Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I have to live them first.

Reading Joanna Ruocco's Dan and Nell Zink's the Wallcreeper has been like running through a field of flowers! It is futile to declare any year the best Dorothy, a Publishing Project year, but this is ridiculous. Also, this is Joanna Ruocco's best work yet, and having lately reopened a Compendium of Domestic Incidents, I am no less convinced and no less going "HOLY SHIT" to myself over and over, all the time, like Franny and the Jesus Prayer.

I got the news that I am still the symphony critic at work, which means a lot to me. I am especially looking forward to the world premiere of a piece structured around the REM cycle situated between dances from West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet.

The pleasure I glean from so much being written on the Mitford Sisters is dubious, all of it being the result of Deborah's death. To take that dubiousness a step beyond, I could not be more into the Gawker Review of Books with Michelle Dean at its helm.

Last year, I dedicated my fall vacation around the west coast to hunting for Jessica Mitford's Hons & Rebels and did not find it until I was in New York for an afternoon. The clerk upstairs at McNally Jackson referred me to the memoirs, downstairs, where, at the bottom of the staircase, I was met by another clerk holding Hons & Rebels, asking, "Is this yours?" with so much immediacy and magic.

I am going back to part of the west coast — Portland and Olympia — right after BinderCon. I am glad not to have my heart set on anything but taking in where I am and browsing every single spine of fiction at Powell's. And I'll be done with my book!

The final essay needs to make more sense, but there is a lot to celebrate besides that: twenty pages of footnotes! Some historical context! The knowledge that Malcolm Gladwell finds writing an entire book about a single case to be a nigh intolerable task to complete! The fact that I set out to write this book and I did it in less than half a year!

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