in preparation for a yosemite valley adventure weekend after next, i am reading (around in) john muir’s book. his language is immense. you feel the soaring rocks and sparkling waterfalls and so forth. i’d forgot the power & poetry of the sublime. it’s been a while since i’d read the romantics. it’s like he walked hand in hand with robert burns.
attending a birthday party this past weekend led most profitably not only to friendship but a lengthening TBR list that now includes ONCE & FUTURE — a graphic novel arthurian adaptation in the horror genre — and FIRST WORLD, HA HA HA: A ZAPATISTA CHALLENGE — and THE BEATS: A GRAPHIC HISTORY — and among other titles i am still trying remember. i am not good at parties, my brain shuts down. these were real readers in attendance, though, which made it considerably easier & happier for me.
all I can say about JUST LIKE HOME, without spoiling it? — it was enjoyable to its last breath. all the buildup & climax on point. 9/10 would read more of this author (sarah gailey)
for pressing clothes. a romantic bygone of laundry days. old sad irons, box irons, etc. what are they good for now? – gone all cold, all rust. improvised bludgeoning weapon, maybe; bookend like atlas, immovable doorstop, paperweight, printer’s baren… but they’re magnetic to me.
she was a danish salonist & lady of letters, b. 1775 – d.1829 but obviously the real star of the show is this marbled cover.
in belgium there are flea markets where you can go scooping up memories, just like this, there are piles and piles of postcards, mountains of postcards, faded photographs on one side and the other covered in scrawling lines of fabulous ink, probably exquisite sentences in French, the flowing hand immaculate and ornate, good god, the whole place is haunted in a way i’ve never seen. in a manner totally unlike
b. 1852 & dies in 1895 when he goes down with his ship the elbe: there are about 300-400 souls aboard, and only 22 survive. goessel, kansas is later named after him. it is a small town, pop. less than a thousand, its cemetery full of german mennonites. my antecedents on my father’s side. to see one’s own name over and over on countless crumbling, mossy tombstones in the middle of the prairie… clocks stopped running there a long time ago
i fell in love with stephen king at a young age. in those days they had his novels at the checkout line at the grocery store. as a child i had to get mine from the library of course. pretty sure i started with THE GREEN MILE, in serialized form. christopher pike and r. l. stein (god, GOOSEBUMPS). short story anthologies. ghost stories. monster movies. it felt very natural. though other times the horror came by accident — like THE LOTTERY. that was a total surprise. i remember feeling stunned. almost physically in a daze. to this day i love horror stories, can’t stop reading them.
and it never ends. you make these sudden discoveries. like, sadegh hedayat of THE BLIND OWL..?? fcking shocking, complicated, multilayered gothic horror. it touched my heart. i felt like a different person after encountering him. didn’t even happen til my 30s. back in the day, HOUSE OF LEAVES (mark z. danielewski), I couldn’t open my own closet for a month. ridiculously scared. i fell in love with the decaying monster of FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD by ahmed saadawi. ted hughes wrote a short story called THE HEAD that i had to read twice, rapidly, when i first read it. it was magnificent, deeply disturbing. i long to know the entire pantheon of great & sometimes obscure gods of horror writing. i can’t resist, the library’s right there (walking distance!), i know a couple good bookstores, i consistently trawl the internet — i’m going to find them out.