Saturday, October 1, 2011

midnight reading

Being a not much sleeping type, and never ever through the night, I have a choice: a pill, providing five hours, but I don't want to spend the rest of my life hooked on having to have something (ok coffee is different) or getting up to read. Younger, I used to write much of the middle of my books like this, because no one could disturb me, even when the children were small.
So last night I read two of Lydia Davis's stories (having purchased her Collected Stories from St. Marks bookstore, as we are all trying to keep it afloat), one called "Glenn Gould" -- about the narrator watching the same tv program as he did, the Mary Tyler Moore show (I will read ANYTHING about Glenn Gould), and the other, the super-extraordinary "Marie Curie So Honorable Woman." Curie's story is all by itself remarkable, and in the equally remarkable play The Blue Flower, now playing in Manhattan again, there she is.
I loved every minute of reading, it is all figure and doesn't need a ground: "But she has known the privilege of privileges: coherence." Ah, that must really be a privilege, one absent from my slate, which already feels so privileged to me.
Why this figure/ground thing? Because we saw the De Kooning show at MOMA yesterday, and my favorites were the black enamel works, in which, indeed, figure and ground are interchangeable, as the super-intelligent wall texts said.
And you wonder how the figure/ground texture plays out in a life, usually. Yours and mine. 

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