212. READ. LOOK. THINK.
The end of love, an audience of one, the horror of blurbs, Dad Thrillers, maternal insomnia, defensible but mediocre sex, feelings yakuza
Sending this with my children at home because the teachers are on strike ❣️ UP THE TEACHERS ❣️ Team Teacher forever ❣️ F U Tories.
'I have nothing to show for my effort on the apps, aside from a nauseating fluency with the boring, homogenous, unconsidered, narrow lingo by which many men narrate themselves online; and this essay.'
'If no one wanted to put them in exhibitions, she put her art into the world any way she could [...] Sometimes she would simply “throw objects into the Thames at the dead of night”. When I asked what audience there was for these works, she said: “There was no audience at all. An audience of one.”'
'Everybody hates them—they’re agonizing to ask for, and time-consuming to write; on both sides the process is fraught.' Garth Greenwell on the horror, and etiquette, of blurbs.
'Privacy with my mother has become frightening, so I’ve suggested a compromise. “This isn’t normal,” my mother rails against my new boundaries: that I won’t discuss my writing, that I won’t be lectured on religion, that I won’t abide nightmares and paranoia (scheming relatives, meningitis scares with every itch).'
Agnes Callard's marriage of the minds by Rachel Aviv.
'In admitting how much feedback I want to get on my work, I might give the impression that I somehow like this process. I hate it. I never want to find out what anyone thinks, unless it’s, like, “This is the best thing I’ve ever read.”' Lovely long Q and A with Jennifer Egan.
'Few people would dream of writing a novel without characters, but a novel without a plot is practically normal.'
Jennifer Saunders' grandchildren call her 'Jam Jar.'
'When the pandemic arrived only a few weeks after we returned to the inner city, I felt a new wash of shame. In the previous decade of my life, we had done so much to prepare for disaster. And yet here was a real catastrophe – not quite like the ones I had imagined, but akin – and where was I? Not tucked up safely somewhere beyond city limits, but in a tiny, impersonal, rented apartment.'
I love so many of the novels on this list from Jia Tolentino's substack that it makes me want to read the ones I haven't/ good reccs in comments.
Craving 90s Dad Thrillers.
Sad that Cate Blanchett's GIRLS ON TOPS is sold out.
Does anyone know any TikToks I would like? I am literally shocked by what shows up me for when I open the app?
The fact that energy drinks are on a high is partly a sign that so many people are on a low.
The replies to this tweet about maternal insomnia:
The last two lines in this piece about postpartum psychosis made me cry.
'Who am I without my depression?'
'Their goals weren’t about material gain, because the instability of their adult years made them see how fleeting that was... [one millennial] said that her experience struggling in midlife has made her want to provide caregiving for her grandchildren, if she ever has them. She wants to tell her kids, “Leave me home with the baby and I’ll make dinner".'
Adults over 40 perceive themselves to be, on average, about 20 percent younger than their actual age.
'They don’t just want legally defensible but mediocre sex. They want good sex. They want the palpable but intangible feelings of shared excitement; they want intimacy.' People think Gen Z is sex negative. But the truth is more complicated.
Twitter thread summarising a comprehensive paper on prevalence of choking (the sex act).