tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
It took me about six weeks, but I finally finished reading Samuel Delany's recent novel _Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders_. Maybe I just have a kink for long books -- it's 804 pages and, like _Infinite Jest_ (which is even longer), I suspect it's going to be one of those books that keeps being important to me for a really long time. (The third one like that is _A Suitable Boy_ by Vikram Seth, though it hasn't stayed with me quite the same way _Infinite Jest_ has; I've also only read it once.)

In lieu of more thoughts, some quotations from it:

"'There ain't no normal," Shit said. 'That's what he always told me.' With his scruffy beard, Shit pointed his chin toward Dynamite. 'There's just comfortable and uncomfortable. And I like to be comfortable with pretty much everything.'" (p. 305)

"'Well--' Eric looked back up and put his hand on Shit's warm shoulder--'state supported marriage comes with a whole lot of assumptions about how it's gonna be, a history of who has to obey who, when you're justified in callin' it quits, all sorts of things like that. Now, you could agree with each other to change some of those things or do 'em differently, but for thousands and thousands of years gay men and women didn't have even that--except for a few Christian monasteries here and there, where the monks were allowed to marry each other. But nobody likes to think about those. For us, decidin' to be with someone else wasn't a matter of acceptin' a ready-made set of assumptions. You had to work 'em all out from the bottom up, every time--whether you was gonna be monogamous or open; and if you was gonna be open, how you was gonna do it so that it didn't bother the other person and even helped the relationship along. Workin' all that stuff out for yourselves was half the reason you went into a relationship with somebody else. We had some friends once--back when we lived in the Dump--that was faithful for ten months out the year, but for two months they'd go on vacation and do all their tom-cattin' around.' He realized he was making that up, but hell, it was plausible. 'Then they'd be faithful again. But that's how they liked to do it. Then there were guys like us that just had to make real sure that the other person was feelin' good about things, when they did it and knew they were number one and didn't mind. See, that's what people who get married don't have. Or don't have in the same way." (p. 785-786)

"'Bein' a pervert was the only was I ever learned anything worth knowin'.'" (p. 792)

There's also this epigraph, which, if I ever wrote papers anymore, I would try to include in a paper about GC:

"Except there's garbage, which is part of what we're trying to include in our work and our thought, which is to say, we are attentive still to what remains, what gets tossed away and off. We want to include the trash in many ways, thinking of this refuse according to all sorts of disposal systems." -- Avital Ronell
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
"If it weren't for the unconventionality of my desires, my mind might never have been forced to reckon with my body."

Just finished reading Alison Bechdel's new (okay, not all that new, but I'm behind the times) graphic memoir _Are You My Mother?_. DTWOF was, of course, awesome; I enjoyed _Fun Home_; but this one is her best work, IMO. I hope she writes many more books that are as personal and insightful.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
ETA: All books have been taken and/or distributed to an appropriate bookatorium. Thanks for playing!

If you have not checked out my free books posts:

http://tim.dreamwidth.org/1771247.html

http://tim.dreamwidth.org/1771692.html

http://tim.dreamwidth.org/1771814.html

I'm giving everything that hasn't been requested away (or selling it...) tomorrow.

If you already asked for some books, I've set them aside, but if you haven't already, you should either send me your address if you're not local, or tell me when you want to hang out if you *are* local. I have nothing to do this weekend except pack! Also, am in the East Bay and San Francisco tomorrow. (If you're local and want me to mail them, I will, but after grumbling about not getting to see you.)

I've got one more free CD post coming -- watch this space!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
See part 1 for instructions, and part 2. All are paperback unless otherwise noted. This is the last and final part!

Comics and misc:

Envelope of random indie comics -- about 14 of them. Surprise grab bag! Tak eone, take all.
Original Plumbing (issues 2 and 3)
Here Comes Snoopy (Charles M. Schulz)
Queen of the Black Black (comics) (Megan Kelso) [I just read this and it was really good. Not keeping it, though.)
DVD: Jesus is Magic
Get Fuzzy: Groovitude (Darby Conley) [Recycle]
Ronald Reagan in Movie America (Jules Feiffer)
Pinhead's Progress (Bill Griffith) [Recycle]
King Pin (Bill Griffith) [Recycle]
Read more... )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I'm moving yet again, and am trying to cull my book collection. The following are free to any local people (Bay Area, probably even So. Cal since I'll be there soonish). I'm willing to ship paperbacks (P) for free to non-local people within North America. I'm more reluctant to ship hardcovers (H) but maybe we can make a deal. Feel free to link to this post; offer is open to people who don't know me!

I expect I'll end up donating all or most of these locally, of course, but I figured I'd offer in case a friend happens to have a burning desire for one of these. (This post is also to track what books I'm giving away so I can remember them later if needed.) Also, I reserve the right to sell anything that turns out to be worth any money, instead.

For the curious, I bolded books I've already read (and, obviously, didn't want to read again). Crossed-out ones are claimed.

ETA: There's more! Part 2

Books! )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Someone who previously checked out the PSU library copy of _Krik, Krak_ (by Edwidge Danticat) had such trenchant insights about the text that they felt compelled to share them with all future readers of said copy, by marking up the book in pen. For example:
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I promised a write-up of the Ursula Le Guin/Margaret Killjoy reading I went to at Powell's tonight. Someone official-looking was videotaping, but I don't know whether the video will be online anywhere.

The reading was to promote the anthology _Mythmakers and Lawbreakers_, a collection of interviews with anarchist writers that Killjoy edited. The book includes an interview by Le Guin, and it was pretty clear that the event was about the anthology and Le Guin was there to lend a "name" to it. But that was okay. She started by apologizing for not being able to sign books afterward, because "when you and your husband get to be over 80, some things are more difficult." She read brief passages from _The Dispossessed_ and _Always Coming Home_; both in her reading and in her responses to the questions lately, she was very assured and very not about drawing attention to herself. I liked an aside she made while reading from _The Dispossessed_, which was something along the lines of, "The character, Chevek, is a scientist, but I'm really also talking about artists here and about anyone else who has a job to do and knows it's their job."

After that, Killjoy talked about the anthology and gave "an anarchist PowerPoint presentation" -- which meant a flip-chart with magic marker cartoon drawings -- about anarchist writers in history. Then they did a joint Q&A session.

Like any overtly anarchist event (especially in, well, Portland), the crowd was mostly early-20-something white people with dreadlocks and hoodies, and the questions reflected that. Lots of people asking earnest philosophical questions rather than, yanno, anything in detail about either of the authors' *writing*. Oh, well. Le Guin answered most of those questions either briefly and amusedly (for example, the subject line of this post, which was an answer to the question "what do you think is the difference between libertarianism and anarchism?), or by deferring to Killjoy (who tried to address the questions with as much earnestness as with they were asked). In general everything she said was very economical and no longer than it needed to be. It's enviable.

So yeah, I wish there had been a more satisfying discussion (and there was an unfortunate moment when Le Guin tried to make a pro-copyright-law pitch in a crowd of anarchists), but I was glad to get to hear Le Guin read while I still had the chance. By which I mean while I still live in Portland, of course.

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Tim Chevalier

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