Clockwise, from top left: Soren Kierkegaard’s the Seducer’s Diary, John Updike’s The Women Who Got Away, Giacomo Casanova’s Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests and William Hazlitt’s On The Pleasure of Hating. I know I said earlier, self-embargo, dire economic straits, etc, but I bought these over three weeks ago at Fishpond, whose website I am not even going to cue here because their shipping policy is so flagrantly dilatory that the thought of them somehow getting custom because of me is galling. I was excited at the idea of an Australian online book retailer with postage deals and a large inventory, but if your idea of ’24-hour shipping’ equates to a reality of ’10-day shipping’ then I am not really going to chalk much up to your ‘win’ column. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. To be fair, only one of the books I bought was valid for 24-hour shipping, but that’s a 1000% failure, i.e. a pretty epic fail.
The books look sleek and friendly though, and I’m quite excited to get into fellow misanthrope Hazlitt’s ranting. (‘Excited’ meaning that some time in the next two months, I might turn the first page.)
Just in case you thought this blog was only about showing off how many pieces of paper you can buy by simply transferring bits of data on the internet, here’s some correspondence between Rick Moody (whose short story collection is languishing on my ‘currently reading’ list to the right, not because of any flaws in the book, but because a restacking exercise banished it to the bottom of a very tall and precarious pile of books) and his friend Michael Snediker about the new Antony and the Johnsons album, The Crying Light (which, incidentally, I am very surprised to love). The correspondence is meandering, and we stop at Derrida, Artaud, Deleuze and Sontag along the way. I didn’t (want to) read it all, but it’s certainly thoughtful at times. Definitely disagree about Joanna Newsom’s Ys album, which for me is a triumphant example of emotion being exhibited at its prismatic best by difficult, technical, impressionistic music. Also, incandescent lyrics. But that’s just me.