April 24, 2001


Earlier today, upon a lead I had from perusing metascene, I grabbed the New Yorker and discovered a short article by one of my true favorites, author Lorrie Moore. Maybe this is an indication that she might be finally publishing a new book? I don’t know, I really don’t know the mysteries of the publishing industry. At any rate, the piece can be seen on the currentNew Yorker web site (section: FIRST JOB), bunched in with other authors recounting first job experiences. A nice passage by Jonathan Franzen thrown in for the measure.

An excerpt from Lorrie Moore’s Self Help:

1973. At a party when a woman tells you where she bought some wonderful pair of shoes, say that you believe shopping for clothes is like masturbation- everyone does it, but it isn’t very interesting and therefore should be done alone, in an embarrassed fashion, and never be the topic of party conversation. The woman will tighten her lips and eyebrows and say,”Oh,I suppose you have something more fascinating to talk about.” Grow clumsy and uneasy. Say, “No,” and head for the ginger ale. Tell the person next to you that your insides feel sort of sinking and vinyl like a Claes Oldenburg toilet. They will say, “Oh”? and point out that the print on your dress is one of paisleys impregnating paisleys. Pour yourself more ginger ale.

         -How to Talk to Your Mother (Notes)

Nabokov’s Blues; The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius Nabokov, who never learned to drive a car, estimated that in the glory years, between 1949 and 1959, Vera drove him more than 150,000 miles all over North America, mostly on butterfly trips.