Friday, December 30, 2005

don't bother looking for what i've neglected to bring

I'm back in chicago, where it is surprisingly warm and damp. I had a really enjoyable trip to Flagstaff, culminating in drunken pool with Erica and Maya last night at the Mogollon Brewery :-) I had a lot of fun overall, and I also read a surprisingly high number of good books. After Invisible Man, I read The Historian, a new book about vampires, Dracula, and the history of Eastern Europe and Turkey. It was quite fascinating, and now I have a new goal of someday visiting Instanbul. It sounds amazing! Next I finally finally finally read Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, which is such a cool book. There are so few books about intersexuals, and even fewer that get lots of attention and Pulitzer Prizes, and this seemed to me like such a tactful but truthful book that I can only hope it made a lot of people think more about the things it touched on. I loved this passage in particular, and it also resonated with me because Anna has been learning and passing on so much information about bisexuality and that seems very related to me as another word that messes up binary isolated linguistic lines and so isn't acknowledged or named a lot of the time. Plus, damn it, I hate being so constricted by language.
"Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.""

No comments: