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Books Read :: June, July, August 2018

Because of my dissertation writing (and reading), I didn't read as many books cover to cover this summer, and those are always the only ones I write about/note as "read," so I'm combining all the summer months here! I definitely read a lot of excerpts from books, but this isn't the place for that. See: My dissertation! When it's done! Someday! Not too far in the future!


American Hybrid Poetics by Amy Moorman Robbins
I agree with so much of what Robbins says in this book, and it's provided a fruitful background for my research, though the way she uses the word hybrid makes me a little crazy because it seems to cover too much ground, and she never really defines how she is using it in a way that is clear to me. If it were only ever an adjective/modifier, I think I'd be fairly on board with most of the argument she is making, but she uses it occasionally as a noun in a way that gets me. I won't give away my entire dissertation, though, and instead I&#…

Books Read :: May 2018

Just a reminder that these aren't reviews, but... more like notes on the books that I feel worth sharing, some more substantial, some more review-y, some more helpful, some more personal, etc. I thought I read more this month--and I really did, but not in terms of "full books." I read a lot for a paper I wrote on Mercy Otis Warren and Susanna Rowson for this year's ALA in SF, and I read a lot for my dissertation, but I only finished a few books, it seems.

Je Suis L'Autre: Essays and Interrogations by Kristina Marie Darling
I was excited about this book because of the way it is marketed, as a sort of lyric-criticism. I liked some essays more than others, though I found some of the ways it described the works being commented on too vague, the sort of criticism that I fear slapping a broader hybrid label on texts might encourage. This being said, I find it difficult to read about a text I myself have never read but believe the right critic will make an essay compelli…

Books Read :: April 2018

Haven't done one of these in a while! But I managed to finish quite a few books in April. Here are some thoughts...

Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media by Marjorie Perloff
It took me a long time to read this book, but I was determined to get through the whole thing, since this is a subject I am interested in--and I'm especially interested in how it ages. What about the way we viewed media (TV, radio, advertising, the internet now, etc.) was true of the 1980s, 1990s, now, and how can we examine, if we can examine it at all, its affects on us or how we perceive it or how it was perceived and how can we look at the way poetry engages with language and the way media engages with language next to each other and why doing so is important--Perloff covers this for a time earlier than today.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
I even managed to fit a novel in during April! For funsies! What sort of graduate student am I... one who needed a true break over Spring Break …

2017 Movies: Call Me By Your Name and Get Out

Hello! It looks as though 93 (!!) people visited my post on Lady Bird and Downsizing, while a smaller amount visited the one about The Disaster Artist and I, Tonya, which is a shame since that one is the one I liked better of the two I wrote so far. Alas. These are super informal, though, so anyone reading them is slightly thrilling for me in away. Here's two more:

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (contains spoilers)
I knew little about this movie before watching it, except that a few people I know had seen it and enjoyed it, and that it made them cry, or that they had read or were reading the book it was based on. I knew it was about gay characters and set in the recent past. Ian Carlos Crawford pointed out to me prior to my seeing it that it's hard to imagine a happy ending when you have LGBT characters in an earlier time period. This adds a certain sort of tension to a film like this, which is otherwise understated in a beautiful way. Set in the Italian countryside, focused on a profes…

2017 Movies: The Disaster Artist and I, Tonya

I didn't initially pair these two together because they were both based on true stories, but now I'm glad I did. I guess a lot of movies these days that aren't documentaries are based on true stories--there's something interesting about that for me in terms of genre, but that's for another day.

THE DISASTER ARTIST
 James Franco--I have some qualms with him for various reasons, though I did read an interview in The Believer with him once that made me be like, "okay you're alright," but then that time he hosted the Oscars with Anne Hathaway was a disaster and I'm still mad about that? Anyway, Geoff and I watched an interview with him on Jimmy Fallon that made me want to see The Disaster Artist, despite having never seen The Room, the movie that made the main character of Franco's film, Tommy Wiseau, famous. You definitely don't have to have seen or be a fan of "the best worst movie ever made" to  enjoy this film. In a completely di…

2017 Movies: Lady Bird and Downsizing

I've been on a mission to watch as many movies that came out in 2017 as possible, and I decided earlier to create a series of blog posts within which I review two that I've seen. So far I have seen 7, so there will be some catching up. I'll be rating them using my own made up system of pluses, minuses, & other marks of punctuation, including but not limited to exclamation points, parentheses, exponents, & more.

LADY BIRD (contains spoilers)
There is little to dislike about this coming-of-age film set in the early 2000s in California. Lady Bird is well-written, well-acted, and features extremely sympathetic and at times relatable (esp. if you grew up during the birth of the internet and came of age during the heydays of AIM) characters, Lady Bird/Christine herself and her friend Julia being the two I rooted for the most. Lady Bird, however, despite her self-inflicted oddness and ownership of it at the Catholic High School she seemingly happily attends, does have som…

if i said "it's been so long" every time

every post would be titled that.

here is a poem that i've always loved from Denis Johnson, who's recently passed.

HEAT

Here in the electric dusk your naked lover
tips the glass high and the ice cubes fall against her teeth.
It’s beautiful Susan, her hair sticky with gin,
Our Lady of Wet Glass-Rings on the Album Cover,
streaming with hatred in the heat
as the record falls and the snake-band chords begin
to break like terrible news from the Rolling Stones,
and such a last light—full of spheres and zones.
August,
             you’re just an erotic hallucination,
just so much feverishly produced kazoo music,
are you serious?—this large oven impersonating night,
this exhaustion mutilated to resemble passion,
 the bogus moon of tenderness and magic
you hold out to each prisoner like a cup of light?