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Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Crow's Links

A little known fact about young children is that, on the whole, we are a demographic prone to radicalism. When children are born they tend to gravitate toward one or the other of two extremes: a crude sort of solipsistic nihilism, in which they seek to annihilate the world since it is impossible to truly know anyone or anything beyond what exists in our own heads, hence the “world” as we understand it is only a construct of our own minds, therefore there is little to no impetus for seeking to make the world better*; or they come into this world with an oversized, vaguely egotistical penchant for radical progressivism**. I happen to fall pretty solidly into the latter category (although I have been known to partake in a bit of Dark Knightish scatological prankery from time to time) and since I am well aware that what M and DT and others their age do to the planet and economy now will have grave or positive effects on the world I will inherit when I’m old enough to read and write and actually like stand up, I have begun to peruse various news sources in order to provide the dear readers of this, my father’s blog, with some food for thought***. I know DT’s goal is to not make this an overtly political blog but I have two responses to that: 1.) DT is a lily-livered, schmoo-pied bumbo-musher who’s just afraid people will disagree with his politics, and 2.) I think we can all sort of agree that keeping the planet healthy and useful for future generations, i.e. me, is both an honorable and important issue.

Now, I live in relative captivity with my ‘rents in Atlanta, GA which, as some of you may know is famous for producing several unhealthy industrial products, e.g. Coca-Cola, peanut butter, smog, and it is the latter which concerns me the most. In the last 20 years this city has grown ten fold as people from all around the world have been drawn to its sunny weather and even sunnier people, but with all those new people has come a depressing amount of sprawl, traffic, and simply terrible city planning. To alleviate the strain we have MARTA, a high-speed commuter train system with stations ingeniously situated throughout the city so as to service the minimum amount of people, and keep rider ship so low that the system will never have enough money to expand to the parts of the city that would yield the best results. It’s almost like some fat cat in a too-small jacket sat in a smoky back room somewhere in the capital, smoking a cigar and smiling cruelly and rubbing his hands together, saying, “The plan is genius. The best way to ruin public transportation forever is to actually build a train system but under fund it and build it in areas where it will be maximally inefficient and then after 20 years of low rider ship and disgusting, puke colored seats, and practically zero in the way of usefulness, the citizens of Atlanta will sour so violently on the idea of public transport that they will never, ever, ever stop using their cars no matter how bad traffic gets,” and then the fat cat laughs maniacally into the night and the citizenry of Atlanta is left with no feasible public transportation option.

So while the question for most people has devolved into whether or not we even need public transportation and how we can fund even more roads and build better and cuter little subdivisions that appear on the surface to be greener and more energy-efficient, but are actually still too spread out from one another and still require the exact same amount of driving as the older, cluster-style subdivisions, the question for me is how we can build the necessary public transportation so that most major urban corridors are connected and most Americans can use trains for just about anything they want to without too much extra effort.

There are multiple issues at play here:

1.) Most Americans don’t believe that oil is a finite resource and cannot possibly conceive of an America where oil is no longer cheap and readily available. For more on the possibly terrifying prospect of a post-peak oil America go here. You could also go here and here and here too.

2.) Even once you’re convinced that America needs to drastically overhaul our oil consumption, building practices, city planning (non)techniques, etc., it becomes to terrifyingly obvious how mismanaged our cities have been historically and just how painful it’s going to be to truly wean ourselves off of oil. Here’s a pretty concise layout of what Atlanta would need to do specifically to get a rail system that works in place.

Lest ye become despondent there is hope. And it’s here. And for a whole lot of ideas about how we got here and where we need to go, go here.

For now, my friends, that's the word.




*This most often manifests in a compulsive scatology of vomiting on and/or soiling oneself or others depending on the situation’s maximum embarrassment factor, i.e. pooing through a diaper onto your mother’s friend’s lap right before your mother and her friend are about to go out for the night, when all your mother’s friend wanted to do was hold you for point five seconds and then get out to the bar and drink some cosmos and talk about her husband’s or boyfriend’s relative emotional issues, or lack there of.
**While progressivism in and of itself can be viewed as essentially selfless, there is a level of self-preservation in young children’s progressivism since they have an inherent understanding that it is they who will inherit the befouled earth that their parents leave them, hence having a very large and very real stake in the policies of the day.
***As opposed to the overemotional, flowery claptrap that normally graces this blog. Yeah, I said claptrap, beardo. What are you gonna do about it?

