Monday, December 19, 2005

dec 19 issue: but i'm pleasantly surprised by Kunkel

I started reading this review of a new DH Lawrence biography because, well, a hedonist like me loves DH Lawrence. And no, not only am I not a man, I never posed nude for Lucien Freud. Mores the pity. That blogger image was non-representational.

Anyway, I'm reading the review and I get to the part about "pleasure taken in viturperation" (90) and I perk up. I like that. And then I read further and I'm fairly swooning . . .

Who is this Kunkel? Well, duh, he's some young hot writer who wrote a book about,

"Dwight B. Wilmerding is only twenty-eight, but he’s having a midlife crisis. He lives a dissolute existence in a tiny apartment with three (sometimes four) slacker roommates, holds a mind-numbing job at the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and has a chronic inability to make up his mind. Encouraged by one of his roommates to try an experimental drug meant to banish indecision, Dwight jumps at the chance (not without some vacillation about the hazards of jumping) and swallows the first fateful pill. And when all at once he is “pfired” by Pfizer and invited to a rendezvous in exotic Ecuador with the girl of his long-ago prep-school dreams, he finds himself on the brink of a new life. The trouble–well, one of the troubles–is that Dwight can’t decide if the pills are working. Deep in the jungles of the Amazon, in the foreign country of a changed outlook, his would-be romantic escape becomes a hilarious journey into unbidden responsibility and unwelcome knowledge–and an unexpected raison d’être."

Indecision - I heard about this when it came out and I frankly thought it sounded GOD AWFUL. And I heard some parts of the text read aloud, and I thought they were awful too.

But I don't love contemporary fiction. Written by boys.

In the Raleigh Durham airport in North Carolina, there is a used bookstore. Which is cool. And they give you a bookmark when you buy a book and although I have bought many many books there, I have lost all the bookmarks they ever gave me. But they have a quote from someone - maybe Edmund Wilson (unless its Winston Churchill) that says something like, "Whenever a new book comes out, I take the opportunity to read an old one." Me too. And the same goes for movies. So I'll go back to my DH Lawrence now, thank you very much.

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