Thursday, February 4, 2010

This blog post is brought to you by Snuggie

Having spent most of my life on the east coast, San Francisco's subtle seasons often left me disappointed. I thought I missed the bracing cold of a January morning or August's oppressive humidity. Now that I'm four months into a Midwest winter (I'm promised it'll last only two more months), I realize I was being sentimental. I'm prone to that sort of thing. However! rather than complaining too much (on a public forum), I'll do my best to remain positive. Yes, I will. I will, yes. I am trying. It's just the wind... and the snow... and the way you can feel your breath freezing in your nostrils and you know that you're bleeding from your nose but the blood freezes on your face and everyone's looking at you and wondering why the hell you aren't wearing a hat and...

[Deep breath.]

One of the (few) positive things about being unable to disrobe from my Snuggie - which, of course, is covered in cat hair and crumbs - is that I have little recourse but to spend a lot of time finding out just how much interesting stuff there is on the Internet. (Oh, sure, I read books too. Sort of.) Who knew? Maybe you didn't, so I'm going to share some wonderful things I've found, like the photograph above of Billy Faulkner. Or this, which must surely be the work of the Devil. Or God, it's hard to tell. Either way, it scares me.

Without any former ado, here are the links:

1. The photograph of Faulkner was pulled from this gallery at Life Magazine of famous literary drunks and addicts. Not included was Alfred Jarry, who, in typical Ubu-esque fashion, offered this quip in reply to concern over his drinking habits: "We thought we had done once and for all with this question of alcoholism, and that all sensible people understood that the use, and even more the abuse, of fermented beverages is what distinguishes man from beast."

2. A few links for Bolaño enthusiasts: First, his story William Burns is available (for free) at The New Yorker. And second, Bolaño's "Advice on the Art of Writing Short Stories," originally published in World Literature Today, is available here.

3. Novelist and provocateur Tom McCarthy (Remainder, one of my favorites) has a long essay on Jean-Philippe Toussaint in the latest issue of the London Review of Books. (In case you forget how much we love Monsieur Toussaint, look here. He's good fer what ails ya.)

4. Coleridge or Wordsworth, eh? The former was an opium addict prone to wanderlust, the latter "the most sober of the great romantics, a water drinker, a walker of the hills, an exemplary family man." The choice is obvious.

5. Finally, Dolores Park will be closed for over a year starting sometime around September 2011. This is awful news, but take consolation in the Secret Spaces of San Francisco.


Anonymous said...

Business is War.

StacieMichelle said...

Oh dear! Where will the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence hold their Easter celebration and Hunky Jesus Contest in 2012?! TRAVESTY!!!

Also, thanks for the Bolaño links...looking forward to reading them both, as well as the McCarthy essay on Toussaint.