zach baron and nick sylvester invite you to celebrate
* * * * * * * PERINEUM NUMBER SEVEN * * * * * * *
featuring new pieces by max morton, clancy martin, michael robbins, chris ryan, thessaly laforce, adam moerder, rachel khong, liz phang, leon neyfakh, a guy who swears he’s pat smear from germs, adriane quinlan, francis cash, anselm shepard, and us too
“She glimpsed, from the corner of her eye, Harry bending to kiss the beringed claw of an ancient lady in black, almost hidden within the wings of an enormous brocaded chair.” - Deborah Eisenberg
Spent the afternoon thinking about what this one teensy moment of a woman in black is doing in this giddy story, as compared to the two black-robed knitting women in Heart of Darkness, as compared to the lady in black on the setee in Nabokov’s The Eye, as compared to the black carriage that whisks through The Secret Agent and basically realized you can’t write a story without death in it, like you can’t have a life without it, and that usually death is a frilly old lady.
Found, this a.m., in the comments section of the NYT
"Your wonderfully eloquent letter reminded me of Deborah Eisenberg’s comment in her introduction to Katherine Mansfield’s story “The Daughters of The Late Colonel.” I don’t know a better description of the mystery of reading so forgive me for quoting this at length. Eisenberg describes her early encounters with Mansfield - her parents owned a copy of a selection of stories published in 1930 - and how she would read and re-read the book. “And as I remember it,” Eisenberg writes, “there was one day when I first ‘comprehended’ the ending of the story. It’s hard to say if this is in fact an actual single memory or the conflation of several experiences, because I always sat in the same chair when I read the story, in my family’s living room, from which I dreamed of escape, and the story always rewarded me with the same odd and ephemeral sensations I courted from it. But in this memory there was a moment when the grief of the ending - the story’s arc off the page and into everywhere - was clear to me. And I remember actually staring at the print to see how those feathery sentences could contain anything so hard or cold or painful, something that wasn’t the same as them but could be made by them and by nothing else.” I feel the same about Housekeeping.” — Margot Livesey
In the last episode of “Jon and Kate Plus 8″ (TLC, 9 p.m.), Kate takes the brood to a dairy farm for a lesson in cow-milking and Jon takes them to a firehouse. Then the two of them talk about the “recent life events” that have made this the last episode of “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” - NYT
Just thinking about the relationship between teaching children to get their own milk and shoving them off into the world…
And what does a comma do, a comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma. A long complicated sentence should force itself upon you, make you know yourself knowing it and the comma, well at the most a comma is a poor period that lets you stop and take a breath but if you want to take a breath you ought to know yourself that you want to take a breath. It is not like stopping altogether has something to do with going on, but taking a breath well you are always taking a breath and why emphasize one breath rather than another breath. Anyway that is the way I felt about it and I felt that about it very very strongly. And so I almost never used a comma. The longer, the more complicated the sentence the greater the number of the same kinds of words I had following one after another, the more the very more I had of them the more I felt the passionate need of their taking care of themselves by themselves and not helping them, and thereby enfeebling them by putting in a comma. So that is the way I felt about punctuation in prose.
ROME (Reuters Life!) - Iraq’s Zaha Hadid, one of the world’s most acclaimed architects, has given this ancient city that normally shuns modern intrusions another controversial building — a new museum dedicated to contemporary design…
Reminds me of the UCB quote that 30 Rock recycled: “She’s spirited — like a horse.” To be “spirited” or “feisty” calls up the image of an animal that needs to be tamed. In this case, it would be tamed by the fleet of all-white old men architects. I don’t call anything but a puppy or a tinny guitar “feisty.”
If I believe in Spiritual Moments, it was turning off the Hudson river jogging path today at a random intersection — I was bored — and the Townsend song “Let My Love Open the Door” coming on shuffle just when I, confused, came upon the glowing pit that was the World Trade Center, and could find no way to go around it.
During the recession I was making out okay working out on Broadway, where me and a few kids were selling Obama condoms. They were condoms with the face of the president on them, and all the wealthy Russian tourists with bags from GUESS would ask to take pictures with us, and then buy a pack, as though in compliance for services rendered…
*Inspired by my jaunt to the bank during work. What a hilarious recession job!
What I Thought About Now That They're Banning Raw Oysters
It was Christmas day and Lane and I were in Biloxi, Mississipi. We had woken up in our car in the parking lot of a WalMart, with sand blowing in off the asphalt from the beaches we hadn’t been to yet, and we had gone for breakfast to a casino — a big, empty, ghostly place; one of the few that remained despite the hurricane. Feeling cheery and proud of ourselves, we ordered two bloody marys from a sleek, glassy bar. “Do you know who died today?” the bartender asked us; he must have been our age and lonely. It was James Brown and we talked to him about that and then the room fell quiet.
The only other sound in the bar came from the only other person there. A mushroom-shaped woman in a black straw hat and a black silk shift, she was hunkered over a short glass table, her face downward-looking and posed in serious, protracted concentration. She had ordered a bloody mary, too, and next to that sat a large, round plate of ice. Flayed outward on the ice were fat, glistening oysters in their black shells. We watched as, every few minutes, she would tilt her head up to suck one down, wait a few minutes, and do the next. She had no book, no distraction, just the oysters which she was watching as if they were her prey. The only sound in the cavernous, cold glassy bar was the woman sucking the oysters.
