I've been trying to figure out the different things I want to do with this space and not doing a good job of it lately. And really this is a conversation with the internet that I often find insufferable when other people have it, and in addition to that the greatest joy for me of this blog (and, I hope, for those of you who have read it all along) is that it is not really anything other than what I happen to be thinking about at any given time (largely: books, drinking, 1996, sex, armed revolution, books, some awkward moment I had at some weird party, books, why is everything so fucking racist, books, ebaying decrepit 90s band shirts, books, armed revolution, books).
I love writing about books and there are so many books I have been reading that I want to tell you about, because the other great joy of this blog is telling people what to read. But THE BOOK REVIEW has begun to feel like homework--there is a stack on my desk, right now, of five different books I have been meaning to write about for weeks now, and every time I sit down to do it I think BUT IT'S HOMEWORK and then I look at Twitter instead. It is a bad sign when you are procrastinating your own labors of love.
So I think I will think about different ways of thinking about books and how to write about them and what it means to write about them. I love book reviews, love the masterful critical meditation (and, I must admit, the ruthless evisceration), but I am not a reviewer, and I am not really a book blogger either; I am just a person who reads a lot, and who likes talking to other writers. It is strange for me to have this very public record of the last few years of My Deep and Not Especially Deep Thoughts, and my Personal Journey, and to be honest I have thought about abandoning this whole thing altogether more than once, or starting a DIFFERENT blog, a NEW AND VERY SPECIAL BLOG, which will only ever be poignant and insightful and devastating and no cat jokes and will present to you a person who arose fully formed and luminous out of the ether: A REAL WRITER.
I do not regret anything I have written here, as far as I can remember, but I have sometimes wished I was a different sort of person: more refined, a more streamlined and gracious presence, the sort of intellectual who gets taken seriously at litterachewah cocktail parties instead of the sort of intellectual who is like "IDK, I couldn't read Proust because I thought it was boring." (It was deeply affirming to read the Paris Review interview with Ray Bradbury yesterday wherein he said basically the same thing.) I am genuinely envious of people who find Proust not boring; I think sometimes there is some key thing missing in me, or that I am just a dilettante, and maybe I should not be telling any of you any of this at all now that I am going to be A PUBLISHED AUTHOR who will presumably be expected to behave with dignity in my blog posts. Someone accused me recently of being "furtive" about the details of my life and I thought, "Well, yes, that's because I SAY IT ALL TO THOUSANDS OF TOTAL STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET."
And now I don't even know what my point was except thank you for reading and for being so kind and for all the cheering you have done--I really cannot say this enough, how grateful I am for all of you. In the last few weeks I read Leni Zumas's The Listeners and Lidia Yuknavitch's Dora: A Headcase and Dodie Bellamy's The Letters of Mina Harker and a bunch of other things that all of you must also read at once, and I will tell you about them soon, and right now I am reading a trashy young adult novel that is quite satisfying although I will not tell you the name of it since I just called it trashy. Now you must go out into the day, dear creatures, and do not lose faith in your own Journeys, and if you are writers keep writing and if you do other things keep doing them. And do me a favor, right now, before you do anything else. Go look in the mirror and say, "You are a FUCKING BADASS AND I LOVE YOU." You have to say it out loud. No cheating.