26 August 2016

0 between the books



last night, between books, i cast sad cow eyes upon my bookshelf and realized that the jackie books i read for two decades no longer give me pleasure. once escapist, now they present only a realm full of first person plural interjections, mind-reading, theatrical scene-setting, block quotes, failed metaphors, and concocted telephone conversations.

i have so diligently torn them apart these last few months, and become so technically proficient in how they do what they do that i can no longer enjoy them. it's hard to enjoy a book when you know the page count of it's endnotes and bibliography.

for real, the idea of reading edward klein's just jackie makes me shudder. with the possible exception of reading it aloud to someone. i could read it aloud to someone and we could laugh and then there would be the necessary distance wherein i could enjoy it and not have to think about how perhaps it is ethically unsound.

the great hope is that one day i will be able to read my own book and it will substitute for all these books i've slagged. but then, i'm also harkening back to a time when i was a younger, more naive reader and writer. perhaps now i'm cynical and jaded and will never enjoy anything so simply ever again.

my dad has reached a point in his comfort with dying that he derives great joy from books he feels he is reading for the last time.

given our family's propensity for casting off books and re-buying them, i'm wondering if perhaps he isn't playing a dangerous game in selling all the books he's done with. what if he lives to 80? inevitably, he'll want to read them again.

the books i am talking about are awful. they are brilliant, but they are awful. jackie's grief after dallas is likened to rearranging furniture. grief, it seems, isn't just like a sofa you can move to the other side of the room.

they are awful. i can say that now i've pulled 23,762 words out of thin air over the last three months to convince everyone they are necessary and worthwhile and have value. they can be all of those things and still be awful. that is, actually, precisely why i believe they warrant study.

AV is having all her horrible health things and wanted to get acupuncture. the physio's head nearly exploded when she said so and the physio, appealing to her higher nature as an academic, attempted to deter her from pursing "quack-medicine" by saying, it's not like you would read the daily mail and write a journal article about that!  

to which AV, of course, said, ha! my dear friend oline does just that.

and lo, my muckrakery saves! AV got her massage, if not her acupuncture. and perhaps the daily mail will no longer be this physician's go to for things one would never dream of writing an academic article about.

i am waiting for a book to arrive. a book that may or may not have something to do with the article that i have had accepted for publication in a printed collection which has not been sold to a publisher. an article i have not yet written.

i am about to embark upon the writing of an article for a book that does not yet exist.

it seems i have no trouble with non-existence.

i've been working with extant things for so long and jackie things too. it feels rather delicious to take on something different, something new and not yet done.

like sitting in a confined space for too long, the need to stretch the legs.

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