feeling a bit isolated but books definitely help

 

Image result for marlon james new book

I have been finishing up books. Besides Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown, I finished The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder. This latter book I found extremely helpful in the face of the madness of the everyday news in America right now. Snyder was friends with the late, great Tony Judt and I find myself returning to his Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century.

Image result for tony judt reappraisals

This is a book I have laying around and have read in. After having read On the Road to Unfreedom I felt it was worth looking at again. Judt and Snyder were colleagues and even collaborated. They are rare  voices of sanity.

Image result for brainstorm siegel

I’m almost done with this book. I had this idea of sending books to my grandkids, kids, and my brother and sister-in-law. This is the book I sent to my grandson, Nicholas. All the books I have sent to people, I have inscribed. I know that means they can’t return them, but I know how much my inscribed books mean to me, So I thought especially in the case of my grand-kids, it would be nice to do that. I haven’t sent anything to Lucy inscribed yet, but I will when she gets a bit older. (Hi Sarah!)

I watched another couple of videos on YouTube.  I searched for Marlon James on YouTube. The first thing I found was an interview he did with Rushdie. I watched that. It was okay. They are two peas in a pod though Rushdie is older. They both have an excellent perspective on America and England and use English with a lovely lilt that reflects their origin.

I found a better video of James and began watching it this morning. I struggled a bit getting started with his Black Leopard, Red Wolf. I was very interested and motivated, but the syntax threw me off a bit. He has a thick Jamaican accent and is intentionally writing an English that uses rhythms and myths of Africa. On my second attempt I read aloud. That helped.d Then I heard him say that he, himself, reads his work aloud. It does help.

I’m back to feeling a bit isolated. I think I turn to YouTube for literary companionship. I know this is a bit pathetic but it does help. I am looking forward to seeing family at Thanksgiving. We will go to Chelsea to be a part of that branch of the family’s Thanksgiving. That will probably help me a bit. But I think not rubbing shoulders with people who like what I like in books, music, and poetry is just a given of my current life. No matter. I find it very rewarding to read and think and play music and continue to be grateful for that.

Impeachment hearings: America’s epistemic crisis has arrived – Vox

David Roberts, the author of this article, was interviewed in this week’s On The Media. This is the article they refer to in that interview.

NYTimes: The People We Fear Are Just Like Us

Elizabeth Jenkins texted me a link to this article. Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the written introduction to these videos. He is a writer I read and like. Elizabeth was afraid I was going to miss this. However, when I opened the hard copy of my Sunday NYT yesterday, there was Nguyen’s article. I haven’t watched the videos yet.

Alan Lomax’s Massive Music Archive Is Online: Features 17,000 historic blues and folk recordings

I’m isolated, sure. But the interweb has fantastic things like this link and the next one. The actual archive link is here. Lomax has had a huge influence on me.

Over 100,000 Vinyl LPs Are Being Digitized By the Internet Archive

Again this is an article about an archive. I’m familiar with this archive and use it but didn’t know about the Vinyl LPs.

Malcolm Nance on Trump, Ukraine, and Russia

KickAss News Podcast.

 

 

vulgar jupe

 

I have been reorganizing my books since getting some new shelves and making an office for myself in the guest bedroom on the main floor. I decided it would be helpful to have a shelf where I keep recently finished books. The picture above is that shelf.

I’m beginning to see a pattern in how I read fiction. The last three major works I have finished (Song of SolomonPale Fire, and Shalimar the Clown) have left me wanting to talk to other people who have read them. I filled this need with YouTube. This worked but of course it’s not as fun as being with live people.

When I was in China, Jeremy and I were talking about Alan Moore. When I brought up Jerusalem, after listening to Jeremy’s comments on it, I asked him if he had read it. He replied, “You gave it to me!” I remembered that but was surprised anyway. Unreasonably so, because one of the many things I admire about Jeremy is that he, like me, is a passionate reader.

I was watching a 2005 presentation by Rushdie on Shalimar this morning. One of his comments registered with me. He said that he was comfortable with people who felt he was a vulgarian. In fact, he owned this title. He pointed out the etymology of vulgar was vulgas the common people. This is helpful to me. I know that my tastes are wide. Rushdie pointed out that he enjoyed both Homer Simpson and Homer the author of the Odyssey and the Iliad. This seems very logical to me. The “both-and” thing is something that is an integral part of my life long tastes in music and books.