Little Crow's Eye View

My First Daddy's Day: Part Two
To check out Part One click here

The day seemed like it would never end, but I was fighting the ‘rents valiantly. Twice already M had had to use The Formula on me which meant her stores of the stuff had to be running low by this point.

As I mentioned in the last post M drugged me after her and DT were done gorging themselves on that “biscuits and gravy” stuff they seem to like so much and when I woke again I was back in my stroller and we were in a crowd of people who all seemed to be waiting around for something to happen. All these people were facing a large set of doors, their cameras hanging from their necks and resting on their protuberant bellies like pendants or medals. I tried to crane my neck to get a better look, but since my neck muscles are still too weak to lift my head all I could manage was an irritated grunt. I grabbed my ears and blew bubbles in protest, which drew the attention of the bearded freak. His face hovered before me like some hideous phantasm, making “boo boo” noises at me and blocking my view of the crowd. I shouted at him to move but he didn’t seem to understand me and just kept making those obnoxious noises at me.

Weekly Top Five

David Foster Wallace Edition!

1. Infinite Jest
By: David Foster Wallace
Published in 1996

Just finished it. Gotta read it again. Seriously, it's that good.

Word of the Day!

droll [drohl]
-adjective
1. amusing in an odd way; whimsically humorous; waggish
-noun
2. a droll person; jester; wag.
-verb
3. Archaic. to jest; joke.

On the Plains of Marathon

Week Three
Goal: To begin the running week with another five mile jog on Saturday, 19 September, 2009 and then run 4 miles per day after that.

Mile Total: 25
Actual Miles Run: 13

Endnotes: Rain, rain, rain. Y'all may not have heard but North Georgia received so much rain during the beginning of the week that there was like massive flooding all over the city of Atlanta. My wife and I were fine where we were, but still it rained so much at the beginning of the week that a good chunk of my mileage got thrown out and I either couldn't go for a run or I had to shorten it. Combine that with a few practically sleepless nights with the Schmoo* and you have the recipe for a week of drastic underperforming in the training for a marathon category.

I'm looking back over the last two posts and it suddeny occurs to me that I haven't met my weekly goal a single time. Hmmm, that's suspicious. The question now is whether I am setting the goals too high or I am merely a lazy bum and am coming up with excuses to not go for runs. I dunno. It's too early in the morning for proper introspection, so I'll just go with the former and make my goals a little more realistic for next week. Hopefully I won't have to use the ark I've been building in my basement any time soon.

Week Four
Goal: To begin the running week with another five mile jog on Sunday, 27 September, 2009 and then run 3 miles per day after that.

Mile Total: 20


*Schmoo being a nickname for my son in case you didn't know.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ms. Abigail Fisher, MS, International Archaeologist to the stars picks:

The Song of the Day

"New Slang"
By: The Shins

This is an interesting choice for one with endless Euro-pop options before her, but an oldie and a goodie for sure. This little gem from The Shins’s first LP, “Oh, Inverted World”, was the song that blew the lid of The Shins’s relative anonymity when Zack Braff made Natalie Portman listen to it, proclaiming that “this song will change your life” in his 2004 film “Garden State”. Insidiously catchy and featuring the classic acerbic wit and bitterness we’ve now all come to expect from Shins’s songs, “New Slang” is a folky, quiet number that is easy to overlook upon first listen, but eventually, like that person you invite to lunch once who then assumes they can eat lunch with you everyday, you find yourself humming the tune to yourself when you’re performing some menial task, and then, days later, you have like this totally rapacious need to listen to the song over and over and over again and then eventually, horribly and yet happily, it does actually begin to change your life and you take another look at your personal relationships and realize they are vacuous and superficial and that you are truly alone in this world and the only thing that makes you feel at ease in your own skin now is to listen to more Shins music. Then, after about two months of listening to the Shins exclusively you just stop going to work or calling anyone back and you sit in your dark bedroom, writing letters to James Mercer and wishing that he would please, please, please just write you back because you have this burning desire to just get to know him, you know? Because he’s really touched you, deep down, where no one else has ever been able to touch you, and you just want him to know that…and to touch him back. And as the bedsores start to fester on your bum, you start to sort of really hate Zach Braff for putting those headphones on Natalie Portman and making her (you) listen to that first Shins song because now you can’t stop and your eyes have become so attenuated to darkness that they’ve sort of grown this filmy white film like cataracts and you’ve started to subsist exclusively on raw fish and The Shins. Your nails are long. You have a scraggly beard. And you hold your Shins CDs and whisper, “My preeeecccioussssssss!

