Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Surprise Package and Day 24



Yesterday I got a surprise in the mail from one of my oldest, dearest friends and his new fiance. Among other things (like amazingly delicious smelling soap and potpourri thing, as well as pretty ceramic netti pot), I got these!
-A couple books that had been on my wishlist, as well as a really neat one on garden harvesting and preserving.
-Also, it's a bit dark (since it's a clear cup) but that's the cold drinks cup from Starbucks that looks just like one of their regular disposable cups.

It's always so awesome to get mail from old friends when it's a surprise...especially if they send great stuff along with it!

Thanks so much, Robert and Crystal. It was just what I needed.

Day 24 - Best quote from a novel

How about the first paragraph from my favorite book, I know this one almost entirely by heart:

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. 
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns."

Is it just me?

I gasp and tear up from that, the first page of that book. That's a close to perfection as literature comes, in my opinion.

*

I just finished "House of Leaves" by Mark Danielewski today...and cannot even begin to describe it enough to do it justice. It's amazing. Sad, terrifying, astounding, and even a bit funny.

Here's a bit of a breakdown, for fun's sake...
1. Elderly, introverted, blind gentleman passes away in his 'well-secured' apartment. Seemingly without incident.
2. Pair of 20-somethings check out his apartment before it gets emptied by the landlord. "Main" character takes a black steamer trunk full of papers, letters and a manuscript.
3. The manuscript is essentially a scholarly, researched breakdown of two independently released documentaries by a well-known photojournalist concerning bizarre goings-on in his new Virginia home.

If you're into post-modern, sort of existential, Kafka-esque type literature that is reminiscent of films like "The Blair Witch Project" or "Paranormal Activity"...check it out.