Wednesday, April 23, 2003

I’ve been in a bit of a spell all day, buried in The Same Embrace. I was listening to Grace Jones earlier, some pop music, but it just didn’t fit, so I slapped on some headphones and listened to the local classical station. Work’s only gotten done in fits and spurts; I’m thankful I don’t have the kind of boss who lurks and peers over shoulders, because I was ravenous to read, and finish, this novel. Though like with the best of novels, once I did so, I was saddened slightly, because I didn’t want it to be over. I’m starting to come up for air – trading the Strauss and Brahms for New Edition, looking at what work I’ve yet to finish today, writing this. But I still feel not quite here, like I’m still in the backseat of Danny’s mother’s K-car en route to Washington, D.C., or having seder with the collected Rosenbaums. [I’ve traded Heart Break for The Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions, in need of something a bit less sweet and a bit more - not sour, but acerbic.]

It’s not always the easiest read – there were a couple of moments today, reading, when I exclaimed an out loud “oh!” or raised my hand to my mouth as if stifling a similar response. But it’s also unquestionably one of the most superlative novels I’ve perhaps ever read, and combined with Avoidance proves Michael Lowenthal as one of the finest writers of fiction this country has right now. Utter undimmed genius.

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