Or maybe that was just like my experience.


Picks of the Week

Week Four

Well my first week of College Football picks was less than stellar; I went only 7 for 13, or 54%. This week I’ve tried to be a little more conservative to try and bring my average up.

No. 4 Mississippi at South Carolina
Maybe this game isn’t worth mentioning, but I think that maybe SC might actually play Ole Miss close in this one. If not, I think it may be time for Spurrier to hang up his visor and walk into the sunset.
Mississippi 34     South Carolina 24


No. 22 North Carolina at Georgia Tech
I think North Carolina is overrated and is ripe to lose one to someone they shouldn’t. I also think GT is ticked off about the loss to Miami last week and are going to take it out on an unsuspecting Tarheels team.
Georgia Tech 24     North Carolina 21


Indiana at No. 23 Michigan
Duh. Michigan is playing too well to drop this one. Besides, it’s in the Big House.
Michigan 35     Indiana 17


Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama
For some reason I’m getting possible upset vibes coming from this game. The big question will be whether Arkansas’ defense is really as bad as they seemed against Georgia last week or if they can put the hurtin to ‘Bama’s ragin O. If they can just possibly Ryan Mallett will be able to do his knife work in the secondary and squeak by the no. 3 team in the country. I’m going out on a limb here:
Arkansas 45     Alabama 42


No. 6 California at Oregon
Oregon will play this one close now that they have a few wins under their belt and have seemingly put the Boise St. debacle behind them. But I think Cal is the best team in the Pac 10 and will bite the Ducks at home.
California 35     Oregon 21


No. 9 Miami (FL) at No. 11 Virginia Tech
This is the game of the week and has multiple storylines surrounding it. VT is coming off it’s come from behind victory against Nebraska last week and is still trying to prove it deserves national recognition, but while VT is looking ahead to the bowl season, I think Miami is hungrier than they are. And with Jacory Harris on a possible Heisman high, I think Miami shocks Virginia Tech at home.
Miami 24     Virginia Tech 21


Illinois at No. 13 Ohio State
This will probably be a snoozer but I can’t help but feel like Illinois is a sleeping giant that could wakeup at anytime. With a solid crop of seniors on Illinois’ offense and Terrell Pryor apparently learning how to throw touchdown passes, this game could end up being a shoot-out. But, ultimately Cheaty McSweatervest always finds a way to win in the Big 10 so I’ll give it to the Ohio State.
Ohio State 42     Illinois 28


Arizona State at No. 21 Georgia
The Dawgs got this one. After a lackluster offensive performance against OK St., Cox has led the Dawgs into and out of two shoot-outs victorious. I think those have been valuable experiences and Georgia’s offense will be surprised how easy it is to score on an uneven AZ St. team.
Georgia 35     Arizona State 21


Iowa at No. 5 Penn State
This is the first true test of Paterno’s Nittany Lions, but with the game being played in Happy Valley and with a last minute loss to the Hawkeyes last year to avenge, I think Iowa is walking into a bear trap of a game.
Penn State 35     Iowa 14



Weekly Top Five

David Foster Wallace Edition!

2. Lolita
By: Vladimir Nabokov
Published in 1955

The more I read about postmodernism the more Nabokov’s name keeps popping up and none of his works appears more important than the sort-of-skeevy, oft-banned “Lolita”. The book that popularized the oxymoronic “teenage Lolita” centers on Herbert Humbert, a literary scholar in a small New England town who is obsessed with teenage girls ostensibly because he didn’t consummate some childhood affair and is now haunted by the failure. Enter Lolita, stage right, the 12-year-old daughter of the widow Herbert rents from, who Herbert insists is trying to seduce him. What follows is one of the most perverse tales of seduction and attraction ever written; so perverse in fact that it took nearly three years for Nabokov to find an American publisher. Once published, however, the book became an instant sensation, not only because of the controversial subject matter but also because of Nabokov’s talent as an ironist and master of wordplay. It is to Nabokov’s great credit that he was able to make a weak, disassociating pedophile somehow empathetic, and his book “Lolita” is to this day still consider one of the 20th century’s greatest achievements.

