Not sure when it happened that I started looking back more than I look ahead.
It used to be when, when, when--I was sure that the best was in front of me and I would get there eventually, now I'm not sure. And for this I blame Thomas Pynchon.
Gravity's Rainbow was the fundamental turning point in my literary edumacation. It turned reading a book into a process of self-flaggelation, humiliation and ultimately, snide elitism (since I could then boast that I'd finished the damn thing).
Okay, maybe not. It really is a grand book, filled with the kinds of inside jokes (in German), rollicking belly laughs and totally inappropriate sexual encounters which I value so highly.
So, why has Pynchon's newest sent me into such a tailspin of self-doubt? After all, I confidently skimmed through much of Vineland and can't remember if I've even finished Mason & Dixon, after slavishly reading all of his earlier work. Could it be that I'm not sure I have what it takes to read such a book anymore?
So, here in this personal echo chamber of a blog, I am calling myself out--I'm going to read Against the Day--and I'm going to detail my painful progress back to the self-respecting (nay, self-loving) intellectual snootiness that filled so much of my early twenties with loneliness and (most likely) adult acne.
And I'm happy to report that I have opened the book, and it starts out, promisingly enough, with hot-air balloonists on some kind of mission, stopping at the Chicago World's Fair, the one detailed in The Devil in the White City.
So, progress so far: 10 days -- 15 pages
Fuck you, Pynchon. You haven't killed me yet.
Cruftbox wants you to participate in this meme:
1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. List any holidays
6. Post it.
So, for April 12 - Three Events
1633 - Inquisition of Galileo Galilei begins
1861 - US Civil War Begins
1955 - Polio vaccine is declared safe and effective
April 12 - Two Births, One Death
1922(b) - Tiny Tim
1947(b) - David Letterman
1945(d) - FDR
April 12 - Holidays
The Roman holiday of Cerealia begins.
Yuri's Night, an international celebration of the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin; in Russia (and formerly in USSR), the Cosmonautics Day.