Monthly Archives: January 2011

2011

Black Swan was pretty good.

Haunting, etc.

I like seeing actors turn themselves inside out for a role.
Really one of the only things that is ruining it for me is the constant advertisements for No Strings Attached that plague my television screen. I don’t get why Natalie Portman would go from playing the twisted role of Nina (so much like Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, I swear) to a dim-witted role in another bald, greasy comedy whose only mildly funny lines are screamed in the trailers every commercial break. I mean, Ashton Kutcher? Really?

Anyway.

I’m feeling extra jazzed tonight because I’m inching my way through a stack of neglected New Yorkers and I read George Saunders’s new story, “Escape from Spiderhead,” in the December 20 issue. I think you can read it online here without being a subscriber. I was worried near the beginning that Saunders (one of my top-3 favorite writers of all time) is basically just re-writing Pastoralia over and over, but then it all exploded. I’ve said for a long time that George Saunders is one of the most compassionate voices in fiction today, and this story really gets it.

That last sentence will slay you. Any day short fiction makes you cry is a good day.

I hope everyone had a superfantastic holiday and New Year’s day. I broke my tailbone and got a righteous stomach flu (an unfortunate combination when you’re in crouching vomit position), but I figure a little purging at the beginning of a new year isn’t such a terrible thing. While recovering I listened to Alain de Bottom’s How Proust Can Change Your Life, and especially agreed with the chapter called “How to Suffer Successfully:”

[W]e become properly inquisitive only when distressed. We suffer, therefore we think, and we do so because thinking helps us to place pain in context. It helps us to understand its origins, plots its dimensions, and reconcile ourselves to its presence.

So true.

I must go. Dog needs the computer.

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