Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"And then there is the information, which is nothing, and comes at night."

It has come to my attention that I have been reading this Martin Amis book at a pace that can be described a few ways. One of those is "slow." This has been pointed out by more than one acquaintance/friend/blog reader.

Well, listen people. I'm a busy woman! I was -- um -- busily doing nothing in Arizona! I had movies to watch. Enchiladas to eat. Trivia to conquer. (Do you think I'm still atop the rankings of Big Daddy's Grill?) Then I came back to New York where I have been exTREMEly busy. You know, settling into a new semester. Watching more movies. Getting reacquainted with my local bars.

No, I mean, a book is meant to savor, isn't it?

OK, you're right. I read The Information at a glacial pace. I bought it and came up with the vision for my quest and then promptly finished reading that silly Van Gogh mystery before I even dove into Amis. Then it was law school semester two, and I really do have reading to do for my classes, so I had to get my Contracts-Property-Civ Pro-Transnational-Appellate routine all sorted out. And it IS Oscar season, so how can I not attend to my waiting Netflix discs?

Or maybe I was just reading Martin Amis so slowly because I was trying to build an audience -- a following -- someone who cared whatsoever -- about my little blog project. Yeah.

But I finished it! I did! It's done. And now I am moving on to B. So I'm a week or two behind. I'll catch up. I am nothing if not a procrastinator, and procrastinators are good at one thing: getting crap done when the best time to do it has already passed. I'll be back on track before you know it.

So who's with me? Who's going to read the next selection? B is for Burroughs. Naked Lunch. My edition is ISBN: 0802140181.

Also, I have a lot more to say about Amis! For one thing, in general I thought The Information was very good indeed. In the end, it was cool that Gwyn had his own revenge going but he was just such a smarmy one, and I found myself really rooting for diabolical Richard. Boy, was Richard ever doomed.

And haven't we all known a book like Amelior, Gwyn's post-modern fairy tale about which the world suddenly, inexplicably goes nuts? (Tuesdays With the Harry Potter Code, anyone?) I was viciously amused and sad for Richard as if he were a real person when the profundity requital winner was revealed...

Oh, now I've done it. I've insulted Harry Potter. This may be grounds for getting struck by that stupid lightning bolt on his forehead or wherever. I'll just crawl off to start on Naked Lunch (classes? what classes?) and leave you with a few choice quotes from The Information. Maybe they are better when you read them in context. Maybe you should do that!

"So he really didn't want to be wallowing and languishing, with Gwyn, in that twenty-first-century nautilus, that regency spaceship of fish tanks and startling energy bills, where every room had three televisions and five telephones (American luxury having much to do with the irreducible proximity of televisions and telephones)..." - p. 238

"Phil's full name was Phil Smoker. Richard thought it might save a lot of trouble to be called Richard Smoker, particularly when you were in America." -- p. 352

"It seemed to him that all the time he used to spend writing he now spent dying. This was the truth. And it shocked him. It shocked him to see it, naked. Literature wasn't about living. Literature was about not dying.
Suddenly he knew that writing was about denial.
Suddenly he knew that denial was great. Denial was so great. Denial was the best thing. Denial was even better than smoking." - p. 337

"On the other hand, he was free to wonder why so many writers' women killed themselves, or went insane. And he concluded: because writers are nightmares. Writers are nightmares from which you cannot awake. Most alive when alone, they make living hard to do for those around them. He knew this now--now that he wasn't a writer. Now that he was just a nightmare." - p. 314

And if you do yourself no other favor today, stroll into your local bookstore and at least read pages 236-237, about junk novels and airports!

Thanks, Martin Amis. It was fun hanging out with you.

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