There were some books that reached through the noise of life to grab you by the collar and speak only the truest things.
—Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot
Super Swedish finds today at Strand #septembersmarts (Taken with Instagram at Strand Book Store)
48 cents for the Strindberg!
This is where I write.
I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.
Sylvia Plath (via emotional-algebra)
get out of my head
This quote gave me a flashback to my college admissions essay, which I found while doing some spring cleaning. The writing is so very embarrassing. Instead of telling about a personal hardship I chose to portray myself as a the ultimate nerd I am, basically wailing on for a full page about wanting to have ALL THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE. It worked, though— the admissions people were like OMG LET’S GIVE THIS GIRL A PLACE TO LEARN BEFORE SHE EXPLODES.
Smith College ended up being that place for me, which makes this quote all the more fitting as Sylvia Plath went to the very same school. Alma mater love!
As we turn physical media—photographs, music records, books—into digital artefacts, we don’t merely translate from one medium to another, we render them readable by computers, by algorithms. The question arises: who are we doing this for? Bernhard Rieder calls these artifacts “data objects,” things which can be acted upon computationally, in turn producing what he calls “computational value”. We need to think carefully and clearly as to who or what this value accretes.
—James Bridle, on digitization
Some late night bleary thesis lit creeping on Amazon two days ago made this land at my doorstep this morning for $10. Not bad.
Just finished reading: The Last Gentleman, by Walker Percy.
This book was nuts! Picked it up on recommendation from a friend, and really enjoyed the beginning. After the first 30 pages it lost its charm for me and the protagonist’s anxiety and confusion became my own. I read to the end because I needed to know what happened, and was glad I did so, but it’s very rare that I lose interest in a novel this way (the only other writer I can think of who drags me into this kind of malaise is Murakami). One gem, though, among a dozen was this -
“Then why not pick up the telephone and call her up and say, what about seeing you? Well, he could not exactly say why except that he could not. The worst way to go see a girl is to go see her. The best way is not to go see her but to come upon her. Having a proper date with a girl delivers the two of you into a public zone of streets and buildings where every brick is turned against you.”
Further reading: “The Art of Fiction” a SUPERLONG interview with Walker Percy in the Paris Review.