Yes, Another Collection of Links

I’m just not feeling incredibly interesting today, I guess.

1. The Carolina Chocolate Drops. I am completely stoked about their new album, which comes out next week. That link is a great article into the history of playing the bones.

2. I was sure this was a joke, then I wasn’t sure, then I was sure again. There are some problematic moments, and y’all know my feelings about “He’s just secretly gay!!!!” but as far as the incredibly problematic, “he’s secretly gay!” genre goes, this must be the best of it. I laughed so hard at the 26% of straight guys are named Doug statistic.

3. A good article on the future of the book. Note the mention of Franzen’s belly-aching.

4. Because, holy shit, Jonathan Franzen, professional belly-acher and weird-shit-sayer-abouter-of-David-Foster-Wallace-in-a-way-that-makes-us-all-wonder-about-his-inappropriate-feelings-for-Wallace’s-widow is belly-aching and saying weird shit about Edith Wharton. Luckily, Meg Foster wrote a great guest-post over at The Rejectionist about it, which you can read instead of reading Franzen’s original crap.

5. My cousin A.’s friend Mira has grown up to be an amazing writer. It’s weird that people you remember being the little friends of your little cousin grow up and become immensely talented writers, but there you go! It does happen. It’s as if time moves forward. Anyway, Mira wrote this great thing you can read at The Rumpus about being on vacation with the guy you married after dating for three months because you found out you were pregnant only to lose the baby but you still stayed married, to this guy who’s… you know… the guy you dated for three months.

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9 thoughts on “Yes, Another Collection of Links

  1. Re: Point #5. SO yes, SO weird. Because, and this is the full and honest truth, Jonathan Safran Foer is the little brother of my brother’s childhood best friend. Hand to God. (That friend is Franklin Foer, who is currently editor-at-large for The New Republic. I still remember them as Frankie and Johnny.)

  2. I keep looking at her webpage, and I can definitely see the middle-schooler who used to wave and say “hi” before ducking into A.’s room or out to something, but I still can’t make my brain connect that with it truly being her.

    But your predicament is even worse! How do you reconcile a respected writer with the guy you know must have had farting contests in your back yard (because all boys apparently are contractually required to have farting contests)?!

  3. Wow. I just read that essay. She’s amazing.

    And eh, the Foer boys were never really farting contest kinds of kid. Or if they were I never saw it. Looking back, it’s not that surprising they became who they did. But there’s a difference between knowing somebody is going to be serious and smart and having them turn out to be international media superstars.

  4. Wow, she *is* amazing. But as great as she is about expressing herself, I couldn’t concentrate on that. Couldn’t help but feel absolutely awful for her. That’ll stick with me for a while.

  5. Yeah, the loss of her baby just about chokes you. But according to her website, she’s still married, so I think they’ve found a way past that tragedy.

  6. That’s only part of why I feel awful for her. The way she described his actions and her own internal dialogue really made me sad. On the scale of undesirability, I think “unhappily married” is worse than “unwed mother.”

    Part of that is because my dad officiated so many of these sorts of weddings. Part of it is because–possibly in response to that–my mother always used to say that a baby was the second-worst reason to get married.

  7. Yes, but the thing I think he doesn’t get is that, say what you want about Wallace, he had a deep compassion for people and the ability to see his own follies and that’s why people loved him.

    Franzen has hitched his cart to the wrong one of Wallace’s horses.

  8. Exactly. I think a lot of what killed DFW was the burden of his compassion (that sounds treacly, but YKWIM).

    If there is one thing Franzen isn’t, that one thing is “compassionate”. In fact I think much of their friendship was that DFW needed Franzen’s inherent misanthropy to key down.

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