not.
what was your favorite book as a child?
i always loved charlotte brontë’s jane eyre. still do.
what is your favorite book that you read for school?
camus’ the fall — i owe my twelfth grade AP lit teacher a lot, actually. she’s the one who introduced me to camus and beckett and sartre and ibsen and albee, and i will always think of her fondly for it. a lot of my classmates didn’t like her because she was really old and kind of slow, but she was a smart lady, and she taught me how to think differently about literature. she’s one of a handful of teachers who left a lasting impact.
what’s a book that really cemented you as a writer?
uh … i don’t know? i can say that ian mcewan’s atonement and daphne du maurier’s rebecca were the two books that made me fall back in love with literature after i’d gone through a dry spell my first two years at university, so maybe they, in a sense, cemented me as a writer? i don’t know? what does this question even mean?
is there a book you’ve read over and over again?
i read kazuo ishiguro’s never let me go at least twice every year. i usually also read ian mcewan’s on chesil beach and nicole krauss’ man walks into a room at least once a year. when i hit a rough spot writing, those are the three books i always turn to for encouragement.
what’s a classic that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?
i’ve never read chekhov. there. i’ve said it. now to go pick up something by chekhov tomorrow …
what’s a book you’ve pretended to have read?
hmm. i used to do this; now i don’t care — there are so many good books out there; it’s impossible for anyone to have read them all; so who cares if you haven’t read a specific book? i mean, as long as you’re reading good books …!
what’s a book you consider grossly overrated?
jane austen’s pride and prejudice. haaaa, ok, i have an irrational dislike of that book. i do love joe wright’s adaptation of it, though!
what’s a recent book you wish you had written?
generally speaking, any good serious novel because i am not a novelist — i am a writer of short stories.
what’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved?
i surprisingly loved the adaptations to both ian mcewan’s atonement and kazuo ishiguro’s never let me go. i loved the cinematography and staging and costuming of joe wright’s adaptation of tolstoy’s anna karenina, but i wasn’t too keen on the script.
(also, i love keira knightley.)
what was an illicit book that you had to read in secret as a kid?
all i read as a kid were the classics, so i didn’t read anything in secret. i felt a sort of guilty pleasure while reading madame bovary, though, but i think i was in late middle school when i picked that up, so does that count?
what’s a book that people might be surprised to learn that you loved?
huh. i don’t know. i loved gregory maguire’s wicked? that’s not that surprising, though … or is it? i mean, i haven’t read the wizard of oz and only saw the movie very recently (like, in the last 2 months) for the first time (and was confirmed in my suspicion that i wouldn’t like dorothy), but i loved elphaba. and fiyero!
if there were only one genre you could read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
uhm literary fiction? considering that the bulk of my reading falls under “literary fiction” (to be honest, i don’t even know that means), i’d say i’m pretty safe saying that …
what was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?
i’m laughing a lot while reading jonathan franzen’s the kraus project, and i cried while reading meg wolitzer’s the interestings.this passage particularly got to me. (also, if you haven’t read the interestings yet, what’s stopping you?)
what is a book you would kill a bug with?
ayn rand’s the fountainhead. i’d kill all the bugs with that book.
"no, i never felt that if i go somewhere else there’s be special things waiting for me. i just wanted to be somewhere else, that’s all. anywhere but there.”
"nogata, nakano ward. where i was born and grew up."
kafka & ms. saeki haruki murakami, kafka on the shore
this isn’t one of my favourite books, whether by murakami or in general, but i’m liking it a whole lot more than i liked hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world. which i guess isn’t saying that much because i hated hard-boiled …
I’m more envious of music than of any other art form—the way a song can take your head over and make you feel so intensely and so immediately. It’s like snorting the powder, it goes straight to your brain.
i’d take it a step further and add that music also goes straight to your heart.
"From the time I’m guessing we’re near Kurashiki, not that it matters. A rest area on a highway is just a place you pass through. To get from here to there." She [Sakura] holds up her right index finger and her left index finger, about twelve inches apart.
"What does it matter what it’s called?" she continues. "You’ve got your restrooms and your food. Your fluorescent lights and your plastic chairs. Crappy coffee. Strawberry-jam sandwiches. It’s all pointless — assuming you try to find a point to it. We’re coming from somewhere, heading somewhere else. That’s all you need to know, right?"
“I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.”—Laurie Anderson, Rolling Stone, 2013 November, in her farewell to Lou Reed
The only thing he knew for certain was that he wanted to see that hunchback girl again. To sit face to face and talk to his heart’s content. To unravel the riddles of the world with her. He wanted to watch from every angle the way she twisted and writhed when she adjusted her brassiere. If possible, he wanted to run his hands over her body. To touch her soft skin and feel her warmth with his fingertips. To walk side by side with her up and down the staircases of the world.
