(via beaarthurmountainspizza)These are a few of my favorite things.
“So like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, “What about the strain on our resources?” Well it’s like when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. ‘cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin’. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.”
She has the idea that there are a lot of things she has been waiting for weeks to do and now she will do them with the bright quickness of montage, like the middle section of a movie.
—Zadie Smith, NW
"This isn’t to say that straight white men never speak up for our interests. But there is a level of comfort in knowing that the person speaking has lived your experience. And shared experience is also a galvanizing force. By the time Davis had stopped talking, hours later, this week was no…
I locked eyes with her once. I was on my way out of the Urban Outfitters on 14th and 6th, after one of those futile shopping trips that drive you nuts precisely because you can feel your payday riches burning a hole in your wallet, itching to be free.
We crossed paths. I stared. She stared. I opened my mouth. I closed my mouth. She smiled and said, “Hi.” I smiled back meekly, a weird croak bubbling passed my lips. Then I left.
So, yeah. Nice work, D.
I’ve reread On Beauty six times in the last six years. Because her voice is amazing. Because I’m always expecting to figure out exactly what it is about the book that makes me so gleeful. Because reading OB always ends with me carrying it around for a week after I’ve finished, waiting to corner friends long enough to force it on them.
Because of gems like these:
"In fact, when she was not in company it didn’t seem to her that she had a face at all…And yet in college, she was famed for being opinionated, a ‘personality’ — the truth was she didn’t take these public passions home, or even out of the room, in any serious way. She didn’t feel that she had any real opinions, or at least not in the way other people seemed to have them. Once the class was finished she saw at once how she might have argued the thing just as viciously and successfully the other way round; defended Flaubert over Foucault; rescued Austen from insult instead of Adorno. Was anyone ever genuinely attached to anything? She had no idea. It was either only Zora who experienced this odd impersonality or it was everybody, and they were all play-acting as she was.”
"People talk about the happy quiet that can exist between two lovers, but this too was great; sitting between his sister and brother, saying nothing, eating. Before the world existed, before it was populated, and before there were wars and jobs and colleges and movies and clothes and opinions and foreign travel — before all of these things there had only been one person, Zora, and only one place: a tent in the living room made from chairs and bed-sheets. After a few years, Levi arrived; space was made for him; it was as if he had always been. Look at them both now, Jerome found himself in their finger joints and neat conch ears, in their long legs and wild curls. He heard himself in their partial lisps caused by puffy tongues vibrating against slightly noticeable buckteeth. He did not consider if or how or why he loved them. They were just love: they were the first evidence he ever had of love, and they would be the last confirmation of love when everything else fell away."
“‘Right, I look fine. Except I don’t,’ said Zora, tugging sadly at her man’s nightshirt. This was why Kiki had dreaded having girls: she knew she wouldn’t be able to protect them from self-disgust. To that end she had tried banning television in the early years, and never had a lipstick or a woman’s magazine crossed the threshold of the Belsey home to Kiki’s knowledge, but these and other precautionary measures had made no difference. It was in the air, or so it seemed to Kiki, this hatred of women and their bodies — it seeped in with every draught in the house; people brought it home on their shoes, they breathed it in off their newspapers. The was no way to control it.”
I would go on, but it’s after 9 a.m., and food.
Actually, what I want is to sample the goddamn dip without being hit on.
- Me: Can I try the jalapeno hummus?
- Guy working at the farmer's market: A pretty girl like you can have anything she wants.
- Me: [silent eyeroll] [mouth full of hummus]
- Guy: I'm off work at 7:30.
- Me: So you're saying I have to make a decision about this hummus at some point in the next hour?
And to the extent that I am still a quasi-nationalist, this is the portion of the tradition that I cling strongest to: There’s nothing “white” about reading Rousseau or Tocqueville or visiting Paris. This isn’t getting above your raising. It’s burning down the Big House, the caveat being that you can bring some of this back and flip it to relate to the nature of your people. And you always can. Because your people are human.
Because your people are human. Full stop.
When Dostoevsky met Dickens in 1862 — a meeting that is hard to imagine — Dickens explained that there were two people inside him, ‘one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite.’ […] Out of these two people he constructed his universe of characters, good and evil. Dostoevsky’s comment is laconic and ambiguous. ‘Only two people?’ he asked.
On a fury scale from 1-10, I’d give the bizarre literary media conversation this week about the optimal number of children to writing success ratio for women writers a 25. WTF? Do you even hear yourselves, people starting these conversations? Do you? No one ever worries about male writers and…