Tag Archives: reviews

You Lost Me There

26th October 2010

Mr. Baldwin is in San Francisco doing a reading tonight at the Ferry Building (6 p.m.). I hear his approximation of a Maine accent is without parallel.

The best parts of You Lost Me There:

“I tried playing housewife for a year to an empty house.”

“Russell squeezed my arm and gave me a light hug. While he strode toward the airport, compact and hustling, his suit bag like a shadow on his back, I thought, I don’t care if I ever see him again.”

“Sara always said it was a hindrance of mine, that I expected people to tell me what they needed.”

“After the coffee he was still focused on how she liked it, how she took it, he put it, going into details to show off his good fortune for discovering a woman who didn’t mind facing away from him during sex.”

“She longed for honor. For Eagle Scouts.”

“I won’t have a normal relationship. That’s not who I am.”
“Of course not.”
“I won’t be dragged down to what other people do.”

“You’ll have worked tremendously hard to build your life after a certain fashion, and then suddenly, one morning, you want something different. You want anything but what you have, you want it new, and you want it just right then. It’s terrifying, the desire’s so powerful, you’re just sick with it.”

The Moronic Inferno

15th February 2010

I’ve read a lot of Martin Amis. I find his fiction off putting, but I keep reading because his work makes me want to take another pass at everything I write. The Moronic Inferno is a collection of his non-fiction essays, which I recommend. These are the parts I wanted to remember:

“Terrible things happen all the time. This is the terrible thing.”

“What’s the difference between $75 million and $150 million? Hardly any difference, surely, in our terms. But in the life of pure money $75 million and $150 million are chalk and cheese. What’s the difference? The difference is $75 million.”

of Truman Capote:
“‘The name’s Tony, isn’t it?’ he croaked.
‘No. Martin,’ I said, trying to make Martin sound quite like Tony.”

“From the point of view of ostentation — well, the house had a monogrammed marble driveway, and went on from there.”

“Miss Didion’s style relishes emphasis, repetition, re-emphasis. Her style likes looking at the same things from different angles. Her style likes starting and ending successive sentences with identical phrases.”

“Hef took the stage. For a man who never goes out, who rises at mid-afternoon, who wanders his draped mansion in slippers and robe (whose lifestyle, on paper, resembles nothing so much as a study in terminal depression)< Hef looks good -- surprisingly, even scandalously so." "Many times in Bellow's novels, we are reminding that 'being human' isn't the automatic condition of every human being." Vocabulary

amour propre
Respect for oneself; self-esteem.

beau monde
the world of fashion and society

squib
a short and witty or sarcastic saying or writing.

obsequy
a funeral rite or ceremony

traduce
to speak maliciously and falsely of; slander; defame:

blancmange
a sweet pudding prepared with almond milk and gelatin and flavored with rum or kirsch.

etiolate
to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light: to etiolate celery.

quango
a semi-public advisory and administrative body supported by the government and having most of its members appointed by the government.

imposture
the action or practice of imposing fraudulently upon others.

voluptuary
a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit and enjoyment of luxury and sensual pleasure.

argot
a specialized idiomatic vocabulary peculiar to a particular class or group of people, esp. that of an underworld group, devised for private communication and identification: a Restoration play rich in thieves’ argot.

Troilism (sometimes spelled triolism)
refers to the erotic interest in watching one’s romantic partner engage in sexual behavior with a third party, sometimes while hidden

bumf
Printed matter, such as pamphlets, forms, or memorandums, especially of an official nature and deemed of little interest or importance.