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Monday, August 25, 2014

Concision Decision

If nothing else, this long summer of microblogging should shut up those "too long, can't read" dillholes who used to complain that I am incapable of writing concisely or that my blog was filled with unskimmable theory arias because I want to impress illiterates and think that would impress them, although I cannot for the life of me figure out why anybody would either want or think anything of the kind.

2 comments:

joseph homer said...

There's a really great passage in Bolano's 2666 that I always go back to when I hear this sort of thing (and it event comforts me when I think of old 'interests' long gone kind of bitterly because they would avoid works because they were too "meaty"):

"The mention of Trakl made Amalfitano think, as he went through the motions of teaching a class, about a drugstore near where he lived in Barcelona, a place he used to go when he needed mediciine for Rosa. One of the employees was a young pharmacist, barely out of his teens, extremely thin and with big glasses, who would sit up at night reading a book when the pharmacy was open twenty-four hours. One night, while the kid was scanning the shelves, Amalfitano asked him what books he liked and what book he was reading, just to make conversation. Without turning, the pharmacist answered that he liked books like The Metamorphosis, Bartleby, A Simple Heart, A Christmas Carol. And then he said that he was reading Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. Leaving aside the fact that A Simple Heart and A Christmas Carol were stories, not books, there was something revelatory about the taste of this bookish young pharmacist, who in another life might have been Trakl or who in his life might still be writing poems as desperate as those of his distant Austrian counterpart, and who clearly and inarguably preferred minor works to Bartleby over Moby-Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecuchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. NOw even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze paths into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of their great masters. OR what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench"

A little self-aggrandizing sure, but kinda comforting when I decide to spend my evenings reading instead of anything else...

joseph homer said...

should say "real...combat*"