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Catalogued: Books Read >> 2011

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• in no particular order •

Helen deWitt: Lightening Rods
Tyler Cowen: The Great Stagnation & Create Your Own Economy
Evelyn Waugh: Vile Bodies & Decline and Fall
Marya Hornbacher: Madness
Nick Zimmer, Zachary Lipez and Stacy Wakefield: Please Take Me Off the Guest List
F.A. Hayek: Constitution of Liberty (well, mostly…)
Bill Clegg: Portrait Of An Addict As A Young Man
Diana Athill: Instead of a Letter
Sharon Solwitz: Bloody Mary
Kay Redfield Jameson: An Unquiet Mind
Siri Hustvedt: The Summer Without Men
Rainer Maria Rilke: Letters to a Young Poet
Peter Kramer: Listening to Prozac
John Tierney & Roy Baumeister: Willpower
Douglas Kendrick: Sex, Murder and the Meaning of Life
Ratey & Hallowell: Delivered From Distraction
Edna St. Vincent Millay: Collected Poems
Porter Shreve: The Obituary Writer
Amy Sohn: Prospect Park West
Aleister Crowley: Diary of a Drug Fiend
Flash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories
Anne Lamont: Bird by Bird
Anton Chekhov: My Life
Arin Greenwood: Tropical Depression
Portia de Rossi: Unbearable Lightness
The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick
Sam MacDonald: The Urban Hermit
Kathleen Gerson: The Unfinished Revolution: How a New Generation is Reshaping Family, Work, and Gender in America  


Written by ENB

January 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Posted in Culture, Lit

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Catalogued: Letters to a Young Poet

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A quote plucked from my current reading material.

Perhaps the sexes are more closely related than one would think. Perhaps the great renewal of the world will consist of this, that man and woman, freed of all confused feelings and desires, shall no longer seek each other as opposites, but simply as members of a family and neighbors, and will unite as human beings, in order to simply, earnestly, patiently, and jointly bear the heavy responsibility of sexuality that has been entrusted to them. —Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, the 4th letter

Written by ENB

May 26, 2011 at 8:08 am

Catalogued: Tropical Depression

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Plucked from my current reading material:

After showering and yanking every skirt and shirt out of the closet, trying them on and then throwing them on the floor, I finally put on this ridiculous pink taffeta skirt with another ridiculous orange sweater and make my costume all the more clown-like with some white fishnet tights and these blue boots I got in Spain last year. I know I look absurd. I can’t help it. It’s either absurd or it’s like a lawyer and I can’t bear to look like a lawyer, so old and serious.”

— quote from Arin Greenwood’s recently-released first novel, Tropical Depression (whose narrator and I seem like we would get on just fine … )

Written by ENB

May 3, 2011 at 11:50 am

Posted in Culture, Lit

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Catalogued: ‘Poets & Writers’ Profile of Siri Hustvedt

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A quote plucked from my current reading material.

Author Paul Auster on first meeting his wife, author Siri Hustvedt:

It was pretty sudden, I have to say … For the first few seconds, all I could see was her beauty, the radiance of her beauty, and quickly jumped to the conclusion that she was a model. Could a six-foot-tall blonde who looked like that not be a model? But, lo and behold, it turned out that she was a graduate student, and once we began to talk, I understood how ferociously intelligent she was. We went on talking after the reading, then at an after party, and after the party broke up we went out to a bar and continued talking for several more hours. I found her so brilliant, so wise, so alert, I was utterly smitten. My whole life changed in those hours, both our lives changed, and we’ve been together ever since.”

as quoted in the May/June 2011 issue of Poets & Writers

Auster and Hustvedt have been married 28 years. Her latest book, The Summer Without Men, is partly about (what else?) neuroscience.

Written by ENB

May 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Facebook Poetry // Vol. 1

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I was scrolling through my Facebook “Most Recent” newsfeed last night, and saw three messages in a row that struck me as kind of funny when taken together. I copied each of these three status updates on a sticky, then scrolled down the rest of my feed, to the point at which I would have had to click “Older Posts,” copying a snippet of each status update or the comments/ephemera attached to it and adding to the note. The result—slightly stylized in use of  things like line breaks and italics—is kind of delightfully silly. May I present to you: a Facebook Poem.

most recent
march 6, 8:32 p.m.
howling forever
this is fucking incredible
this is bat country
I know the peace and quiet won’t last long

miss her a lot
absolutely exhausted

vicious circle:
early dinner at Romans,
what happened this winter …
reading the only thing you ever needed to hear
A good tv show
Ultimo asado con el club de montanismo
Vancouver, WA – If interested in purchasing a costume, or an appearance,
experiment today