Word of the Day!

saturnine [sat-er-nahyn]
-adjective
1. sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn.
2. suffering from lead poisoning, as a person.
3. due to absorption of lead, as bodily disorders.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weekly Top Five

David Foster Wallace Edition!

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
By: Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen
Published 2009

Do I really have to spell this out for you, people? I mean, it's like the original plot of "Pride and Prejudice" except with like zombies! Pure awesomeness.

Word of the Day!

In honor of David Foster Wallace Week todays word is:

logorrhea [law-guh-ree-uh, log-uh-]
-noun
1. pathologically incoherent, repetitious speech.
2. incessant or compulsive talkativeness; wearisome volubility.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Infinite Summer

David Foster Wallace
26 February, 1962 - 12 September, 2008

On September 12, 2008 David Foster Wallace hung himself in his Claremont, California home, forever depriving the world of one of the greatest literary minds of the last 25 years, and perhaps of all time. Most known for his momentous work “Infinite Jest” Wallace was a wunderkind from the word “go”. By the age of 26 he had graduated summa cum laude in both of his majors, English and Philosophy, from Amherst College, completed his Masters in English from University of Arizona, and published his first novel “The Broom of the System” to raucous critical praise.

But writing was not something he was originally drawn to. When he started college he was strictly a Philosophy and Mathematics student and it wasn’t until he was around 20 years old and reached “a sort of early mid-life crisis” that he began to write. Influenced by the likes of Pynchon, Delillo, Kafka, Nabokov Wallace’s early writing bears a clear resemblance to his heroes yet seems to do them one better by injecting a beating heart into the cold, ironic language of postmodernism.

The early success of “The Broom of the System” created for him a second crisis in which he struggled to live up to the potential suggested by that first novel. Having struggled most of his life with severe depression, the weight of being the next great writer and trying to top his enormous potential sent him into a tailspin as he studied for his PhD at Harvard. Watching too much TV, smoking too much marijuana, and writing far, far too little, he eventually started attending open AA meetings around the Boston area to find some sort of emotional support.

His time in Boston ended up being exactly what he needed in order to pull out of the downward cycle and begin writing again. Always fascinated by the ways in which humans communicate with one another and frustrated with the relative constraints of irony as it was being used in postmodern literature, and now armed with a set of enormously powerful experiences, Wallace sought to use postmodernism’s defensive weapons (most notably irony) against itself in order to create a masterwork of modern fiction that would argue on behalf of sincerity and honesty and life*, instead of the usual postmodern themes of death, depression, and utter desperation.

It was the sort of ambitious project that could have been a spectacular disaster if it had been in less capable hands, but guided with Wallace’s confidence and sheer intelligence and wit, “Infinite Jest” not only justified the enormous hype he’d garnered with “The Broom of the System” but also became an instant classic, the magnum opus of the postmodern age, the first great novel written by a Generation Xer, and solidified him as a literary tour de force.

“Infinite Jest” cannot be summed up in a paragraph, or even a lot of paragraphs. It is the sort of brilliant, indescribable, emotional, frightening, witty, difficult book that, among those who have actually read the whole thing, it becomes a sort of guiding talisman, a shared experience that binds, and unites, but can’t possibly be explained to the uninitiated. It’d be like trying to explain what an orgasm feels like. More than once I’ve found myself responding to the question “So what’s it about?” with sentence after sentence of nonsensical hyperbole that neither answers the question nor does my true feelings toward the book any justice.

It’s that kind of book**.

It also made Wallace an enormous celebrity among the hyper-literate and earned him his first, and only, National Bestseller. It made him an extremely hot commodity and over the next decade he turned his enormous talents to such varying topics as: John McCain’s first Presidential bid, the dubious ethics of boiling lobsters alive, Rap’s impact on modern culture, pornography, David Lynch, radio hosts, tennis, infinity, and cruise lines. The body of nonfiction he built after the publishing of “Infinite Jest” in 1996 would have been more than enough to solidify him as a literary jack-of-all-trades, but combined with the brilliance of his only two published novels, David Foster Wallace emerged through the late 1990s and early 2000s as the most distinctive voice of his generation. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single author who began publishing after 2000 who doesn’t exhibit the witty, loving imprint of Wallace’s hand in their prose (this blog's author most definitely included).

So it was even more terrible when the news of his death spread through literary circles, heralding the end to one of the shortest and most prolific literary lives of all time. For those who knew him his death was like a horrible sucker punch, and for those of us who only knew him through his writing it was like we’d actually lost a friend.

