Who’s Sorry Now

Of all the scenes in the book, the one most resembling the later life of the Tolstoys is not a Levin-Kitty scene, but the final row between Vronsky and Anna just before she goes out to throw herself under a train. Tolstoy’s mastery of the feat of simultaneously putting the reader inside the heads of both characters as well as his own, as if the ball is being tossed from Anna to Vronsky to the narrator at high speed without ever being dropped, is one of the supreme moments of craft in all fiction … James Meek, LRB

A statement so disarming, I had to go find it.

In rereading even this small part of the novel, I was struck that Tolstoy turned Anna into someone who had to destroy. Was this supposed to be her guilt, then? Her self-punishment? The nagging, clinging woman she seemed to will herself to become was nothing like the Anna we first met. I suppose we all do this. Historically. Take great leaps of faith and then, as day follows night, render upon ourselves in spades precisely what society thinks of us, the society whose norms we have so dashingly ignored. The moral? Well, for one thing — when it pays off — this is probably how women have always gotten ahead, gotten a leg up in a world made by men. You have to defy.

The second part, the tearing it all down—perhaps it comes of not really knowing what love is. What it’s for. Romantic love is simply not transformative. Did Anna think so? I expect she simply struggled with and failed, as we so often do, at the more difficult task of finding meaning for herself. And it drove her mad.

What I found was a perfect bit of modernity …

“Oh, by the way,” he said at the very moment she was in the doorway, “we’re going tomorrow for certain, aren’t we?”
“You, but not I,” she said, turning round to him.
“Anna, we can’t go on like this…”
“You, but not I,” she repeated.
“This is getting unbearable!”
“You … you will be sorry for this,” she said, and went out.

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The Silence of the iPad


It is also dead quiet—no fan, no humming, nada. This is the future of computing. Daring Fireball.

I don’t doubt it. Did I mention? I bought an iPad? Did you imagine I would not?

Like so much of the future, the iPad tiptoes in on little cats’ feet. I wasn’t knocked out by Steve’s unveiling, I don’t think anyone was. Nothing like the time the big screen zeroed in on his right front pocket and he withdrew, not from the pocket of his jeans, but from the watch pocket, that itty-bitty Shuffle. Now that was a wow moment.
Continue reading “The Silence of the iPad”

The Wind-Up Bird

windup bird chronicle… although I have not heard him (and doubt I ever shall) the wind-up bird has rather gripped my thoughts—in a way, even my consciousness, and to the extent that I’m just going to have the let the damn thing drip away. Recede from the thoughts, I do hope, because everything I write is presently sounding a whole lot like Murakami. And I don’t need to tell you, that ain’t good.

What a book. Aren’t I supposed to have some little Now Reading widget? Crap, this novel wouldn’t fit in any widget, and the last thing I want to become is an Amazon Anything. Nope, this blog is remaining commercial-free to the end of time or I can’t type anymore, whichever comes first. Last man (woman) standing.

But here. A few bits of this wretchedly good, haunting stuff.

“A person’s destiny is something you look back at after it’s past, not something you see in advance.”

Continue reading “The Wind-Up Bird”

Sense and My Sensibility

Baldur Bjarnason: Ebooks and the Senses. I think that ebooks will take over the publishing industry due to their economic benefits. That said, there will be demand for certain books in print format because the benefits to the reading experience are unmatched. The book’s value as a memento comes at a distant, but still important, second place.

Doesn’t anybody love the feel of a book anymore? Continue reading “Sense and My Sensibility”

The Kindle Fizzles Out

booksI was sorry to see this on Burningbird’s RealTech the other morning, but not surprised. I’ve been following Shelley’s love affair with the Kindle like the cautious girl who, herself, waits to see if the relationship ends in disappointment. Hoping, for your friend’s s sake, it won’t—but knowing also, if it does … she is made of tougher stuff.

There’s only so many break-ups a person can take. Like men, only so many technologies with which I’ll fall in love. If that seems cold, talk to me again in a few years. It doesn’t mean there weren’t memorable passions, just, I suppose, that passion begins to take a back seat to … does it really work? People and iPods that are capable of  returning your investment. We speak of trust.

Today, Shelley says she’s back to library books. Hey Bezos! Amazon! WTF are you? There’s a whole story unfolding here … and companies are so damn stupid about where to look, watching the wrong ground. You already know I’m going to say Apple is a tad less stupid, but you also know Apple corrects itself, because, as is clear—despite their great show of not listening—Apple is scrutinizing the feedback of people like Shelley.

Not me, of course. Else there would be an adorable new Newton out. Do it already, Steve, how long am I gonna have to predict this thing?

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