Archive for April, 2015

A Project That Almost Certainly Wouldn’t Be Worth It

April 29, 2015

So you guys know I’m moving to England, right?  It’s true––beginning early May, Itinerant Daughter will be… well, really fucking itinerant for a quite a while.  Oh, backing up: that’s because I’m traveling a bit before moving, to, among other places, Charleston, Ohio, Los Angeles, Rhode Island, Italy, and then the big move happens in mid-August.  So I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with my books––not surprisingly, I have about four thousand of them––and am wondering if now is the time to make good on that idea I had, which was to bar myself from buying new books until I had read all the ones in my library I haven’t read.  I probably won’t make good on this idea because whenever I think about it, I immediately frown and consider all the books that I have that I legit don’t want to read (my fiance’s legal books––do my fiance’s books count?––as well as The Flamethrowers, because my interest just waned over time, Clarice Lispector’s An Apple in the Dark, Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, My Lunches With Orson and countless reference texts––do those count?) as well as those I should want to read but don’t (The Magus by John Fowles, Last Last Chance by Fiona Maazel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Rosie Schaap’s Drinking With Men, Anthropology of an American Girl, which I almost immediately regretted buying as if I foresaw this very issue.)  Then I think about all the books I’ve read pieces of––select essays in an anthology, maybe, or a few stories by Vladimir Nabokov and Kafka out of their collections, and very occasionally books I began but didn’t warm to, like John Gregory Dunne’s Vegas––and whether I would have to read the entire text over again or parse out which sections I had read and which ones I hadn’t.  And then finally, I consider the fact that this would probably take me any number of days and result in a piece that I could sell only to The Paris Review and be paid $200 for, which if you calculated it out would mean I had made something like ten cents an hour.  So I guess I’ve decided not to do it.

If I had time (which I don’t, because I’m actually making headway on some books so GOSH leave me alone) I’d write an essay called “The Fascinating Religious Themes in the Bruce Jenner Interview.”  Did anyone else notice how many times they used the word “soul?”

Letters of Resignation

April 20, 2015

I do not even want to tell you how many times I’ve tried to make my own “letter of resignation” and failed miserably.  At least fifteen.  Based on the drawing, you’d think it would be kind of easy, no?  You’re totally wrong.  Go on, try it.

I quit!

I quit!


There is Something Strange Happening Here

April 16, 2015

April 26th, 1889: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s birthday

April 29th, 1916: Wittgenstein is shot at while fighting in World War I

April 28th, 1951: Wittgenstein loses consciousness, and tells friend “Tell them I’ve had a good life”

April 29th, 1951: Wittgenstein dies

April 28th, 1984: I am born


Texts from Writer Friends

April 12, 2015

KM: I just invented the perfect metaphor for doing these line edits.  It feels like having eyebrows plucked, but IN YOUR SOUL.


April 8, 2015

Years ago, I transcribed some notes for a quirky PhD in architecture who sent me, as a gift, a teeny tiny collage.  (I got paid, too.)  For some reason he added me today on Google Plus, so I headed over to his bio page to check out what he’s been up to.  Interesting stuff, for sure:

Trained as a cultural anthropologist for living in foreign communities, conducting ethnography, and then writing up the experience, he recently spent four years studying his shampoo. He wrote on the subject and published a paper entitled “Active Ingredients.”

I hope he reaches out to me or something!

A List, by Ludwig Wittgenstein

April 6, 2015

“What do I know about God and the purpose of life?”

I know that this world exists.

That I am placed in it like my eye in its visual field.

That something about it is problematic, which we call its meaning.

That this meaning does not lie in it but outside it.

That life is the world.

That my will penetrates the world

That my will is good or evil.

Therefore that good and evil are somehow connected with the meaning of the world.

The meaning of life, i.e. the meaning of the world, we can call God.

And connect with this the comparison of God to a father.

To pray is to think about the meaning of life.

I cannot bend the happenings of the world to my will: I am completely powerless.

I can only make myself independent of the world––and so in a certain sense master it–-by renouncing any influence on happenings.