A Modest Insight

naked_lunch.olympia.wrapperI was a literature major at university and graduate school. My focus of interest was two-fold: Medieval English Literature and English Restoration Drama. Of course the more restrictive education policies of the 1960s focused my studies on time-honored literature and literary theory but I embraced many misdirections and biases in my reading: a poor regard for American literature, a violent disdain for best-sellers, a preference for poetry over prose, an almost complete avoidance of anything considered “Victorian.”

That I didn’t decline into a career of tedious lecturing and tweed hunting jackets I owe to, in two words: Grove Press.

Now, fifty years later, I have been somewhat successful in overcoming these early biases. I have read Dickens and even Gissing; I am openly intrigued by postmodernism as well as Bizarro Fiction; I read mostly novels although my academic preferences continue to be for poetry and drama; I try to include a couple of contemporary writings every month and am often pleasantly surprised; but I still find Henry James unfathomably tedious.

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download.jpgPoking around the internet after watching a rousing Glenn Ford western movie on Criterion, I noticed a plea from a father for advice on a good gaming system to play with his eleven year old son. Gaming system? Does that suggest that some digitally produced artificial world of challenges and decorative gore is preferable to those modes of entertainment that do not need to be plugged in?

What happened to playing cards? Are they only to be used for Texas Hold’em nowadays? Even Solitaire is played on the computer screen making, I suspect, card shuffling a lost art. When I was quite young my grandfather taught me how to play Spades and Casino and we would play in the evening while he waited for the wrestling to start on KTLA. My Aunt kept several dice in a small drawer ready for a quick game of Bunko and my Father drew pips on two sugar cubes so we could play Cootie on the back of an envelope with an old stump of a pencil. Not to mention Tiddlywinks, Parcheesi, and Uncle Wiggley.

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Reading From the Bunker

James-JoyceMy apologies to Jody Hamilton (who graces her bunker much better than I do mine).

Another month of lock-down; another month of frozen dinners; another month of deep stupidity coming from Washington D. C.; another month of mendacious moronity from the White House; another month of reading; and another month of reading suggestions.

Actually, my reading seems to be going up like Covid-19 cases in Texas but I’m not sure it is following my own suggestions. Take this last month: I read well over twenty books but only two titles are on the suggested list. But then, the reading does not track closely with the suggestions so the evidence may be unreliable.

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Then Came Bronson

download.jpgApple has announced major changes in their various platforms’ operating systems. Unfortunately, unlike my iPhone and iPad, my desktop unit is not being supported. Hey, the old computer is in great shape, powerful, and hardly exercised by the uses I put it to, but I’ve experienced the mess of trying to coordinate different levels of software across devices and it’s not pretty. Last time this happened I eventually went out and bought a new laptop to eliminate the disparity.

So I ordered a new desktop. Basically the same as the old one only seven years newer and much faster.

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