in other news, this also happened while i was in Mexico:
“undisciplined,” certainly, but what of my arabesque* grammaticality?
don’t worry guys, i’ve been reading a lot of Maugham and GK Chesterton (whom everyone seems to agree is, as a theologian and essayist, a paragon of tight, rich, yet lucid, prose. although his 1908 The Man Who Was Thursday reads like a fever-dream. “metaphysical thriller” indeed. i’ll see what i can get from his crime-solving-country-priest short stories….), i’m working on it. discipline, discipline!**
although i also just finished Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. dizzily inspiring, one must be careful not to be swept away by it, for to ape the style without the discipline is sure to yield the most horrendous and bloated prose, less intricate acanthus than expelled spaghetti. (see?)
from my travel notes:
Feb 29th, 2012.
reading Ada at a waterfall in Yelapa (perilously close to the edge, the ultima thule, of the book, not the precipice), munching slippery chunks of watermelon provided by a random man in a speedo. “Just return the rinds when you’re finished.” against his best intentions to affirm the “take only photos, leave only footprints” credo, we leave behind eggshells and an orange peel.
March 1st, 2012.
finished Ada today. on the can.
* in the second-order sense of the voluted and convoluted in art, rather than the literal “like Arab.”
** i am always reminded of my friend Jamie’s imitation his fencing instructor Lothar, who would cry in his thick German accent: “Discipline! Discipline is necessary!” and whip at his legs with a foil. or maybe it was his gymnastics instructor, and i am imagining the sword? or maybe they were the same person? hm.