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Thursday, July 22, 2021

I Just Learned I Only Have Months To Live. This Is What I Want To Say, by Jack Thomas, Boston Globe

The final months would be a lot easier if I could be assured that, after death, we’d get a chance to see people who have died already. I’d like to shake hands with my best friend, my father, who died in 1972 and whom I’ve missed every day since. I owe him an apology. When I was 12, I stole 50 cents from his trousers, two quarters. The guilt was suffocating, though, and 10 days later I replaced his 50 cents, and I added an extra 25 for interest and atonement.

The only thing we argued about was politics. He was an ardent Republican. I am a boring liberal. When my son was born in 1994, the doctor held him by his ankles, upside down, as they do in movies, and announced that it was a boy. “I know that,” I said, nervously. “Is he a Democrat?”

The Strange Joy Of Watching The Police Drop A Picasso, by Sophie Haigney, New York Times

It was only after watching this video repeatedly that it occurred to me: What I was tired of was not art but the predictability of how we encounter it. It is always at a distance, frequently behind glass, often in sterile galleries that resemble airports. Much of the world’s art is not encountered at all; the financial value of artworks has led more and more collectors to purchase them as investments and store them, unseen, in climate-controlled vaults.

Book Review: Blue Postcards, By Douglas Bruton, by Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

There are some novels that are more like conceptual art works than standard narratives. This is no bad thing, and I would certainly not want us to be stuck with three-volume Victorian works, much though I love three-volume Victorian works. The clue’s in the name: the novel ought to be novel. If it doesn’t stretch what being a novel means, then it is merely a form of unknowing plagiarism. So it was rather a delight to read Blue Postcards. It is an ingenious book, and I think it will linger with me for quite some time.

The Woman You Love Cuts Apples For You, by Patrick Rosal, New York Times

and stirs them in sea salt and vinegar
She takes a drag from her Silk Cut