Looking down into our bloody marys we thought about gluttony, and the sadness of old age, and how the woman must have needed to give herself a gift on Christmas, and how it was the oysters.
Today, in front of the office coffee-maker, I zoned out and thought, inexplicably, of Xian — of being 22 and walking to the streets where my guidebook said all of the dried-fruit stands were. I thought of how I hadn’t learned anything since then, when I walked down the stone streets and ate the dried-fruit from the little baskets. Then, maybe, I had seen it all more hungrily — the glistening yellow fruits, dried into their little shells and dyed all of those vaunting colors. I didn’t have any of the things that I have now, and wanted them.
I had a discussion with my brother when we were traveling together. We had left a palace full of tourists and stopped on a balustrade, looking down on the poverty of the city. It was a post-card. I asked him what was the value of all this seeing, if it ever actually affected him. He said yes, of course, and I looked again and tried to see what he saw. I don’t feel affected by the things I see but instead this narrative flow in my mind that happens when I see them. My brother and I once stood on a balustrade and looked over the poverty of a city, I once tasted the singular yellow fruits of Xian, the parched discs of Kiwis. You see the things you don’t have.
Paula Fox is Courtney Love's Grandmother! And other things I didn't know before going on Wikipedia:
The daughter of Cuban-born screenwriter Elsie Fox (nee “De Sola”) and novelist Paul Hervey Fox, she was given up for adoption as an infant and was passed among various relatives and friends. In her 2001 memoir Borrowed Finery, Fox recalled that at her first meeting with her mother, at age five, “I sensed that if she could have hidden the act she would have killed me.” A teenage marriage produced a daughter, Linda, in 1944. However, given the tumultuous relationship with her own biological parents, she gave the child up for adoption….The daughter Fox gave up for adoption, Linda Carroll, is the mother of controversial musician Courtney Love; making her Love’s grandmother.
There was a poet I knew in Hong Kong, and within an hour or so of meeting him, drinking outside a 7-11, I learned that he had lived with a girl for seven years in New Orleans, and that she had left him.
He described the big spaces of that city—its palazzos and river-walks—and then their house, which was rattling and wooden and filled with her things. We longed for what we didn’t have and drove ourselves away from it. Long-term expats had a maxim: “People come here because they are running to something, or because they are running away.” Surely some came out of ambition—I had seen these men on the streets outside of clubs, the fat bankers in checkered shirts, holding the wrists of sly Cantonese women. But most I knew were from the other camp, from the city’s down and out who had come for simple escape. Because if there was a place for brooding’s opposite—distraction—it was in Hong Kong, where all the lights were always on and the people in the street knew nothing of you and cared less.
…A movie about “talking animals” has become a movie about talking animals in an existential crisis about their role as talking animals. Are they animals? Or do they wear corduroy suits?
To tell this story, who better than Anderson — whose cinematic preoccupation has been with base, inelegant brawls that unfurl in the mansions of the wealthy. (Think Rushmore’s pool scene, the premiere in Life Acquatic, and basically the entirety of The Royal Tenenbaums.)
Last night I saw a screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox. It is far and away the best movie I’ve seen in theatres in a year or so—back to whenever There Will be Blood came out. So today, this is the person profiled in the NYT’s Moment Blog that I’ve decided to be jealous of:
"Our research shows that you can tell when a man is looking for a partner by the number of new underpants they buy for themselves,” said Debenhams Head of Men’s Accessories Buying, Rob Faucherand.
"If he buys more than 31 pairs every year then he’s either still trying desperately to impress the woman in his life — or else she’s not The One."
The incidence of this new-found purchasing enthusiasm is short-lived however. It goes into a sharp decline and slumps to zero again at the age of 44 when men mostly find themselves in another stable relationship.
After 44, most men remain strangers to the underwear department for the rest of their lives, handing all responsibility for their underwear to women, Debenhams said.
"This is the one issue that feminism has never addressed," Faucherand said.
This gets complicated. Bear with it. Basically, Miley Cyrus is uncultured like bad yogurt.
In her hit single "Party in the U.S.A.,"Miley Cyrus famously claims that a Jay-Z song saved her life…But which one of Hov’s hits is she singing about? Turns out, she doesn’t know. Because she’s never actually heard a Jay-Z song…On Cyrus’ MileyWorld Web site… the singer…was asked by a reporter which Jay-Z tune inspired the line in “Party”:
"I don’t know, I didn’t write the song, so I have no idea," she said. "Honestly, I picked that song because I needed something to go with my clothing line. I didn’t write it [and] I didn’t expect it to be popular, originally. It was just something that I wanted to do and I needed some songs and it turned out for the best."- Via MTV
JUST THINK OF ALL THE STRUGGLING MUSICIANS WHO ARE REAL JAY-Z FANS!
After noticing a snake in an image, an audience member asked Vanderbilt about her first encounter with one. The artist related it all back to the childhood pet of her son Anderson Cooper (yes, that Anderson Cooper ). She had the snake taxidermied after its death because Cooper loved it so much. Vanderbilt also compared the light in a certain image to hallucination she had during childbirth, in which she felt herself barreling down a tunnel toward brightness.
A U2 show marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has run into controversy - after organisers built a wall around the venue. A two metre barrier has been erected around the Brandenburg gate to keep out people without tickets for the show.—BBC