“But how much time could a man spend remembering the best of boyhood? What about enjoying the best of old age? Or was the best of old age just that – the longing for the best of boyhood, for the tubular sprout that was then his body and that rode the waves from way out where they began to build, rode them with his arms pointed like an arrowhead and the skinny rest of him following behind like the arrow’s shaft...” (126)
Of course, with Philip Roth’s Everyman on my shelf, in my possession, I could not just let it wait there until I got around to finishing John Adams, and so I read it yesterday, and at first, I found it slightly boring. Roth, for me, is at his best when his prose is manic and spirited and carries itself onward quickly by the talkey, neurotic nature of it. This book is more somber than that, but about midway through the book, I found myself being taken with the narrative, finally starting to get some sense of this main character, this Everyman, and then the book was quickly over. There are some really beautiful moments in this book, of course, as there is in any book by this man, Philip Roth.
Now, the goal is to finish this Adams biography with the same speed I consumed this Roth book, so that I can move on to Bellow and Bolano.
It looks beautiful outside today and I need to figure out what I am going to do underneath the bright, blue sky of this mid-May day, need to figure out, in effect, how to live, what it is I want to do with myself - the seemingly constant question of my life – but today, at least, it is a small scale version of the normal existential interlocution that terrifies me, and seemingly, it should not be too hard a decision to make, but this is the answer to the big question also, a bunch of small answers, a bunch of daily decisions about what to do, how to play in this weather, how to live – the aggregate of which answers that big question.
PS – I think there are a couple friends reading this in the UK, and I just want to let you all know that my friend, Jaymay is playing several shows there in a week or so, including opening for Mates of State in Manchester! So go see her! She’s awesome!