Me & Mr. Junkie are moving across the state, so reading has been a little slow lately. I’m working on Dragonfly in Amber and New Rules simultaneously (NR has to be read in small chunks b/c every few chapters I can’t stand it anymore and have to go do some of the things I’ve been instructed to do to save my business) and trying to get some packing done at the same time. Last night I stuffed almost all of my fiction books into a very large UHAUL box. Mr. J was not very impressed. It made for a very heavy box, and that’s only roughly 1/4 of my books. Apparently putting as many books as possible in one box is not the right way to pack.
Anyway, since I don’t have any sort of book review or news to share today, I though I’d leave you with a couple literary quotes:
“If someone told me to write a book on morality, it would have a hundred pages and ninety-nine of them would be blank. On the last page I would write, ‘I recognize only one duty and that is to love.’ And as far as everything else is concerned, I say no.” –Albert Camus, Notebooks
There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims
“Bad writing does nothing, changes nothing, educates no emotions, rewires no inner circuitry – we close its covers with the same metaphysical confidence in the universality of our own interface as we did when we opened it. But great writing – great writing forces you to submit to its vision. You spend the morning reading Chekhov and in the afternoon, walking through your neighbourhood, the world has turned Chekhovian; the waitress in the cafe offers a non- sequitur, a dog dances in the street.” —Zadie Smith, “Fail Better”
My boss tells me to fail better all the time at work, which I find obnoxious, but he’s referring more to a general lifestyle–I may or may not be a perfectionist. But then again, who really likes to fail? People don’t generally fall down a whole lot on purpose. In fact, I did that a couple days ago on rollerblades with a dog I was petsitting pulling me, and I don’t recommend it. Road rash is not the best way to get rid of those love handles. That’s a tip you can write down.
Anyway, I loved the quote [and I basically love Zadie] because this is exactly why I like to read. It stretches you, makes you see things through others’ points of view. Blogs do it in a great way. It’s hard to put yourself out there and –gulp– risk sounding like an idiot and failing, as it were, to represent exactly who you feel you are, but in my opinion, it’s one of those good growing processes, like leaving home or traveling by yourself [notice these are both solitary activities], that aren’t necessarily always fun but are, in some sense, necessary.
I don’t really expect people to *get* me anyway, but I write so that one more point of view might get out there, and maybe somebody, some day, might look at someone or something a little differently. The more we understand the people around us, the better–in my opinion–the world will be.
“If you are an overeducated (or at least a semi-overeducated) youngish person with a sleep disorder and a surfeit of opinions, the thing to do, after all, is to start a blog.” – A.O. Scott
I’m going to start off my literary career here with some good plagiarism [from babygotbooks]. My English professors would be so proud.
Not that there aren’t enough blogs out there, especially literary blogs–I’m just going to continue in my own self-promotion [I’m in the middle of applying for a new job, and it’s a little bit habit-forming]. I read voraciously, addictively; hence the junkie. I read a little bit of everything: general fiction, crime novels, historical novels, sci-fi, fantasy, YA, general nonfiction (a la brevity), history, biography, mystery. Everything but chick lit. Some of what I read is very mainstream; some isn’t. You can check out my to-read list (and make suggestions!) at goodreads.
I hope you (whoever the so-far-nonexistent “yous” may be) enjoy.