I like to think I keep things pretty real on this little blog of mine. I may not keep things lively (almost two months since my last post…), but I definitely keep it real. Quality over quantity, right?
Thus I should probably go ahead and make the confession, (if you haven’t figured it out already) I kind of completely hate the internet. Not a fan. People waste way too much precious time and energy on it, especially when most of its content is repetitive and useless, built upon attention-hungry individuals and their stupid shit.
(*Remember, this is the majority of the Internet. Doesn’t mean there aren’t also plenty of delightful beacons of light out there amidst all the shit.)
Seriously though, I am like the closest thing to being a Luddite that you can get without completely despising technology.
Thus, I hope you’ll excuse my lack of digital involvement from time to time. Just too busy reading and adventuring, ya know?
However I recently read a nice little book that made me reevaluate my strenuous relationship with cyberspace, and recognize the — dare I say it — beauty it can bring into millions of people’s lives.
I’m not really into reading “how-to” books. Partly because I’m one of the curious kind who enjoys learning and exploring and figuring things out on my own. Also partly because I’m flat out stubborn as a petulant (but very cute) little mule. Need I even mention the sweet, immaculate gifts from God: Google and Youtube. Not to mention the other endless internet sources and apps created for our convenience, to teach us anything or serve as a quick fix for any problem under the sun that we might have? Who the hell needs an instruction manual long enough and with the nerve to actually call itself a book?
And then one day, browsing all the books that I really don’t need to be buying right now on Amazon, something caught my eye. “READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS” flashed across my screen, and my interest immediately piqued.
or, The Surprisingly Awesome Ramblings of Old Men
I never knew, or would have ever dreamed to think, that such drama could be caused by two rambling, decrepit old men. We’re talking love triangles, best friend betrayals, war, attempted murder, even some weird sexual attraction between the main character and his maid. Embers by Hungarian author Sandor Marai could well be fit for a melodramatic daytime soap opera or perhaps even a new MTV hit show. Picture it: It’s The Jersey Shore, only in the Carpathian Mountains!
Unfortunately the two characters of interest, Henrik and Konrad, are disparagingly old (they repeatedly state how they’re practically about to fall over into their graves at any moment), not quite as appealing to female audiences as the metro sexual hunkalicious male soap stars, nor as pumped as the beefcake, muscle-flaunting bros of The Jersey Shore. Thankfully (Serious. Thank GOD!) Embers is actually very well-written, and chock-full of philosophical and intellectually stimulating goodness.
I cannot say that I fully enjoyed this book. Though, to say it’s a book that should not be read would be a far more inaccurate statement. As the book cover says, Art and Madness is a “memoir of lust without reason.” It is a tale of a young woman lovesick for artists – writers in particular – men, tormented and passionate and drowning in alcohol, their lives devoted to writing gorgeous creations into the world.
Yet Anne Roiphe, our narrator and heroine, flawed as she is, is tormented as well, though not by the overconsumption of alcohol and the need for artistic immortality. She is tormented by the company she keeps and the life she lives in the literary “art scene” of the 1950s and 60s.
In essence, she is lovesick because she doesn’t even realize that it is in fact not these men she is in love with. It is art, itself.