Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tying Up Loose Ends: Another Year Survived

So 2013's reading resolution was a failure. 20,000 pages was the goal and I only managed 8,078. Turns out I spent most of the year 20,000 leagues under my comforter! In a bathrobe!! Listening to Ladytron!!!

See also.

Anyway. I'd like to tie up my unfinished reading business and share some snippets from things that weren't completed or don't warrant their own post. Here goes.

From an interview with Michael Holroyd, biographer, in Paris Review, Issue 205.

I've always believed that there's no such thing as a definitive biography and, particularly if you write about writers, that you are offering your subject the opportunity to write one more book, posthumously, of course, and in collaboration with you. Even if you and I were writing about the same subject, and even if our research were identical, we would produce different books. The dates and so on would be the same, but some themes would seem important to you and insignificant to me.

 From Living History: Hillary Rodham Clinton

My mother and my grandmothers could never have lived my life; my father and my grandfathers could never have imagined it. But they bestowed on me the promise of America, which made my life and my choices possible.

From Taipei, by Tao Lin

It would take her thousands of steps to get anywhere, but she would get there easily, and when she arrived in the present, it would seem like it had been a single movement that brought her there. Did existence ever seem worked for? One seemed simply to be here, less an accumulation of moments than a single arrangement continuously gifted from some inaccessible future.

While idly eating the salad-y remains of his burrito with a fork, around twenty minutes later, Paul became aware of himself analyzing when he should've left. He vaguely traced back the night and concluded he should've left when, on his way to the venue, he had been "completely lose." He allowed himself to consider earlier opportunities, mostly for something to do, and discerned after a brief sensation of helplessness--like if he'd divided 900 by itself and wanted the calculator to answer 494/494 or 63/63--that, in terms of leaving this social situation, he shouldn't have been born.

Paul woke on his back, with uncomfortably warm feet, in a bright room, not immediately aware who or where he was, or how he had arrived. Most mornings, with decreasing frequency, probably only because the process was becoming unconscious, he wouldn't exactly know anything until three to twenty seconds of passive remembering, as if by unzipping a a PDF, showing his recent history and narrative context, which he'd delete after viewing, thinking that before he slept again he would have memorized this period of his life, but would keep, apparently not trusting himself.

 I really wanted to love Taipei. But just didn't. I never did finish it. Another year older, I wonder if my tastes have changed. Either way, I hope Tao Lin releases more poetry and short stories in the future.

Happy new year, my lovelies.

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