Reading Material

Real life has me a little busy right now with actual paying jobs. I'm working on a couple of translations while applying for jobs with steady paychecks, in order to pay off my annoying new friends mr. Mortgage and mr. Student Loan. Also, no internet at home (or, y'know, furniture), so kinda difficult to find the time to write blog posts when I need to spend my actual internet time looking for work and answering emails.

So in lieu of actual posting, I can, at least, give you some links to what I'm reading online these days (or rather, saving in an open tab and reading offline when I get home).

First off, there's this massive profile of Bill Clinton in the New Yorker. It focuses on the post-presidency, and is from last October. It does spend a little too much time on the whole will-Hilary-run-or-not-issue, which is not too interesting to us now, but the personal observations of what Clinton is like in person are priceless. David Remnick, the reporter, is, as a recent New York Review of Books article (only available to subscribers) observed, at his best noting significant personal habits and actions by his subjects.

Also in the New Yorker, this fantastic piece on the CIA black sites. How some asshole legislator (+ the president, secretaries of Defense, attorneys general and vice-presiden) can sit in their office and tell us that simulated drowning, sleep deprivation, induced hypothermia, sensory deprivation and forced exposure to extreme noise is not torture and still sleep at night signifies, to me, having moved beyond the realm of being a part of the human race. The piece is well-researched, well-written and horrific. Investigative reporting at its very best. It clearly shows that the US has by now let go of its already-tenuous status as a democracy, and that the Bush administration is deeply implicated in war crimes.

I'm going to read this review of Don DeLillo's Falling Man as soon as I get done with the novel. I'm only about 1/3rd of a way into it so far, but it doesn't quite seem to be an adequate artistic response to 9/11. More on this, maybe, later.

And I've just gotten started on this article on guaranteed basic income in the Boston Review. It seems thorough and interesting.

In print, I'm working simultaneously on Hermione Lee's excruciatingly well-researched biography, Virginia Woolf (it must be the definitive biography of her), Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Falling Man and Sara Stridbergs Drömfakulteten.

The last one is an acclaimed Swedish novel about Valerie Solanas, author of the SCUM Manifesto, about which I have no sense of humour whatsoever, and shooter of Andy Warhol. More on this, maybe, later.

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