Once again, blog-lust is stronger than mere hunger, and as 2 p.m. approaches I am procrastinating my walk down the road for lunch. After solid work on my upcoming review for Rain Taxi on Edward Said’s Humanism and Democratic Criticism, I dialed up the internet and began tinkering with these Chronicles, adding three links to other blogs, trying unsuccessfully to make “the chronicles” appear capitalized, and failing to understand how to delete the redundant comment I left, posing as Maria, Darlene’s sister Deb’s roommate. So I’ve run out of time to post anything about Blink, which I was disappointed with by the time I finished it last night at midnight, or Said, or to say much about the excellent review of Dale Peck’s creepy Hatchet Jobs that I came across in The Guardian’s outstanding book review section.
I happened on a profile of Edward Said in the print edition of The Guardian in Oxford, England, last fall, and immediately afterward found myself standing next to a copy of his new posthumous book in Blackwells. Sensing synchronicity, I bought the book, and thus began a long and happy immersion in Said’s writing and my upcoming review of Humanism and… , which I have now read nearly three times. Shortly after my introduction to Said, back in Cannes, I read a sweet homage to Said on the front page of Le Monde . It was a French translation of a piece by Said’s friend Daniel Barenboim, which I just found at Guardian Unlimited in the original English.
Returning to the Peck review, I am glad to see that it answers the question of why my friend Sven Birkerts found himself in Peck’s gun sights. To wit:
First, though, there’s a score to settle with Sven Birkerts, a fellow critic who dared grumble that Peck’s reviews “subtly degrade the profession”. Peck responds with a 36-page extravaganza of scorn, of which the following is only one of several climaxes: “Or, to put it another way (ready Sven? I’ve been saving this one up…), with friends like this, literature needs an enema. Ooh, that was probably a bit much, huh?”
And so, still forgetting hunger, I taste the addiction that is blogging, how one thought leads to another, and how with a few clicks of the Vaio’s pointer and Blogger.com’ s tools, I can reference the original text of what I was thinking about, and then the thing that reminds me of, and then…. STOP!
(But I didn’t stop. I made the mistake of reading over the draft, changing it, playing with it some more, diddling with the links. At 2:04 Deb arrives with Maria’s little dog, Mia, to lure me back to reality and food. “Wait, I can take your picture and put it in the blog,” I say, then realize that will take another hour to pull off. “I’ll be right there,” I say. “Just let me finish this off…”)