Created a video response to the message—

What happened this winter

March 6, 2011
Is anyone else in a stew over social networking?
4 new photos //
Good Friend Electric //
the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, did it.
Doing taxes.
Bears and wolves have eaten all my food

Rain Graph
added A day job to his work
miss you buddio
7 hours ago
Nights in Ultraviolet
gardened, 2 loads of laundry, room cleaned and last week’s laundry away
strong traditional folk sensibilities
I love when my dreams feel like movies

IL and Matty’s B-day …
Love me some Lord Kitchener.
for every thirsty fiend in the commercial art world, including tangential unpaid bloggers
and grids –
District of Columbia,
Viva La Revolucion!
Please do not be shocked.
conclude that we need more rigorous assessment and choice
it’s been too long
Daughter of longest-living American
Watching Best of Christopher Walken on SNL
It’s gonna be Party Time!

Like two dead cats covered in mulch,
Come one, come all to the mythical land of Western Washington
Matt Yglesias and the Edu-Nihilism Straw Man
12 hours ago
his manic tailspin is going to lead to something terrible
12 hours ago
He should go to jail.
Minor Threat
This should not be difficult for me.
i know,
I don’t remember the beginning at all
He’s awful …
This fat ugly sasquatch been walkin round the house coughin with her fish mouth open and not washin her hands
people like this—
Clark’s At Faneuil Hall,
and too many more that are going to make me very sad to remember.
20 hours ago
Writing with Patsy Cline by my side
Old Photos
If we want, we can walk down to the 3rd St. Promenade afterward
This country has lost site of what is important and sacred
collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step
What all has gone on in the past several months?
since my first visit to San Fran …
Found more issues when I tore things out.
Yesterday at 9:04 p.m.

May I urge you to to go forth & create & share your own Facebook poetry …

Written by ENB

March 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm


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Diana Athill might be my new idol. NYT has a fascinating profile of both her work (she was an editor for many years, before “retiring” at 75 and publishing three memoirs) and her personal life.

Her longtime lover, the playwright Barry Reckord, moved in with her and then, their relationship having evolved into something more like friendship, brought his young girlfriend in too, for six years in the 1970s. They all got along famously. “He was very against possessiveness, and so was I,” Ms. Athill explained.


Ms. Athill protests that she is not generous, but rather has what Graham Greene described as the “sliver of ice” that resides in the heart of writers, the thing that allows them to examine events with forensic analysis.

“I’m really very interested in what is happening, even when it involves oneself,” she said. “One’s watching all the time.”

First Joan Didion, and now Athill—by golly, I’m beginning to appreciate a whole plethora of female writers who didn’t kill themselves or wind up institutionalized. How we change with age …

Written by ENB

October 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

Posted in Culture, Lit

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My Salinger Eulogy

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She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty. — A Perfect Day for Bananafish

Oh, Salinger. I love you for sentences like that one. Determined all the more now to serve bananafish at our upcoming “Literary Feast.” But I’ve always avoided reading details about your life. Why? When I have always gotten so entangled in the personal myths surrounding my other favorite author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I don’t know. I’m glad I did, though. Reading all your newsprint eulogies, I’m not really liking what I learn. Correspondences with teenage girls? Locking your wives in the house? Oh my. It all makes me want to rethink naming my first-born son, should I have a first-born son, Seymour (the cat is already Holden; there’s nothing I can do about that). But I think I shall just choose to ignore it, your urine-drinking, your love affairs, your Scientology (your macrobiotic diet! A sign of true insanity, surely). I will ignore it, and remember you for the perfect stories you have told me, and the impact you have had on my life (it is true: my boyfriend and I first bonded over Seymour: An Introduction). I look forward to reading Hapworth 16, 1924 – another story about the Glass family I didn’t know existed? How?, indeed! And to the potentiality that, upon your death, oodles and treasures of unpublished stories, just waiting for our eyes and ears, will be found. You could be 2010’s Tupac, or Elliott Smith. Wouldn’t that just be grand?



Written by ENB

January 29, 2010 at 11:15 am

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La Bella Lingua

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From La Bella Lingua:

Flirting … translates into fare la civetta, or “make like an owl.” Only Italian distinguishes between a civettino, a precocious boy flattering a pretty woman; a civettone, a boorish lout doing the same; a civettina, an innocent coquette; and a civettuola, a brazen hussy. A giovanotto di prima barba (a boy who starts flirting even before growing a beard) may turn out to be a damerino (dandy), a zerbino (doormat), a zerbinetto (lady-killer) or a zerbinotto (a fop too old for such foolishness). If he becomes a cicisbeo, he joins a long line of Italian men who flagrantly courted married women.

Written by ENB

January 14, 2009 at 1:05 am

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