I just got an invitation for a panel discussion at Columbia called "Pulp Fiction: Hard Case Crime, Hard-Boiled Sentimentality, and the New Wave of Crime Writers." It's on March 25, and one of the panelists is George Stade, whose class on popular fiction I took many many years ago. I'm really more of an English-country-house-murder-mystery kind of person than a hard-boiled- detective-story person, but I think I'll try to go anyway to see Professor Stade (not that he would remember me). I'm not sure if it's open to the public; I'll try to find out. I think it's actually more of a development event, since the RSVP e-mail is the graduate school annual fund! Maybe I'll promise to put them in my will.
I just read a piece in the March issue of Vogue (the one with our new first lady on the cover--a first lady with arm muscles! I love her!) that has stuck in my mind. It is an excerpt from a memoir by Susie Boyt called My Judy Garland Life, coming out in April. She is the author of four novels, and a daughter of Lucian Freud. She grew up with what seemed to the rest of her family to be an excess of old-fashioned emotion. She felt tentative and out of step among her confident siblings. She thought it the height of virtue to smile through one's tears. Then--she discovered Judy Garland. It was a revelation that strong, serious feeling did not have to be squelched out of shame. Instead, intense and even difficult feelings could be seen and presented "as the best things life contains." Later in life, she found listening to Judy sing to be her only solace in a time of deep grief.
With the combination of telling detail (e.g., as a child, she wanted to try a pineapple pina colada without rum to experience having a cocktail) and a precise analysis of the mysteries of her own emotions, it somehow made sense that she is the great-granddaughter of Sigmund. She's a funny Freud: "Obsessions are often born out of avoidance. I've known for a long time that these crucial flashes of fellow feeling take you over when there's something else looming that you are trying hard not to see."
This event is on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 7 to 8 PM, at Bluestockings, 172 Allen St. between Stanton and Rivington Streets. Hosted by Bluestockings and Lauren Cerand, firstname.lastname@example.org. Featuring Nell Casey and Anne Landsman. This falls into a category I like to call: I'd go if I had a live-in nanny or if my kids were in college.
I woke up this morning thinking, whom am I kidding, acting like I know what I'm doing starting this blog? I don't mean the technical side; I mean actually thinking I could provide an informed service that anyone could possibly find useful. So, a disclaimer is in order: This is going to be, of necessity, highly personal, random, incomplete and amateurish. However, I am taking it as a challenge to make this blog the best I can, given my limited capabilities and time. There, now I feel better. And anyway, no one is even reading this yet! Once people know it exists, that's when I can get really nervous.
Overeducated mom, addled by constant interruptions due to demands of family and dog, trying to read books and write coherent sentences about them.
Luckily, yoga keeps me centered. Sharing my love of yoga through teaching helps make sense of it all. I have a yoga blog at susiemarplesyoga.com.
Since 2015, it has been my pleasure to serve as a reader for Epiphany, a literary journal publishing fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art; on Twitter as @epiphanymag.