179. READ.LOOK.THINK.

Lunchbox moments, bad naked, middle class comrades, main character energy, grief is a change we didn't want.

The father and daughter ceramists Chris Bramble and Freya Bramble-Carter, surrounded by their pieces. The Black potters giving new life to British ceramics: T Magazine.

Hi guys,

Did you see Joyce Carol Oates tweeted about wan little husks? Whose novels was she referring to, has it been decided? Are you team WLH? Am I?

READ.

“The sharp Millennial Novel is just a novel in which someone is kind of in their body and kind of out of their body, but mostly, they are self-aware re: the most humiliating and obscene parts of being a person in the world. The primary virtue of the Millennial Novel is the thinness of its surface.”

“… an important and necessary step of Becoming a Writer is acknowledging how far your work is from the work you want to make and deciding whether you want to double down now that you know how impossible the work in front of you still is, or to just get out.” 

“Comedy is not generated by a writer who sails to her desk saying, “Now I will be funny”. It comes from someone who crawls to her desk, leaking shame and despair, and begins to describe faithfully how things are. In that fidelity to the details of misery, one feels relish. The grimmer it is, the better it is: slowly, reluctantly, comedy seeps through.” Hilary Mantel on Elizabeth Jane Howard.

“I couldn’t connect to this character.”

Elif Batuman: “Oh, my God, I was de-radicalized by the novel.” (And a podcast ep on this topic.)

“… figure out what you’re good at and keep doing it, book after book, with just enough variation to keep them guessing; sell out your friends, sell out your family, sell out your lovers, and sell out yourself; keep going until every younger writer can be called your imitator; don’t stop until all your enemies are dead.”

Main character energy. Flop era. Paul Mendez on writing sex (podcast ep).

I’m being swept away by Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation.

LOOK.

Poignant before and after pics of childhood bedroom makeovers by young adults who moved home for the pandemic.

Cooking for picnics. Apple and olive oil cake.

THINK.

See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill: a book about power, control and domestic abuse.

“There’s a constant pressure to enlist, to pull on the uniform of misogyny and join the Shithead Army that enforces and polices sexism.” Tim Winton.

"...this ostentatious display of women’s fear, the fetishization of it, frightens me so much more than walking by myself. I’m freaked out by women who hype each other up about how easily they could be killed and leave it at that. (With feminists like this, who needs misogynists?)"

“If we lived in a world where this kind of experience was treated, both by the law and by our culture, like any other physical trauma or violent crime – a car accident, a severe sports injury – it would not have taken me ten years to ask for help.”

“When I have to, I sweep my hair up in a friendly ponytail, crinkle my eyes to look as if I am smiling. I do not make a fuss, I say thank you, I say sorry, sorry, I’m so—. I nod, courteously, I make eye contact, I move out of the way, slip onto the grass next to the path, pause when someone walks past. Not for the first time, I am scared to inhabit my body.” / Anti-Asian racism in the UK. / The limits of the Lunchbox Moment.

“It’s safe to say most of us who went into this pandemic single still are and will be for some time to come.”

“Sheltering in place is bad naked. It is deeply and intensely unsexy watching your romantic interest cope.” 

Everyone is beautiful and no one is horny.

“I wish I had heard anyone who looked or moved like me say it when I was 14, I want to be very clear: I can, in fact, have sex.” 'I am a woman who wants': on disability and desire.

What the pandemic is doing to our brains. Grief is a change we didn’t want.

“I think now that there is no tragedy like the tragedy of parenthood. There is no other thing you do in life only in order for the person you do it for to leave you.”

“When everyone sends their kids to day care, and when that day care is affordable, tenderness absolutely abounds in the community.” The intimacy and vulnerability of daycare.

The world is taking climate action. Why isn’t Australia? 7am podcast.

“What makes me tired when organising with middle class comrades.”

Jess

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