Category: writing

Jobz Are Us: The Ethical Dilemmata of the Humble Scrivener

Toiling away here in the bloggy vineyard, Your Narrator finds himself in near-constant search of gainful, remunerative scribbling. Oh sure, regaling the tens of loyal i2b followers with insight, pith1Yeth. Pith., and tres bon mots in return for your undying adulation is all the reward an inky wretch could hope for. But the family has this annoying tendency to, you know, eat, so I expose my tender talents to the cruel world in hopes that someone will toss a few shekls my way.2That Donate button over to the right has not brought the expected riches, needless to say. 3The mere mention of which – the Donate button, that is – is of course, a classic example of shameless whoring, one which allows the reader a choice between casting judgement on Your Narrator or of empathizing with his plight. 4And, also too, this mentioning – re: the judgement v. empathy conflict – potentially instantiates a frisson of guilt in the freeloading reader, which pointing out represents a further, and perhaps more pathetic, instance of Narratory whoring. read more


Infinite Quest

Sept 12 – David Foster Wallace died 7 years ago today. Maybe died isn’t the right word, though it’s at least partly true. He killed himself; took his own life. This fact still makes me sad and angry and scared all at once.

The best way to counter these feelings is to read some of his work.1If for no other reason than that his work is the only part of him that we have any legitimate claim to. Angry at the guy? Shit. I owe him. His essay from the January, 1996, issue of Harper’s, which became the title piece from his collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, is the single funniest and most “readable”2Readable here connoting ‘something not too weird or difficult’. In fact, everything I’ve read by DFW – which is pretty much everything that’s been published plus a glimpse of a few of his notebooks at the Whitney Biennial – is terrifically readable and worth every second it takes to look up unusual words, refer to yet another footnote, or just to re-read certain sentences over and over because they are just too wonderful to take in at once. piece in his entire output. I’ve just finished it for the eleventieth time and it’s got me hungry for more.  E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction” is up next,and it’s sort of an essential piece for anyone interested in culture and the challenge of retaining our humanity amidst a dazzling array of shiny objects. read more


My Favorite World #24

It’s book week at MFW!

Two great reads under my belt in the past few days – Walter Mosley’s Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore and Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Coming off a failed attempt at Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, it was a relief to pick up a couple of winners. read more

My Favorite World #18

When I was a lad, I decided I should go ahead and plan on accomplishing three simple tasks:

  1. Read every great book ever written.
  2. Listen to every great piece of music ever written.
  3. See every great movie ever made.

I’m almost finished.1/rimshot

Reading is a huge piece of My Favorite World. Much of my recent reading has been non-fiction. It’s been pretty heavy slogging.2Including yet another run-in with Daniel Dennett that ended the way the first two did: I’m doing pretty well until, inevitably, somewhere c. page 120-150, I begin to feel I am the stupidest person in the world. I liked Coming of Age in the Milky Way  quite a lot, but covering billions of years can sort of feel like it. It was time for some fiction. read more


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