162. READ.LOOK.THINK.

READ: “Suddenly I heard Virginia’s voice calling to me from the sitting room window: ‘Hitler is making a speech.’ I shouted back, ‘I shan’t come. I’m planting iris and they will be flowering long after he is dead.'” | The animal model of inescapable shock. | “Embarrassed by the novel—and its mortifying habit of putting words into the mouths of others—many have moved swiftly on to what they perceive to be safer ground, namely, the supposedly unquestionable authenticity of personal experience.” | “The social novel sets out to speak for others but often merely speaks over them. Autofiction, with its resolution to speak only for the authorial self, risks dead-ending in solipsism. [Ben] Lerner’s escape hatch is a kind of synthesis, a narrative mode that dares to imagine the inner lives of other people while at the same time foregrounding how such efforts are always faulty and provisional, riddled with blind spots.” | What makes a millennial novel?

“I weathered their emotions, I scoured their words for subtext and read their expressions as intently as a palm reader following the lines in a hand…” | “Feeling nothing at all towards my body – feeling it to be essentially separate from me – was vastly preferable to what I had felt towards it in my youth.” | “You out?” | “This erasure of the authentic self for the famous (reflective, wish-fulfilling, stardust-glazed) self is only good for people who dislike themselves, because it allows them to erase who they are and become someone totally new. In order to be really good at being famous, in order to embrace it wholeheartedly, you have to dislike yourself.”| “As broken glass crunched underfoot, [Joanna] Hogg’s imagination was at work in concert with her memory. ‘There’s nothing wrong with this carpet,’ she said, briskly. ‘It just needs a good clean.'” (Anna Calvi, ‘Julie‘ — the Souvenir end credits music.) | Rejection is the norm for authors. So why do we hide it? | “The cougar is also sad, because to get what it wants, it must hunt. No one hunts the cougar.” | “It was not easy to read what Karl Ove has written,” she says. “But it’s a good book […] When I got to the Hitler part,” she says, miming turning pages, “it was skip, skip, skip.” | Face, accept, float, let time pass. | Susan Sontag’s queer life.

LOOK: The Beauty Podcast with Sali Hughes. | Stath Lets Flats made me cry with joy and laughter. | Considerate. | Art world insider style. | Fragrance sensitivity: why perfumed products can cause profound health problems. | The gospel of St John. | Farewell to the most beautiful hotel in Melbourne — my pic above! | Lentil burgers. | RACHEL. CUSK’S. HOUSE.

THINK: “I feel a genuine terror about how little time we have. I feel that incredibly intensely and have ever since I have started to listen to the climate clock.” | “For fuck’s sake, life expectancy is declining in America. On a dying planet we are dying sooner. It’s like being in an otherwise quiet room with the loud ticking of a nearby clock. Can’t you hear it?” | “End of the world, end of the month, same struggle.” | “It hurts to realize that they have the power to define what is radical and what is reasonable, what is appropriate and what is insane, who we have to respect and who not.” | Flight shame. | Australia: a nation of docile submissives. | “When people talk about missions, I always warn them: if this is something that makes you feel comfortable and happy and cosy, then you haven’t understood it“.

Brexit-triggered psychosis. | “In 2002 Theresa May, who was elected to Parliament four years before Cameron, had called the Tories ‘the nasty party’ and told them they needed to change. Three years later she co-founded Women2Win, which successfully campaigned to elect more Conservative women. She helped develop the concept of free schools that Cameron and Gove so enthusiastically adopted. But from [Cameron’s biography] you wouldn’t know she was there at all. No wonder she ended up despising the pair of them.” | How bad can it get? | ‘Loud, obsessive, tribal’: the radicalisation of Remain. | Brexit may feel apocalyptic – but radical new ideas are taking root.

“…the deranged psychological investment that even our most powerful elites have in their social media accounts is having a significant impact on their political behavior.” | “The couch in my therapy office is occupied mostly by white people. We talk about everything. Except being white.” Men must lean out. | Masculinity doesn’t just belong to men. | Take your money and run. | What if Trump refuses to leave the White House?