DMAW:C11

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menandwomen

In all other forms of literature ‘love’ is simply a minor note. According to the author (Elizabeth Lowell) there is a driving faith in love that is particular to the reader of the romance novel. Just about everything else (emotional tension, action, strong males, ect) exists in other genres, but this resilient brand of what we commonly call “love” does not, and the conflict between what we know and what we long for – keeps us glued to our relative grounds..

Much like the revelation of the previous chapter (we escape our realities in a feverish search of what can only exist beyond them), the point is made here that there is always an explicit.. guaranteed promise that love WILL conquer in the end – and our hero and heroine will definitely be together. Romances are built upon our assurance that “real” love is destined to come undone. How many real life examples do we need? We who fantasize hold out on faith that in spite of this, the journey will still deliver a rich taste of promise – almost as rich as the fruit itself were we to ever reach it (..and, of course, in such novels, we’re promised we will..). But this promise must bear the flavor of a very familiar reality – that things will always fall apart (and this time should be no different – should but wont)..

Essentially without doubts, our faith counts for nothing. #whoknew?

– sah

The Power of Eye Contact – Chapter 7 (PEC:C7)

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eye contact

Sometimes we like to think of the animal kingdom as “all of those non speaking species we humans coexist with”…but a moment in this chapter really brought something home for me. Not that I didn’t know it already but the eyes say a lot.. and we all have em.

In this chapter on aggressive/confrontational eye contact this clip is mentioned: A man stares down a lion (somewhere in africa one assumes) and by gaze and posture alone, much is negotiated. At several points, the lion (whom we know as the one with the most advantage) breaks his own gaze to avoid conflict with the stranger.  The action resonates throughout the chapter as the author and several interviewees discuss the nature of intimidation and how wars are won even before they begin.

In the chapter I covered yesterday (Notes from the Underground) the narrator laments his own unwillingness to endure prolonged eye contact. Most of us aren’t up to the task either, and his characters resigns to losing almost immediately. Every time.

Makes me wonder how often I’ve done this..

sah

Notes From the Underground – Act II – Chapter 1 (NFU:A2C1)

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notes

I have to confess. I “took a break” from this book a looong time ago. I almost forgot how beautifully striking it was/is to me. I’ve always had a morbid appreciation for the self-effacing nature of intellectuals, and anyone who knows this book can tell you what a jackpot it is this regard.

I realized who the narration reminds me off (besides myself)..his constant cerebral knot tying makes me think of Nicolas Cage‘s character (well..the main one) in Adaptation.

While reading this chapter Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club also came to mind. This sad, maddening obsession with the unseemliness of modern existence as the man without ..release is just..penetrating.The way he goes on and on about the casual(ly missed) opportunity to experience conflict, and thus validation, is brilliantly articulated. And the degree to which he prepared for what amounted to a bump on the shoulder!.. it really serves to illustrate just how lost common interactions can become in a world of classism and industry..

I can relate.

..to want to scream at the world – to disrupt the social (dis)order – and lack the courage(?) [ or INdecency ] required to do so.. I mean…it was just put very well lol … I damn near feel like I missed this book.

It also made me think of a film idea I had earlier today..but that’s for another blog.. (perhaps this is confirmation?…serendipity?)

I’ve never gone so mad as to lose sleep over the absence of a brush on the arm – but the exaggeration is not without merit.. I have lost sleep over my opinion of self ..havent we all?

And if not, are we sorely missing in some sort of awareness? Is this the suffering that enlightenment brings?

The narrator faults himself appropriately tho: It is the definition of vanity that one would come to insist upon being acknowledged by this stranger – to the point of fantasy (even drafting a letter of indictment). I’ll have to make a mental note that my (future) children must read this..

– sah

The Seven Days – Chapter 4 (TSD:C4)

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So in this chapter Xavier reflects on his time spent in the military, training in martial arts with a “star-crossed” sensei, discovering the root of his anger (and that he has an estranged brother), operations as a hitman for the CIA, and discusses race with his young children.

It’s interesting how the conflict of race perspective comes crashing into the final pages of the chapter. In a quick succession of scenes, X’s kids go from aping a rap video to questioning why they’re only permitted to watch TV shows with “vanilla people”. The children get little in the way of an answer but the topic is explored more bluntly in post coital conversation between X and his wife Theresa.

As I was reading this (and especially towards the end) I thought about Christopher Dorner‘s wrestle with second class citizenship, and the change in perspective that comes with child rearing. Xavier is glad to have distanced himself from the ghetto, but his wife understandably cautions a future where his children will only equate “white” with “good”. Given the circumstance of their introduction (Xiavier and Theresa- a CIA operative and a robin-hood figure -respectively), its a pretty decent setup to examine the splintered outlook of upwardly mobile blacks.

I immediately thought of Lil Wayne in the video scene interestingly enough. I anticipate some future reckoning with his estranged father’s illegal past, as well as Xavier’s “legal” sanction in murder and deception.

I think it’s also interesting Xavier chose not to become a cop..

– sah

Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women – Chapter 10 (DMAW:C10)

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menandwomen

Seductive elegance. what is the lure of the darkened alley? ..the author of this short essay (anne stuart) begs the question in relation to her attraction to vampires.. she spoke a few interesting quotes that struck me immediately as i read them:

“..I need something beyond comfort and safety in my fantasy world. In real life I’m sensible enough to search for just those pragmatic things. A life of delight and despair is, in reality, too exhausting. But in fantasy, I want it all..” 

& “..the threat of death at the hands of love is the most potent fantasy of all. Only if you’re prepared to risk everything can you gain everything. And only in fantasy can women have it all..”

one supposes for many, women especially(?), the magic of fantasy is precisely that tangible sense of that which we (knowingly) may never live to see. for the puritan: the remorse of a Faustian pact, perfectly balanced with the anointing that would call even Lucifer home (AND the pious pride/glory therein)..

I find that delicate balance intriguing. Perhaps romance is intrinsically nestled between the sacred and the profane. deep within the friction. Give me a demon I can unwillingly serve until beheading…but only after he bows in honor of my prudence,  a trembling mass that could crush me in an instant.

– sah

Before it Becomes Illegal.

..what follows are daily reflections on different books i am reading.

the idea is to report a chapter a day – alternating between books, as i like to read two or three at once.

 ~be forewarned ~

if it’s fiction i will not explicitly detail what happens but will probably include spoilers.

if you’re curious about my reasons for starting this blog – click here.

~

feel free to comment.

sah