More Confessions

Visual non sequitur #1: Das Big Boy and Nanny Sunshine played hairdresser today. Beejer needed a shampoo after a (clean) toilet dive. Obviously, the game was a hit.

Visual non sequitur #1: Das Big Boy and Nanny Sunshine played hairdresser today. Beejer needed a shampoo after a (clean) toilet dive. The game was a hit.

This blog is getting all kinds of juicy, no? What scandalous detail will I reveal next?

It’s about what I’ve been reading. But first, a little back story. I am, in general, kind of a book snob; after all, I’m a former English teacher, wannabe writer, and MFA. I read constantly, and enjoy books that might be classified as cerebral, or poetic, or “literary.” Sure, I revel in George R.R. Martin and other page turner fare, but I’ve also been known to say about a book with a condescending sneer, “Well, I had fun reading it, but it wasn’t literature.” (See my opinion of Defending Jacob). Don’t get me wrong, I love contemporary fiction, and it’s not like I subscribe to forty-seven literary journals, but you don’t go to an MFA program and not come out (or, more likely, go in) as a bit of a judgypants. A book doesn’t have to be highbrow. But it does have to be good. My visual media consumption tends the same way. I like artsy and foreign. Disdain blockbusters.

But in both categories, I have a deep, dark secret. I LOVE trashy stuff marketed to teenagers. I was a devoted watcher of Gossip Girl for the first few seasons. I still watch Glee. Now, I couldn’t get into Twilight (a girl’s gotta have her standards), but probably just because it was sex-negative, gendered garbage. Jessica Quits the Squad, #112 in the Sweet Valley High series is listed on Facebook as one of my favorite books, alongside Wuthering Heights and White Teeth.

Beejer's blowout.

Visual non sequitur #2: Beejer’s blowout.

Mo knows this about me, and accepting soul that she is, does not judge. In fact, she did me one better. She brought me trashy teen lit as a bedrest present. Among the selection was the first book of Pretty Little Liars (a series written by an MFA grad, whom I have no doubt enjoys laughing at her lit snob classmates who are still working their asses off and getting rejected by The Literary Review or n+1). I won’t give away anything about Pretty Little Liars, except to say that it involves teen girls, high end fashion, murder, secrets, boyfriends, stalking, girlfriends, spying, and partying. In other words, it’s amazing.

But not so amazing that I would feel ok about downloading all twelve books at $8 a hit. So I’ve been borrowing them from the Boston Public Library on my iPad. The problem is, they aren’t consistently available, so I’ve read them in the following order: 1, 4.5, 10, 9, 7, 5. It’s a series that takes twisty turns anyway, but it’s particularly unnerving to read them out of order and forget what I’m supposed to know when. Perhaps it makes for a more avant garde literary experience, like the trashy preteen version of Cortázar’s Hopscotch. Though I have a feeling Shelley Jackson, incredible-sexy-genius-professor of my brilliant nonlinear lit class in grad school, would not approve. Unless I made some sort of terrifying installation about my reading involving Barbie heads, a language I’d invented, and time travel.

In other news, today brought a delightful visit from one of my dear cousins, who traveled an hour each way to bring me fun stories, an adorable stuffed penguin for Das Big Boy, and a yummy “lunch” that has so far provided four meals. Thank you, Cuza! (Nickname thoughts?)

On the uterine front, I’m so happy to have made it to 31.5 weeks. But I’ve also been feeling a little crampier (and I don’t think I can blame America’s sexiest bowel disease, as I’ve avoided dairy fat bombs and my intestines have responded well to my restraint). So don’t be afraid to send some good, “stay long and closed” energy to my cervix if you’ve got the time. Because I know you love telepathically communicating with my cervix. Imagine the art installation I could do about that. Shelley would totally dig it.


2 Comments on “More Confessions”

  1. Erin says:

    I think Shelley might actually have a story about cervixes (cervices?). She’s certainly got them about eggs and sperm. As for trash reading (literary chee-toes), I read the light that is Twi and the shades…I’m no wiser or otherwise. Fun like chee-toes are fun. Best consumed alone, in private, followed by thorough hand washing and teeth brushing. And tell no one. Except you in the comments field of your blog.
    I wish you cervical length and fortitude: child, stay in until the timer goes off!

  2. Nathan Chaney says:

    I read a really interesting profile 10+ years ago in the New Yorker about soap opera writers. It really caused me to re-evaluate my literary snobbery. These people churn out 5 new hour long episodes a week with plot lines that go on for years. On top of that, they produce a mini cliffhanger before every commercial break. Now, I don’t watch soap operas, but you’ve got to respect that level of production and focus on holding an audience. I can imagine that teen fiction is similar.

    I really started to get into crime fiction after that. Still being pretty pretentious, I started with the classic pulp authors (James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson). Chandler seems a bit dated to me now. Good but definitely old fashioned, like a good old movie. Thompson was actually not that great of a writer. Ideas were good, but execution was poor. I still think Cain is super awesome. Deceptively simple writer and a lot of tension below the surface. Classic style and classic scenarios that are really pretty timeless.

    Once I got into those books, I was sort of spoiled for “literary” fiction. It just started to seem pretty undisciplined to me for the most part. Also, pretty depressing most of the time. I started to ask myself why I was forcing myself to get through a book.

    Now I don’t read books that feel like homework. I find there is plenty of artistry in books that actually make an effort to be entertaining. I’ve gone farther and farther downstream from the literary world. I now mainly read crime/detective fiction. Elmore Leonard is pretty awesome. It is definitely not like homework. I also like Martin Amis, but the funny thing is I’ve read him say that he wishes he wrote like Elmore Leonard (and not just because he would be richer). Maybe I’m an anti-snob snob now.

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