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Showing posts from November, 2012

High Voltage (?) by AC/DC

LOW VOLTAGEis more like it.  Not their most electrifying record.

Or: What do you get when you light T.N.T. but it doesn't explode?

Oh oh, I know!  High Voltage byAC/DC.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not a bad first album.  It's just incongruently titled according to its charge.

The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit by Sylvia Plath

The lighter, playful side of Sylvia Plath (turns out there was one!) emerges brilliantly in this delightful children's tale.  To hear Plath write for kids in a helpful, hopeful style and tone, completely devoid of the poetic, metaphoric despair she patented, is poignant, to say the least.  One wishes she could've heeded the moral lesson of her story, that it doesn't matter what you look like outside or especially in, more successfully.... But such difficult lessons rarely penetrate beyond childhood when one is plagued by terrible pain the suffocating weight of Plath's.  Try not to tear up if you read it to a kid, like I did.  If they ask why you wept, but they're too young to hear about her death, just rub your eyes, smile and reply, as I have -- "Aw ... it doesn't matter" -- and so pay your homage to Plath.

Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max

A friend remarked in a thread here in Infinite Jesters regarding D.T. Max's biography of David Foster Wallace (DFW), "It was so interesting and heartbreaking, I just felt terrible once I finished it."

To which I replied:  Exactly!  And that's why I haven't said very much about it.  Until now.  And even though it's obvious how the book is going to end, it's still sad when you finish it.  Made me feel a tad too empty for my taste.  I wish Max could've softened the blow somehow, but that's just wishful thinking.

I thought it was interesting how DT Max demonstrated how much of DFWs so called "non-fiction" was in fact confabulated.    I hadn't suspected the degree to which Wallace embellished.  Maybe not so much the meat of the truth about his life and experiences, but all the whimsical amplifications he made in the otherwise humdrum details concerning the people and events of his reportage.  His essay on the Illinois State Fair, "…