Archive for April, 2011

review of a russian

Posted: April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I have been wanting to, but also avoiding, posting a review of some of the things I have been reading recently. I don’t want this to dissolve into a blog of reviews. Those are just so trite sometimes. Why should I care what you think about this book? Of course, why should anyone care what I think? I like to imagine that given my education, my opinion might have more weight to it.

I broke down and finally read The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov. It was unfinished before his death and was actually ordered by him to be destroyed should it not be finished before he died. His wife couldn’t bring herself to do it, so she left the task to their son. He ended up publishing it after editing it himself. I wasn’t sure if I should read something he never wanted to world to see. But I went out and bought it, foregoing any moral objections, and read it in one sitting.

In the beginning, ignoring the self-serving prologue by his son, it reads like the brilliance you would expect. There is a rich character development and some beautiful prose. But quickly, and disturbingly, it dissolved into the seeming ramblings of a madman. Everything got increasingly disjointed and it was almost depressing. It was like watching the gradual breakdown of a grandparent when they can’t remember where they placed their coat or who you are. It reminded me of my grandmother on the last christmas we got to spend with her. She spent the entire day confused and kept calling everyone by the wrong names and she was so convinced it was a different day in a different time.

Part of me is furious that this was published, while it might make Nabokov very human, it also insults his genius. I don’t want to remember him this way. I didn’t want that to be the last thing I read by him. Where is all the cleverness and genius of the man that brought us one of the most controversial books ever written; Lolita? Where is the beauty of Transparent Things or Pale Fire? The Original of Laura left me wanting and dismayed. I can see why he never wanted it to see the light of day. I wouldn’t want people to see my descent into madness or senility. When I am near death and have unfinished work I will have to ensure that my work is destroyed. Maybe I will order it be buried with me.

I never want anyone to see me on the brink of insanity.

I need to curve this by re-reading some of his short stories. It is like having a bad taste in my mouth that I can’t seem to get rid of.

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the door is right there

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Uncategorized
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That couple I had mentioned before, the one that is nearly always fighting, seemed to escalate to a whole new level of incompatible and dysfunctional. Today he literally threw her out of the door and locked her out for at least 45 minutes until she apologized for who knows what. Things will only get worse. You can tell she is miserable whenever you see her; her eyes always puffy and just a blank stare accompanying everything she does. Why doesn’t she just leave? This is something I never understood. Beyond whatever feelings she has for him, there doesn’t seem to be anything keeping her from leaving, no marriage, no children, nothing. Maybe she has no one to turn to, but even so there are always places for women like her to go. But, I guess it isn’t always that.

Maybe for some people it is a point of pride. Like “I stuck it out when you couldn’t” (in my family divorce is about as common as the cold so a long marriage is like winning the olympics, the pride is well-earned). Though for others, it is just as simple as loyalty, “Even though things are not what I imagined and the love has faded I am going to stick with them because I promise I would.” There is something admirable in that, sticking to your word. But, I have to ask, is that fair? To anyone? You let them give themselves to you, consistently loving you when you can’t whole-heartedly do the same thing. Do you hold them in bed and dream of someone else? Wouldn’t that just rip you to shreds if someone did that to you? I know when I found out my ex-girlfriend had an affair I was…it’s hard to explain the feelings. It was a combination of betrayal and literal heartache. My chest felt heavy and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My hands were always trembling. I felt, worthless.

Some call it sacrifice, and I suppose it is. Staying with them to keep them happy might make you a martyr, but none of it sits well with me. You loved them once, did that love just disappear? Are you sure that it was love in the first place? This is where I envy Jane. She says that people often confuse passion for love, then the passion fades and they assume the “love” is gone. But all relationships have passion and it ebbs and flows like the tide while love is a constant. When the passion ebbs it is the love that you built between one another that keeps you going. It sounds like something I should put in a hallmark card to send out on Valentines Day, but it is true. Some just can’t tell the difference, and as sad as it is, sometimes the love was never really there and people are just holding on because they would rather not be alone. But, she can tell. She always can.

But, here I ramble about things I don’t feel I really have the authority to discuss. I might hold on because loneliness is sometimes unbearable.

if i had a jackhammer

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
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This post will be sinfully short.

My neighbors down the hall are always fighting. And the boyfriend is always threatening his girlfriend by yelling “If I only had a jackhammer, Cora!” Then she just gets quiet

What could he possibly mean? I am baffled.

Maybe it’s a code…

notes on a keyboard

Posted: April 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

I have been listening to a lot of Avett Brothers lately. I wish I could post videos or sound bites.

This post is almost pointless. I guess I am just trying to avoid writing up this article on the new playground equipment in a park. It’s just…below me. I don’t think I’m arrogant in thinking this. I have spent years studying classic literature, immersing myself in the works of genius and here I am writing about a cheap, plastic tube slide. I know you’ve heard this rant before but sometimes it just really gets to me.

Back to the Avett Brothers. Great band. You really should look them up. They make me feel better about my situation sometimes. Don’t let the clothes fool you, this is a modern band.