“Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being,” he once said. Good writing should help readers to “become less alone inside.” Wallace’s desire to write “morally passionate, passionately moral fiction,” as he put it in a 1996 essay on Dostoyevsky, presented him with a number of problems. For one thing, he did not feel comfortable with any of the dominant literary styles. He could not be a realist. The approach was “too familiar and anesthetic,” he once explained. Anything comforting put him on guard. “It seems important to find ways of reminding ourselves that most ‘familiarity’ is mediated and delusive,” he said in a long 1991 interview with Larry McCaffery, an English professor at San Diego State. The default for Wallace would have been irony—the prevailing tone of his generation. But, as Wallace saw it, irony could critique but it couldn’t nourish or redeem. He told McCaffery, “Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is?”
12 x 9 exhibition at West Gallery.
So, my brother was apparently liveblogging an art exhibit.
Ugh, incredible feelings right now, I can’t even. <3
Basically, today felt like I could do what I loved doing, without thinking of money or starving or what-have-you. If I just try and try and keep on trying. It’s been a really good day. I can’t even think straight.
And Everything Is Going Fine
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
In theaters: December 10th, 2010
AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE, an incisive and entertaining portrait of Spalding Gray by director Steven Soderbergh provides an intimate look at the master monologist as described by his most critical, irreverent and insightful biographer: Spalding Gray. Soderbergh distills 25 years of rare and revealing footage to construct a riveting final monologue. An official selection of the SXSW, True/False and Edinburgh film festivals, this inspired one-man show is a bittersweet display of the writer-performer’s playful and embattled intelligence, and his gift for tracking universal truths by looking himself squarely in the eye.
In David Eagleman’s Sum, 40 tales about afterlife, he reshuffles and organizes all life’s experiences into a new order, grouping all like-moments together:You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet.
You take all your pain at once, all twenty-seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, it’s agony-free for the rest of your afterlife.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant. You spend six days clipping your nails. Fifteen months looking for lost items. Eighteen months waiting in line. Two years of boredom: staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal. One year reading books. Your eyes hurt, and you itch, because you can’t take a shower until it’s your time to take your marathon two-hundred-day shower. Two weeks wondering what happens when you die. One minute realizing your body is falling. Seventy-seven hours of confusion. One hour realizing you’ve forgotten someone’s name. Three weeks realizing you are wrong. Two days lying. Six weeks waiting for a green light. Seven hours vomiting. Fourteen minutes experiencing pure joy. Three months doing laundry. Fifteen hours writing your signature. Two days tying shoelaces. Sixty-seven days of heartbreak. Five weeks driving lost. Three days calculating restaurant tips. Fifty-one days deciding what to wear. Nine days pretending you know what is being talked about. Two weeks counting money. Eighteen days staring into the refrigerator. Thirty-four days longing. Six months watching commercials. Four weeks sitting in thought, wondering if there is something better you could be doing with your time. Three years swallowing food. Five days working buttons and zippers. Four minutes wondering what your life would be like if you reshuffled the order of events. In this part of the afterlife, you imagine something analogous to your Earthly life, and the thought is blissful: a life where episodes are split into tiny swallowable pieces, where moments do not endure, where one experiences the joy of jumping from one event to the next like a child hopping from spot to spot on the burning sand.
I still get chills and a jolt in my heart whenever I think about how I actually saw them play. I know that when you lay it out, it really doesn’t make any sense. “What’s the big deal?” you are probably asking yourself, but I really don’t know how to explain it. How do I explain that I can probably live off this post-concert high until the end of the year? How do I concretely prove to you that seeing them play songs I’ve looped endlessly and sang along with in showers and hummed and shared with girls I wanted to be friends with and put on mixes for boys I like-liked gave me such a rare and pure sense of joy and excitement?
Finally gathered enough time to make this post. I have also admitted to myself that this particular time of my life is done and I have to get on with work, love, and life in general. Or something.
Quite a few pictures (although not overwhelming amounts because I did not want to over-saturate you and the rest of the Internet with the same shots of Ezra over and over), their setlist in iTunes playlist form, and also a video of them doing “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” which is one of the first songs of theirs I’ve heard and remains one of my favorites.
As for a rest-of-my-life update: I’m a little bit in trouble with my job, I bought some reallyyyy awesome books (and I just saw Vampire Weekend play live, duh) so it’s really hard to feel too bad about it. I guess I just feel guilty and useless, but I’m going to make it a point to make things right. Even though the road will most likely be slow and arduous. I guess I deserve it.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
I want to go to Daylight Saturday and to dinner and to go see Parnassus, but I have to write my thesis paper. :(
One more month and I’ll be free.
… to get a job.
Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?
Life’s too short to drink bad coffee or read bad blogs.
Make the effort to care.
The nihilist attitude manifests a certain truth. In this attitude one experiences the ambiguity of the human condition. But the mistake is that it defines man not as the positive existence of a lack, but as a lack at the heart of existence, whereas the truth is that existence is not a lack as such. And if freedom is experienced in this case in the form of rejection, it is not genuinely fulfilled. The nihilist is right in thinking that the world possesses no justification and that he himself is nothing. But he forgets that it is up to him to justify the world and to make himself exist validly. Instead of integrating death into life, he sees in it the only truth of the life which appears to him as a disguised death. However, there is life, and the nihilist knows that he is alive. That’s where his failure lies. He rejects existence without managing to eliminate it. He denies any meaning to his transcendence, and yet he transcends himself. A man who delights in freedom can find an ally in the nihilist because they contest the serious world together, but be also sees in him an enemy insofar as the nihilist is a systematic rejection of the world and man, and if this rejection ends up in a positive desire destruction, it then establishes a tyranny which freedom must stand up against.
I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to move on when the one you love walks away from you. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.