Just thinking about her made him warm inside. No longer did he wish to be a fish or a sunflower — or anything else, for that matter. He was glad to be human. For sure, it was a great inconvenience to have to walk on two legs and wear clothes. There were so many things he didn’t know. Yet had he been a fish or a sunflower, and not a human being, he might never have experienced this emotion. So he felt.
Hi there, hope fall quarter/semester is going well for you. If you don't mind, I would love to hear your thoughts Murakami's new short in the New Yorker.
hey! sorry for taking so long to reply to this — it takes me a while to get to things …
i finally read the story, and i really enjoyed it — i only started reading his short stories in the last two years or so and am finding that i generally enjoy them immensely. ”samsa in love” didn’t read like a typical murakami story, though — it seemed kind of warmer? i don’t know; i tend to think that murakami’s stories have a sort of coldness to them; but “samsa in love” had warmer tones.
i gotta say — i loved how it ended. those last four paragaphs are wonderful, i think, and i think he so wonderfully captured this sense of falling in love. and i particularly liked this — “yet had he been a fish or a sunflower, and not a human being, he might never have experienced this emotion. so he felt.” — because i feel like murakami’s making a mini-study of what it means to be human with this story but in a sort of tangential way? or in a very basic, fundamental way? like, i liked how he discovered things, whether his surroundings or his body or how to walk or what hunger felt like (loved that — “if he didn’t find food, and quickly, his starving belly would consume his own flesh, and he would cease to exist”), and, in all the obvious ways, i was tickled over how murakami took kafka’s story and inverted it neatly. makes me want to go back and read the metamorphosis again and do a closer reading of both!
how about you? thoughts? i hope i made sense … i read the story once and am typing initial thoughts off a first-read … :3
also, “if you think of someone enough, you’re sure to meet them again” — what a murakami line!
you know, i’ve really been appreciating all the people in my life these days. i’m surrounded by people who are working hard, whether at living fulfilling lives or at pursuing their dreams and passions and loves, and i’ve been feeling so privileged and blessed to be here amongst them, as one of them, as a writer who’s learned recently that, one, she’s dead serious about being a writer and, two, the only kind of writer she can be is a serious writer so she wants to be a serious writer — and it’s been great meeting up with friends at coffee shops and drinking too many cappuccinos and having work sessions and actually getting things done. there’s a great camaraderie here, and it’s grounded in seriousness, in taking our work seriously and taking each other’s work and ambitions seriously, and there’s honest enthusiasm here and encouragement, and it’s just been so great, these last few months.
thank you, nyc, for always being kind to me. you aren’t a perfect city — no city is a perfect city — but you’re undoubtedly perfect for me.
every so often, you come across a fabulous, kickass person whom you just want to befriend because she’s so fabulous and kickass, and you think you’d be great friends because you share the same value system and love the same poet and read similar books and enjoy the same music, and you always have pretty fun conversations when you run into each other and get a chance to talk. you think it’d be awesome getting to know each other better, to get lunch and hang out and talk books and music and new york city, and, then, she finds out you’re a writer and enthusiastically asks to read your stories because she likes to read, and then something in you freezes because you want people to read your stories and let you know what they think but, wow, that’s a whole different level of vulnerability, and a part of you — the part of you that’s still slightly sensitive from rejections — isn’t so sure you’re ready for that, but, damnit, you just want to be friends!
these last few days, weeks, whatever before a project is completed are a roller coaster of emotions, i must say. there’s a whole lot of excitement over the plain and simple fact that i wrote a book — i wrote a book! — and there’s a lot of defensiveness tied up in there, too, because i wrote a book, goddamnit, and it’s good writing, goddamnit, someone see that and publish it! there’s also a lot of fear i continue to ignore because what’s the use of fear — fear doesn’t accomplish anything; i’ve no use for fear — and there’s a measure of dread, too, and anxiety and helplessness because i wrote a book, so what, who cares?
it’s been a good four, five years working on this book, and i’m still amazed at how much has happened in such a short period of time. i can see how much i’ve grown and changed as a writer, how much the vision for this book has grown and changed while staying the same at its core, and it’s exciting — it really is — to be here at this point in this moment, these pages in my hand covered in words i wrote and edited over and over and over again. it’s a whole lot of heart to hold, a whole lot of love and pain and passion, a whole lot of conviction that this is it — this is all i want to do with my life.
i went and saw blue is the warmest color today in a tiny theatre in the village. it’s no secret that i’m not a big fan of the cinema; i find the experience of going to the cinema extremely tiring (case in point: i came home tonight and passed out for a good hour or two); and i haven’t seen a film in the last year that hasn’t made me squirm and fall asleep from sheer boredom.
