I finished reading Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn. Zadie Smith reviewed some of his books and convinced me I would like him. I do. My lovely brother and his wife gave me a gift certificate at Betterworldbooks.com. I splurged and bought several titles of St. Aubyn just on Smith’s recommendation. Dunbar is one of those retellings of Shakespeare stories. In this case, the original story was King Lear. St. Aubyn is very witty and reminds me a bit of Anthony Burgess. I have several more titles to read and am looking forward to them.
I also recently finished Cathy Park Hon’s Minor Feelings. Besides one chapter in this book (chapter 5), I can’t say enough good about Hong’s essays. I didn’t get much out of her description of her college days and friends in Chapter 5. But the rest is quite good.
I read a library copy and took copious notes. She is brilliant.
Here is her own explanation about the title:
“in [Richard] Pryor, I saw someone channel what I call minor feelings: the racialized range of emotions that are negative, dysphoria, and therefore untelegenic, built from the sediments of everyday racial experience and the irritant of having one’s perception of reality constantly questioned or dismissed. Minor feelings arise, for instance,upon hearing, a slight, knowing it’s racial, and being told, Oh, that’s all in your head. A now classic book that explores minor feelings is Cladia Rankine’s Citizen. After hearing a racist remark, the speaker asks herself, what did you say? She saw what she saw, she heard what she heard, but after her reality has been belittled so many times, she begins to doubt her very own senses. Such disfiguring of senses engenders the minor feelings of paranoia, shame, irritation, and melancholy.”
The book is full of excellent ideas and passages. I will limit myself to quoting one more here: “The soul of innovation thrives on cross-cultural inspiration. If we are restricted to our lanes, culture will die.”
While I was typing my friend Rhonda came to the door and dropped off a gift for me: the two volume Etymological Dictionary of Greek by Robert Beekes.
I have been wanting this book for a while. Eileen recently stopped me from purchasing it. Now I see why. Rhonda said she wanted to give me something to thank me for the trumpet/organ piece I wrote. Well, I am definitely “thanked” now. Thank you, Rhonda!
Boy, this time of pandemic has a lot of good parts for Jupe. I am spoiled, that’s for sure.
This is a discouraging story from the local section of Sunday’s NYT.
When The Epoch Times began advertising on YouTube, it was right before I went premium. One advert was all it took to see what a nasty propaganda machine they are. I enjoyed learning more about them in this article.
“They call their movement the “minga Indígena.”
Minga is an Indigenous word, one used long before the Spanish arrived in South America, to refer to an act of communal work, an agreement between neighbors to build something together: a bridge, a road, a government.
But minga has also come to mean a collective act of protest, a call to recover what a community believes it has lost: territory, peace, lives.”