Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back to Reality

Whoa, remember that whole post I made a week ago about what I was going to bring with me on my vacation to read? Well PSYCH, I didn't read ANY of those! I read the Lorrie Moore a little, I tried to read the Bechdel but I completely underestimated its density; it's not the easy read I expected a graphic novel to be. It's by no means bad, just contains a lot of information and a lot of congruent time lines; it's something I am going to have to read as if it were a novel, not something I can sample here and there every once in a while. What turned out to be the winning horse re: things to read on vacation was "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison.

I've read this novel before, but it was in high school, and, as with many novels I was assigned to read, I was so distracted by the bubbling primordial ooze of my own angst and ennui that I found it difficult to focus on things that weren't directly about me, such as this novel. As you all know, I also take issue with being told what to read. Fellow book maven and all-round Gal Friday Natasha and I have a rule; if some form of media surfaces three times or more, seemingly randomly, in our day to day escapades, it bears further investigation. That was how I stumbled across Joan Didion's "Blue Nights", because the book just kept catching my eye, or being mentioned in articles, or by friends, etcetera, that I eventually was forced to read it.

The same thing happened with "Song of Solomon", and so I was compelled to reread it. Morrison's prose is so indescribably wonderful to me, it's straightforward and poetic at the same time. Her subtle use of magical realism is interesting, almost nonexistant, but every once in a while she will inject a passage with unexpected interference from a natural and mystical world. Plants with explode with growth suddenly, ghosts will appear as naturally as if they were expected. This turned out to be a perfect summer novel, and, to that end, my idea of a perfect "beach read". "Song of Solomon" has everything you would want out of some forgettable trade paperback you'd find abandoned in a summer home: scandal, family drama, murder attempts, sex, magic, a little perversion. Yet, unlike a flimsy dime store narrative, "Song of Solomon" has actual girth to its plot and characters, and leaves a lasting impression.

So I'm happy with how that turned out. Other updates include: turns out I do like lobster salad, I've just never had it made properly before, apparently, my sister got accepted to UMASS Amherst (YAY EMMA)and, possibly most importantly, I am taking my drivers test on monday in Watertown at 11 am. Wimps get off the road! But besides that, until we meet again, Brookline, I remain, as ever, your humble servant. Keep me in your prayers on Monday. I'm gonna bring it so hard there's gonna be an obvious surplus. Of  "it". That's right. Boom. 

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