— Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, p. 47.
— Peter Coviello, “The Talk That Does Not Do Nothing,” in The Believer’s 2012 Music Issue
— The Mennonite, in Blood Meridian, p. 43.
— P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins. According to my friend Jayne Hildebrand, this is the novel’s opening line. It is now among my favorites.
— Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman, p. 149.
— Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman, p. 16.
Here we go. Percy’s writing on honor—particularly the essay “Stoicism in the South”—is required reading.
— Jonathan Lethem, Fear of Music, p. 37.
Apparently all I do now is read 33 1/3 books. There are worse ways to spend one’s time.
I love the above quote, which is the third or fourth one in its chapter alone (“Is Fear of Music A Text?”) that I’ve wanted to post. The way he describes the album’s songs remind me of Sebald’s descriptions of the events that make up The Rings of Saturn (the descriptions themselves, I mean, not the events). The Rings of Saturn is one of my favorite books; it’s a way I’d like to be able to write.
It’s unfair that Lethem can be so good at writing about music when he’s not really a music writer.
—Carl Wilson, Let’s Talk About Love, p. 156.
I’m about 85% of the way there with Wilson on this one. What’s holding me back is the proliferation, since his book’s 2007 publication, of the Internet’s idolatry of the personal. While I agree with Wilson’s basic ideas, namely that our aesthetic tastes are socially composed and aren’t nearly so objective as we believe them to be, and that the role of the critic (at least in part) should be to replicate the experience of the music itself, I wonder how frequently the kind of sharing he writes about here isn’t just more self-valorization.
But of course, I still wrote the above paragraph.
Yet another reason to love Walker Percy: this question and answer comes between long and comprehensive analyses of semiotics and the unquestioned assumptions of empiricism. True genius is probably involved in being able to answer all three questions the way he does. (Taken with instagram)
— Alex Scally, Beach House, Pitchfork interview. Truth-telling.