I, for one, sadly only heard of him through the obits and eulogies that flooded the Internet after his death. I remember reading article after article discussing the brilliance of his work and his mind and what a wonderful, caring man he’d been, and I couldn’t help wondering why the hell I’d never read him before. So I sought more information about him and finding that surprisingly he’d only published two novels I purchased the more famous of the two, “Infinite Jest”.

I’m not sure how I stumbled on Infinite Summer, but I can say that without a doubt if I had not found this website and the enormously sympathetic and supportive community behind it I would never have found the courage to finish “Infinite Jest”. Borne of the grief Editor and Creator Matthew Baldwin felt after Wallace’s death, he sought a way to eulogize Wallace’s work in a creative and sympathetic environment. His idea was to create a blog, fill it with lots of creative thinkers, and set them and the whole on-line community on the task of reading “Infinite Jest” one 75 page-a-week block at a time, finishing in September, the 1-year-anniversary of Wallace’s death. What emerged was so successful that the blog will be continuing year round as an on-line reading community. The next book up? Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, from Oct. 1-Oct. 31.

Though I have been consistently behind schedule, Infinite Summer was an invaluable touchstone for me as I navigated the difficult waters of Wallace’s masterwork. The never-ending array of writers and musicians and bloggers featured on the site, as well as the comments for each blog, provided unique insights into the novel that helped guide me in ways that would never have been possible without the site. Beyond that just knowing that thousands of other people were reading this book at the same time as me, were experiencing the same things as me, were touched by the same hands as me was so incredibly enriching that I couldn’t imagine having read the book without the site for support.

Though this is Infinite Summer’s last week for “Infinite Jest” I suggest anyone who is going to embark on this journey to consult the site as you do so, if for no other reason than to know that you aren’t alone. You are in here, but so are many, many others. And certainly, if you aren’t doing anything in October, join us all for “Dracula” and in the winter we will be reading Robert Bolano’s “2666” too.

In seeking to eulogize his favorite author, Baldwin created a living, breathing monument to the themes of Wallace’s greatest work. He created a community, very much like the AA meetings in the novel, which exhorted each other to “keep coming back”, to keep faith, and to never, never be ashamed to feel something, even if that something is pain or sadness or fear.

I think David Foster Wallace would have liked that.




*Themes he’d picked up at the AA meetings ostensibly.
**It’s transformative. You can’t read it without becoming a different person afterward, because unlike 99.9% of the novels out there this one requires something from you, the reader. It requires your time, and your patience, and that you keep coming back to it even when you don’t want to, or when you don’t have the time, or when you are scared by what Wallace is saying because you feel like he knows exactly who you are, deep down, and he’s talking right to you. It requires that you learn the names and backgrounds of upwards of 70 characters, that you remember what major corporation sponsored what year, that you understand the history of the Quebecois Separatist Movement, that you read 200 pages of endnotes much of which deals with the chemical makeup of various drugs and their effects on humans. It requires that you keep coming back. It requires that you trust the author implicitly because at least once during the first 300 pages you will want to put the book down and stop reading, or throw it across the room in frustration or because you feel like Wallace might actually just be f**king with you, you personally. It requires that you use two or more bookmarks to keep your place in both the main text and the endnotes. It requires that you keep a pad and pen handy as you read because inevitably there will be something you want to remember forever, something you may even want to tell your kids someday. It requires that you think about death…a lot. It requires you to keep coming back. It requires you to read things that will haunt you forever and make you sick to your stomach, and things that will make you laugh out loud in public and then snort as you try to stifle the laugh, which only exacerbates the embarrassment of the original laugh. It requires you to forget everything you thought you knew about what makes good fiction good. It requires that you to care, and care deeply, about tennis and Eschaton and AA meetings and broken people who have become so lost and dangled so far out over the precipice that they are actually willing to be brainwashed in order to kick the habit, and murderers and drug users and those who are horribly disfigured and those who cannot love and those who love without boundaries or prejudice. It requires that you read it all over again the minute you’ve finished it. It requires that you find someone to discuss it with or risk having your head explode. It requires that you keep coming back. It requires that you suspend disbelief way up high where it won’t ever be able to come back down and bug you. It requires that you keep coming back. And mostly it requires that you accept that the man who wrote this brilliant, witty, transformative, loving, heartbreaking work, which so entirely changed your life was so depressed and hopeless that he saw no recourse but to kill himself rather than face the very world that his book actually made you care about again. It’s that kind of book.