blue is the warmest color, though … it’s not a perfect film; there are a few things i found problematic with it; but it was a thoroughly engrossing film, which is no small feat considering that it’s three hours — three hours — long. it says a lot that i didn’t once check my phone to see how much time had lapsed or even wonder impatiently when the film was ending, and i have to credit this really to the two actresses — lea seydoux and adele exarchopoulos were absolutely fantastic. their chemistry was off the charts, and exarchopoulos, particularly, was exquisite, her vulnerability raw and real.
i wouldn’t call it a lesbian film, but i generally hate those labels anyway because i find them reductive and Other-ing. i would call it a love story, a sort of coming of age about a girl who falls in love for the first time and experiences all the thrills that entails but who also struggles in love and is hurt by it, too — and it’s one of the films that stay with me, that i actually wouldn’t mind seeing again because i can’t stop thinking about it and also because, well, lea fucking seydoux, folks — she sizzles.
01. been doing a whole lot of writing, a whole lot of reading, not much blogging (obviously)
02. i recently quit tweeting. do you realise how miraculous this is? those first few days were painful.
03. jaurim’s ninth! and busker busker’s 2nd!
04. finally, finally went to hear the new york philharmonic — and to hear the new york philharmonic performing beethoven’s ninth no less. it was fucking sublime — there’s just no other way to describe it. then i went back a few days later to hear dvorak’s eighth. trying to scrounge together funds to go hear mozart’s requiem in a few weeks and already have tickets to hear handel’s messiah in december. it’s an autumn of choral music for me, and i think that’s pretty damn fantastic.
05. headed back to LA the last week of november. tacos and korean food galore!
06. almost done with this book. almost ready to start querying it. someone, love it, please, love it and buy it and publish it. sigh. my goal is still the same — to sell my book to a good house and leave the country to see the world. i don’t know if it’s necessarily realistic, but copenhagen + london + paris is happening in 2014, somehow in some way. and it’d be better if i could throw in seoul + sapporo in december 2014, too, but we’ll see — let’s finish this book first.
07. when’s nell coming back with the third part of gravity???
In the distance I saw an old woman dressed in a heavy coat, holding a long pointed stick and dragging a large leather bag behind her. She was cleaning the gravesites. When she saw me, she began to shout at me in French. I begged her forgiveness for not speaking the language, yet I knew what she must be thinking. She look at the [Jim Morrison’s] grave, and at me, in disgust. All the pitiful treasures and the surrounding graffiti were to her nothing but desecration. She shook her rain, muttering. I was amazed at her disregard for the torrential rain. Suddenly she turned and gruffly cried in English: “American! Why do you not honor your poets?”
I was very tired. I was twenty-six years old. All around me the messages written in chalk were dissolving like tears in the rain. Streams formed beneath the charms, cigarettes, guitar picks. Petals of flowers left on the plot of earth above Jim Morrison floated like bits of Ophelia’s bouquet.
“Ehh!" she cried again. "Answer me, Américaine! Why do you young people not honor your poets?”
“Je ne sais pas, madame,” I answered, bowing my head.
“Bob, a book needs every support it can get and if you, the editor, like it, it starts out with one real friend. That’s important. And that’s a good reason never to take on a book if you don’t like it.”—Donald Brace to Robert Giroux from Boris Kachka’s Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar Straus & Giroux
“Giroux was astounded when Brace assigned him the British proof of Virginia Woolf’s latest novel, Between the Acts. Brace, whose smiles were rare but “miraculous,” was solemn on the late March day in 1941 when he called Giroux into his office and handed him a letter he’d just received from Woolf’s husband. Virginia had filled her pockets with stones, walked into the River Ouse, and drowned. For the first time but certainly not the last, Giroux felt the undercurrent of many an editorial friendship: the fear that it could one day end, suddenly and senselessly.”—Boris Kachka, Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar Straus & Giroux
“It may have been Straus who, by sheer force of his charm and quickness, managed to preserve the company that arguably set the intellectual tone of postwar America. But it was Giroux and Robbins and Vursell and many other underpaid strivers who advised him on what to publish, how to promote it, how to translate it and sell it properly abroad — who, in short, made the company worth preserving. They worked in gloves in the winter when the heat broke down; they jerry-rigged the paper towel roll in the ladies’ room with an oversize dinner fork; they repaired their own desks and bought their own pencils and made sacrifices in their lives that well-born Roger W. Straus, Jr., would never have to make, all for the freedom to publish what they loved, and little else.”—Boris Kachka, Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America’s Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar Straus & Giroux
goodnight, New York New York goodnight, goodnight I’ll see you all on the other side after I am a different man with different eyes goodnight, you canyons of steel and light twist and turn where your alleyways hide swaying trains sheltering dreams and little white lies
goodnight, goodnight may you be always heartbreaking take a little more than you give yeah but when you give, oh my goodnight, goodnight I walk away to remember who I am
somewhere in the woodland somewhere in streams little life shuffles into the day folded wings into flattening veins and fluttering eyes somewhere my lifeline still hums and sings in the mess of all I have thrown away hungry now, I am gathering seeds to throw wide
goodnight, goodnight may you be always breathtaking cold winter, sink your teeth in me June sun, beat me blind goodnight, goodnight I’m on my way to remembering who I am
and in your way you remain you will claim all this space in my way I’ll remain even as it takes my place in your life, at your side you were right I’ll say goodnight but it’s never goodbye
goodnight, goodnight goodnight, goodnight goodnight, goodnight may you always start breaking my heart again
good morning, lover give me your hand today begins and it’s all that we have
*** Produced by Cason Cooley and Vienna Teng
aims is fucking incredible — just passed a delightful 40 minutes or so listening to this beauty, and i can’t wait to get my own copy in the post soon.
