Inspired by the comments on my previous post, I decided I'd write (and then post) whatever the heck that comes to mind at this moment. Sort of as an exercise against post-fright.
I am reading Hemingway. It's a war book: For Whom the Bell Tolls , "intensely emotional"; it says on a cover with soft rolling mountains melding to golden sky. I'm reading Hemingway for a number of reasons: 1) I was told it'd cure me of liking purple prose (which it hasn't yet) 2) I sort of feel obligated, since I haven't read Hemingway yet, and feel like an ignoramus whenever someone fawns over him and says, "Ah, yes, Hemingway. The greatest writer of the 20th century." 3) It was closer on the bed table to me then Tender is the Night. I find it hugely funny that I'm reading Fitzgerald and Hemingway at the same time. Such a clash of styles: one beautiful and flowery prose, the other simple and plain prose. It's sort of making my brain dizzy--and I'm feeling like I should just dive into T.S. Eliot solely to make a triumvirate of expatriates.
Anyhow, reading as much literature as I am this summer is getting to be life-changing. I just finished Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood, and it was mind-bogglingly good and just sort of added to my feeling that I'm madly in love with Atwood and everything that she writes. (I will have to do a review of EW soon).
And what can I say of the poetry I've been reading?
Ah, poetry. Frank O'Hara sort of captures the mood I'm feeling today: the intensity of the now. At this moment my feet are planted against the wall, I am in pajamas, and the fan is fluttering in the air. Outside is violet dusk; I am expecting to hear the crack of fireworks, see colors splashing the sky at any moment now.
And these lines* are ringing in my head, a trapped song playing over and over again:
oh god it's wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much
I just realized that this has been happening a lot--getting words stuck in my brain. But it's not annoying in the way songs can be. I don't think I can get annoyed by lines like:
"and was standing with his hands in his pockets regarding the silver pepper of the stars."
It's sort of like getting bits of beauty rumbling around in my mind. Which I quite like.
Here are a few pictures I took while in a plane. And no, I don't where this is.
Thinking about it, this is definitely my most exciting summer I've ever had--
the fireworks have started and my dog is going crazy. I put down Hemingway for a bit, run outside without shoes on. I am in time to watch as colors skim across the horizon. I take pictures until my arms ache, but nothing stabilizes. I get either smoky dark sky, or few lights sprinkled across, or edges of the fireworks. It's mostly the sound that stands out; too late, I realize that I should've taken a video.
I guess it's all about timing.
Now I'm thinking about the dialogue in Hemingway's--it's so choppy, with periods where I'm used to commas--and also, remembering someone saying how it's strange that we actually read our literary tradition backwards. I read 21st century authors before I did 17th century authors. Cormac McCarthy's prose makes sense in light of Hemingway's.
And now I feel oddly better for having rambled. And managing to ramble in a book-related way. And then managing to post my ramblings, even if it's because I'm half-asleep and can't think enough to feel nervous about posting.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July :)
* From "Steps" by O'Hara, second quote is from The Great Gatsby
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