Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The cat is stalking across the kitchen floor and yowling to himself. Crows are arguing, and somewhere in the near distance a woodchipper is whining and gnashing its teeth. The air is murky and portentous.

Today will be hot, hot. Fortunately I finished weeding the vegetable garden yesterday afternoon, so all I'll need to focus on on, yard-wise, is mowing and pea picking. [Note the invisible ironic emphasis quotation marks around all.] In the shade I'll have a manuscript about Thoreau to edit, and band practice to prepare for, and a book review to keep writing.

Speaking of that review: I've found myself taking a new (for me) path into writing an essay--basically following the travels of my mind as it figures out how to absorb a book I have no preconceptions about. In other words, how do I approach a book innocently? How does my mind teach me to engage with it? Does that sound reasonable at all, or even interesting? But perhaps reasonable is the wrong word here. Perhaps interesting is the wrong word. Don't contemporary book reviewers tend to efface themselves in service of the books they discuss? . . . [Here, I picture Virginia Woolf rolling her eyes and lighting another cigarette. Efface herself. Fat chance.]

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