This afternoon, I feel more culturally literate that I did this morning. I have finally gotten around to reading Proust, and read the first section of "Combray," that talks about that oft-mentioned madeliene. Now, I will finally be able to nod my head whenever I come across one of those madeliene references. I am reading the standard Moncrieff translation because it was cheaper, way cheaper, than the new Lydia Davis translation that the Voice had been jizzing about lately. It is really amazing stuff. It has me excited about reading again, about writing's potential.
Once there was a discussion at the Strand about fiction, precipiatated by someone saying that they didn't like fiction, that it was boring, and how did reading about a bunch of rich, white people relate to their life? I am never sure what to say to such a thing, such a thing that strikes me as totally alien to my way of thinking, where pretty much all I read is fiction. But luckily, I didn't have to respond because Tom replied quickly something like, "It is a way of experiencing the world - you get to see how other people envision it, all the many ways there are to percieve life." And of course that is not an exact quote, but that was the idea he argued. And reading Proust now after just finishing Mansfield Park by Austen, and after starting and abandoning Jane Erye, I see how right that idea is, how amazing it is that there are so many different voices out there, and it has me totally excited about the rest of my life, those many years ahead (knock on wood) in which I can read more and more of these authors, and I can see and experience the world from all these different minds. Man, intelligent things will eventually be said about Proust. I promise, if the rest of Swann's Way is even a smidgen as amazing as the section I have just completed.
I am feeling a little s--- today. I don't want to actually say the word. If I don't declare it, it has not yet happened, it is not born. So I am just S right now.
Last night, I saw the Mama's Boy show at White Columns. The show was not nearly as good as the statement about it made it sound. About a couple of the pieces, Christy made the comment how she did not she how some of the work related to the artist's relationship with his mom, and now, in retrospect, I totally agree with that - that the show did not totally match its title. I thought about this while reading Proust, whose protaganist is such a mama's boy in the first section.
After that show we went to the K48 Klubhouse at Deitch Brooklyn where there was supposed to be an afterparty for the Outlaw art festival, however, the party consisted of a band playing and about five people sitting on a bench listening to them, and a gigantic map to the convience store where you could purchase beer. We wondered through the clubhouse, which was a maze-like structure erected in this warehouse space with rooms and halls literally plastered with artwork, that evoked for me trashy one level Florida houses occupied by college age kids. I am thinking specifically of Remington House. There were people lounging on thrift store couches in one room smoking. In another room, people were playing video games. There was a bedroom that was completely mirrored. Think teenagers off on their own, runaway pirates, living with other teens recently away from their parents. That immediate post-parent life totally was a more naughty version of a clubhouse. This morning I read more about Scott Hug, and found out that he erected another clubhouse last winter. Knowing this gives me more of a context in which to think about the clubhouse I saw last night, which Scott Hug told us, after we signed his petition to keep his current clubhouse open, involved the work of about sixty artists. Last night, I thought it busy and chaotic that all the work was clutered into this clubhouse space, being used to seeing art in a more traditional gallery context, hung and spaced evenly on white walls. But now, away from the work, I see the whole polyphonic clubhouse as a pretty amazing way of representing American adolescence. Here is my favorite piece in the cluttered clubhouse, the photograph behind the woman that looks sort of like a middle-aged version of Bonnie.
Today, I am going to go pick up my contacts, am going to run and check out the Jeff Koons show before it closes tomorrow, and will then rush back to Williamsburg, see Peter's new apartment, trot off with him to see a screening of Monster. Then open bar at Nowhere from 9 to 11, and no mention, not even a thought of that nasty little S word.