So I really want to write about Parade at the Taper, but I haven't quite gathered my thoughts. I will say though, it has some powerful moments--the ending really got me. And I quickly have to ask: Davis Gaines and Charlotte D'Amboise--what is with the plastic surgery? I'm more used to it on women, so hers wasn't as wierd (except that I thought she looked like Melissa Gilbert and it didn't occur to me until today that she was in it and I had actually seen her - and I've seen her on film and on stage before), but his was just bizarre to me--especially since he played the older characters. He has such a great big voice. I don't know why you'd do it--I suppose there's pressure to do it. Or maybe when you're an actor and so much is out of your control, that feels within it.
I do know that I just gave myself a papercut underneath my fingernail which hurts and is making typing wierdly painful. Who knew you could do that? Learn something new every day.
So, list making. I was listening to a T. Coraghessan Boyle story about Jane Austen, and he mentioned Mansfield Park. I've never read that. I love Jane Austen, but that's the one I don't know. Maybe it's time to read it. Looks like you can read the whole text of it on Google.
Currently I'm reading or have on my list
Fraud - David Rakoff - Loving it. Funny and Sedaris-y, who I suppose is his closest cousin in style and view. He's more arch in some ways, but similar voice. I like his writing.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris - on my nightstand. I've read a few pieces. See above.
Getting Mother's Body - Suzan-Lori Parks - never read her stuff, and have never read As I Lay Dying, which this is a riff on. Gap in my reading knowledge--there are many. Looks interesting, and a nice toe in to fiction again. And always interesting to see a playwright craft a novel.
How to Be Alone - Jonathan Franzen - I wrote about this before, about leaving it on the plane. So a few essays in. He can be quite cranky, but that's his thing. He manages to steer away from self-involved snob, which he veers close to, through accurate self-appraisal and passionate enagagement with the world around him. Love a good essay. His essay "My Father's Brain" about his Father's struggle with Alzheimer's and his dealing with it is brilliant.
Speaking of essays, and I'm sure I wrote about these before, but do yourself a favor and pick up "At Large and At Small: Familiary Essays" and "Ex Libris: COnfessions of a common reader" by Anne Fadiman. Simultaneously grounded and enchanting. Fascinating subjects and a wonderful writer. I haven't read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a winner of the National Book Critics Circle award about a girl with severe Epilepsy in California who is the child of Hmong refugees. Perhaps because I know it will be heartbreaking.
And I'm two issues of the New Yorker behind. What's new? I'm just grooving on the essays lately.
I'm thinking about observing Shabbat just so I can read. Can't "engaged in study" mean whatever you want it to?