A look at how I've been diverting myself lately
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin. Seminal gay novel depicting a doomed affair between an American and an Italian living in Paris. Incidentally, I learned the other day that I have the same birthday that Baldwin had—August 2. Others born on that day: Carroll O'Connor and Myrna Loy.
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. A charming and endlessly inventive kids' novel illustrating the value of storytelling.
All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays by George Orwell. From Keith Gessen's introduction: "That voice—once you've heard it, how do you get it out of your head? It feels like the truth, even when it's not telling the truth."
True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. A novel recounting the life of the 19th-century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, told as if from his point of view.
The Sons by Franz Kafka, translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, and Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins; revised by Arthur S. Wensinger. A collection containing "The Judgment," "The Stoker," "The Metamorphosis," and "Letter to His Father"—three stories and one piece of unsent correspondence all having to do in some way with the burdens of family, particularly those placed on sons by their fathers.
The Shadow of Sirius by WS Merwin. A beautiful collection of poems, many of which are about time and the related subjects of memory, death, and evanescence.
SAW: Boyhood [I cared so much about that kid by the end.]
THIS WEEK'S MOVIE NIGHT PICKS
THEME: New Releases
MY PICK: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
KITO'S: Muppets Most Wanted
[I'd be willing to bet it was the first time those two movies were viewed back to back.]
SAW: Loretta Lynn, Bobby Bare, and Reba McEntire @ the Johnny Cash Music Festival (Arkansas State University Convocation Center) [See Glitter, below, for a clip of Bare performing "Marie Laveau."]
SAW: "Saul Steinberg: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of His Birth" (Art Institute of Chicago) [too tiny and too hidden away]
Movies, TV, Arkansas
NUMBER OF STEPS I'VE TAKEN ON EACH OF THE LAST FOUR DAYS, ACCORDING TO MY FITBIT:
1. Today: 10,663
2. Yesterday: 14,286
3. Tuesday: 13,802
4. Monday: 11,805
ONE YEAR AGO: "My Spotify feed looks like the playlist for a cocktail mixer at Liberace's house in 1973."
"Her father’s sins had made her the school’s go-to girl for all things homosexual."
FIVE YEARS AGO: "Fool's Gold Coast is the 22,141,649th most visited site on the Internet."
EIGHT YEARS AGO: "Okay, let's just select this song by . . . Bea Arthur?"