an excerpt

Mar. 14th, 2009 09:11 pm
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...from a paper I had to write for class, about my relationship to experimental or metaphysical fiction. It was really supposed to be more narcissistic than it turned out...but I've been wanting to write about my first reading of Infinite Jest for a while now. There's nothing in this piece, yet, about the visceral feelings, about the personal feelings, about seeing my own loneliness expressed in a way I couldn't even have expressed it. But it's a start.

So of course you grow up... )
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Last year I stumbled on some episode of BBC's Masterpiece Theater on PBS at three in the morning. It was during the last panic attack I had, one of the ones that wake me up. I used to get them all the time but they've slowed down to about one or two a year now. I know when they happen that I just have to get up and do something, and so I went to the front room and started flipping through channels trying desperately to find something besides an infomercial.

Lo and behold, here's this period costume drama. I watch for a while, trying to figure out what it is, thinking I know the standard Victorian fare. It has Bill Nighy in it, who is awesome, and the plot is really fascinating, sort of high and low all at once. Lots of scandal and gossip but also some serious Shakespearean jealousy and weird class consciousness and women's rights issues. I was so entranced I forgot how shitty I was feeling, but I could not figure out for the life of me what the book was. I finally had to look it up online: He Knew He Was Right, by Anthony Trollope. I'd never heard of it.

I ordered it on Amazon the next day. But it's taken almost a year for me to get around to reading it.


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