this is the last track and a beautiful one to exit upon, and it’s one of my favourite tracks — it definitely brought a smile to my face and squeezed my heart in all the pleasant, warm and fuzzy ways.
Hey!! I hate to be a bother, but I wanted to ask about your old The Trace photobook scans. I have been looking everywhere and completely unable to find any other source online! I had downloaded them years before, but since have lost all of that in the great hard drive crash of 2010. If at all possible, would you be willing to reshare your scans? I can't pay you, but I could offer to make gifs or something (I'm not the best but I'd try!!). Please consider and thank you so much for reading!
hey, no prob! if i link you to this folder, can you see/download the scans there? if not, let me know, and i’ll upload them to mediafire or something.
i didn’t actually scan the photobook itself because the book is really sturdy/nice and i didn’t want to wreck it, so these are just the postcards that came in the box. sorry! i wish i could scan the photobook, though … ):
“For the moment at least, I was ready to be home in New York again, home among my kind. Every happy day with the Californian made the dimensions of our future losses a little more grievous, every good hour sharpened my sadness at how fast our lives were going, how rapidly death was coming out to meet us, but I still couldn’t wait to see her: to set down my bags inside the door, to go and find her in her study, where she would probably be chipping away at her interminable e-mail queue, and to hear her say, as she always said when I came home, “So? What did you see?”—Jonathan Franzen, The Discomfort Zone
“Once, a few years earlier, Jules had gone to see a play at Ash’s theater, and afterward, during the “talkback,” when the audience asked questions of the playwright and of Ash, who’d directed the production, a woman stood up and said, “This one is for Ms. Wolf. My daughter wants to be a director too. She’s applying to graduate school in directing, but I know very well that there are no jobs, and that she’s probably only going to have her dreams dashed. Shouldn’t I encourage her to do something else, to find some other field she can get into before too much time goes by?” And Ash had said to that mother, “Well, if she’s thinking about going into directing, she has to really, really want it. That’s the first thing. Because if she doesn’t, then there’s no point in putting herself through all of this, because it’s incredibly hard and dispiriting. But if she does really, really want it, and if she seems to have a talent for it, then I think you should tell her, ‘That’s wonderful.’ Because the truth is, the world will probably whittle your daughter down. But a mother never should.”—Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
just a little over a hundred pages left of meg wolitzer’s the interestings. when i was roughly a hundred pages in, i kept thinking that i wanted to tell everyone to read this, read this book now, but thought that i should wait until i’d finished it because books can sometimes fail you that way — but, now i’ve got roughly a hundred pages left, and the thought’s even more frenzied because the interestings is easily one of the most compelling books i’ve read with rich, live characters i care for (i might also be a little in love with ethan figman), and i’m fairly confident it won’t fail me in this last stretch.
“When you have a child, it’s like right away there’s this grandiose fantasy about who he’ll become. And then time goes on and a funnel appears. And the child gets pushed through that funnel, and shaped by it, and narrowed a little bit. So now you know he’s not going to be an athlete. And now you know he’s not going to be a painter. Now you know he’s not going to be a linguist. All these different possibilities fall away.”—Ash in Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings
“One thing I learned, between addiction and depression? Depression a lot worse. Depression ain’t something you just get off of. You can’t get clean from depression. Depression be like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind. You just go to be careful not to touch where it hurts. It always be there, though.”—Darlene Withers in Jeffrey Euginedes’ The Marriage Plot
“And it was during this period that Madeleine fully understood how the lover’s discourse was of an extreme solitude. The solitude was extreme because it wasn’t physical. It was extreme because you felt it while in the company of the person you loved. It was extreme because it was in your head, that most solitary of places.”—Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot