Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Challenge 14.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer

Day 14.

You know this now: Ada, or Ardor. I can't see it ever changing. I am this way about my favorite movie, too - Mulholland Drive. I might get loopy about another movie, and it has a deputy favorite (Eyes Wide Shut), but I feel not compelled in the least to challenge it as my #1, and no other film has tested me. I understand and appreciate reading books that have more to say to me, that are crafted in a superior manner, and it doesn't matter. I love its form and the long, lustrous first summer. I wish I had made and spent that kind of intimate creation-time with every character. I was hung up on writing family chronicles before reading Ada, which accounted for a kind of orgasm that left me, not writing anything awesome, satisfied with where it left the genre for years.

This anecdote would have been more appropriate yesterday, but I guess I'll still be talking about Nabokov for at least another day. I went to Cornell one weekend with a boy I used to date. We were dating at the time - it was the last weekend of our being together. I was awestruck with Ithaca and overwhelmingly happy to be there, and he was not a happy person. I started to get vicious and divisive and launched us on an all-day search for the Original of Laura, which wasn't coming out for another week or so and I knew it. I just wanted to steer the ship to ruin and see if he'd take the wheel. The first place we looked was the Bookery, where I fondled first editions of the Art Lover and the Collected Jane Bowles and Under the Volcano and could not bring myself to buy any of them because I did not want to think about how I felt that weekend again. Had I known all I'd feel about it was my adoration for the town, I would have bought everything I saw. After that we went to Cornell and it was NABOKOV MONTH at the campus store. I freaked. Everything was lavish and stacked and that was the first I'd seen of the new cover designs and there were posters and I was in heaven. And then he wouldn't leave me alone, so I again denied myself the opportunity to roll around in his textual splendor. The entire trip, he was walking far ahead of me, dissociating from me, ignoring me, and he chose that time to stick to me fixedly. I tried to lose him, and when he found me, he said, "I thought I lost you!" and I was so mad! After that we went to Barnes & Noble and I broke up with him. On the long drive back I had no book, and so I learned my lesson.

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