Every first Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m., the Fireside Room at the Sorrento Hotel goes quiet and fills with people—crazy-haired, soft-spoken, inscrutable, dorky, NPRish, punk, white, black. The reading public. It fills right away, all these people who don’t know each other, and they sit very closely, sometimes three strangers to a couch. By 7:00 p.m., you can’t get a seat.
The party spills into the foyer—there’s a table for chess or whatever near the elevator, and two people sitting there, staring into books. A reporter for the Shoreline Community College newspaper showed up the last time to ask about the event, but it’s not much of an event: Nothing happens. No one ever addresses the room. No one reads anything at you through a microphone. You just sit and read and get waited on, and leave whenever you feel like it. And Manhattans are on special.
“dfw: I don’t think irony’s meant to synergize with anything as heartfelt as sadness. I think the main function of contemporary irony is to protect the speaker from being interpreted as naive or sentimental.”
Not only is the article good and the full transcript better, but there’s a link to 30 DFW essays and stories. Great stuff.
I will now liveblog the television program Girls
I approve this casting.
"I submit that the real reason we criticized and disliked Lynch’s Laura’s muddy bothness is that it required of us an empathetic confrontation with the exact same muddy bothness in ourselves and our intimates that makes the real world of moral selves so tense and uncomfortable, a bothness we go to the movies to get a couple hours’ fucking relief from."
—David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again
Mr. Wallace’s collection of fragmented set pieces owes a lot to Wittgenstein’s theory of language games - at least as Gramma demonstrates it. ”Which part of the broom was more elemental … the bristles or the handle?” she asks her grandson. When he answers the bristles, she yells, ”Aha, that’s because you want to sweep with the broom… . If what we wanted a broom for was to break windows, then the handle was clearly the fundamental essence of the broom, and she illustrated with the kitchen window.”
Finished Broom and wow. Loved it.