Weekly Top Five

David Foster Wallace Edition !

4. White Noise
By: Don Delillo
Published in 1985


Published in 1985 and now considered one of the best works of the modern age and a scion of postmodern literature, Don Delillo’s breakout novel “White Noise” won the National Book Award and explores many of the themes that are central to postmodernism as a whole. Rampant consumerism, academia, the disintegration of the family, irony, paranoia all find purchase on the novel’s wide–ranging plot devices. The book centers on Jack Gladney, a professor at the Midwestern College-on-the-Hill, and his family as they deal with the political, emotional, and physical fall-out from a chemical spill called the “airborne toxic event”.

Word of the Day!

delectation [dee-lek-tey-shuhn]
-noun
delight; enjoyment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Militant Grammarians Unite!

Here’s another grammar issue brought up to me by my good friend at Katy Streams Her Consciousness*. This is a pretty easy one to fix but a difficult one to remember, especially in the fever of writing, but I thought y’all should be armed with this information since there are a lot of undercover grammarphiles out there just waiting to pounce on you when you least expect it**.

i.e. vs. e.g.

i.e. is Latin for id est, which essentially means “that is”. So you use i.e. for those circumstances when you are clarifying the preceding statement. For example: That person exhibited the trait I hate most, i.e. bad hygiene.

e.g. is Latin for exempli gratia which means “for the sake of example” or “for example”. So you use e.g. when you are going to clarify by way of a series of examples. To reuse the preceding example with the requisite changes: That person exhibited the traits I hate most, e.g. bad hygiene, long hair, short shorts, etc.

I hope that clears that up. I’d hate y’all to find yourselves unwittingly grammar-mugged over something so simple. In the meantime, L's & G's, keep your friends close and your modifiers even closer, lest they dangle embarrassingly. TTFN.




*Ostensibly because I used i.e. incorrectly in an earlier post. For the record, I am not in any way, shape, or form, an authority on grammar or the use of ancient Latin acronyms, which is why I've decided to write these occasional grammar posts: for your sakes, and for my own.
**Like when you've written a particularly sloppy e-mail at 3 in the AM and sent the sloppy e-mail to about 50 of your friends and then the grammarphile replies^ to all correcting your grammar and/or spelling  or whether you capitalized Saturday or something. Militant Grammarians are everywhere, people, waiting, biding their time until they can jump out of the internet version of a deep, dark alleyway and take your grammar lunch money. Beware, my friends, beware. 
         ^approximately 5 minutes after your original e-mail, of course.

Weekly Top Five

David Foster Wallace Edition!

This week’s Weekly Top Five is humbly dedicated to the genius of David Foster Wallace, his remarkable, dense, incredibly difficult book “Infinite Jest”, and the awesome peeps at Infinite Summer who have made this summer one to remember*. In the course of reading “Infinite Jest” and scanning the blogs on Infinite Summer there has been a lot of talk about books that we’ve always meant to read, books that we feel sort of guilty for having not read, books that as authors and literary people we should actually feel embarrassed for having not read. So, in honor of that amorphous guilt/embarrassment all less-well-read-than-they-should-be writers feel this Weekly Top Five is the Top Five books I’ve never read but really need to.


5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
     By: Junot Diaz
     Published in 2007



This is the first novel by Dominican-born author Junot Diaz, a creative-writing professor at MIT. The novel was an instant smash when it was released in 2007 and by 2008 it had won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It deals primarily with the eponymous character Oscar Wao, a chubby Dominican boy who is obsessed with fantasy, sci-fi, and role-playing games, as he attempts to understand the curse of the fuku, which has supposedly been placed on his family since slavery. Focusing on immigration and integration as central themes, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” has been described as “an immigrant-family saga for those who don’t read immigrant-family sagas” by Lev Grossman of Time and has received almost universally positive critical acclaim from the moment of its release. 




*This week is unofficially Infinite Jest week so I will be writing a blog either today or tomorrow about my experience reading this book along with all the other wonderful people at Infinite Summer.  So stay tuned.

Word of the Day!

chary [chair-ee]
-adjective, charier, chariest
1. cautious or careful; wary: He was chary of investing in oil wells.
2. shy; timid
3. fastidious; choosy: She is excessively chary about her friends.
4. sparing (often followed by of): chary of his praise.