Thursday, January 12, 2006

January 10, 2006



I had meant to blog this on new year’s day 2006 but I never got around to filling it in: a form that records, like a typewritten tape recorder transcript of a conversation, everything I read for a year (fiction, non-fiction, theory, Ebay listings, menus, cruise ship Aruba drug and murder blogs, books about babies, etc.), the time it took me to read and the place where I read it, usually my apartment somewhere but sometimes a Starbucks and sometimes a diner and often the subway or a PATH train. It is thus a stopwatch of various off-hand, inefficient, and fragmentary reading practices, really the dated, after-effects of reading, and since most of the stuff I read I don’t read at all and never remember reading afterwards, this is a cinema verite"memoir" filled with inconsistent abbreviations for hosts of other things in the worst possible sense of that horrible word, a working diary, a genre of forgetfulness, general laziness and protracted impatience. Such practices [non-feelings] are I realize are the essential ingredients of reading and things like books and magazines and expose-yourself-web-sites that go on forever without our really being aware of them for most hours of the day are or are not essential. They exist in a state of dependencies. They transpire thoughtlessly. They inspire non-repugnance plus excitation. They attach like mold to minor celebrities. They resemble people like Angelina Jolie who are not like us at all. They restore aura to trivia. Of course reading ought to be as non-invasive and as chronos-bound a practice as possible, a posthumous activity that takes place while we are living, something breathing backwards inside us like a mantra, something that goes fashionably out of consciousness, or to paraphrase Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, “something that exists in a state of quantum superposition, simultaneously existing and nonexisting.” I was reading something on the subway. I think it was the newspaper. And then on New Year’s Day on my way to the Marathon 24 Hour Reading at St Marks where I would be reading obituaries and restaurant reviews, I thought that New Year’s Day, merely a holiday time out, might after all serve as a model not for just how literature should be read but also I thought as I devised this, how reading might be a species, a genre, of the ‘merely’ written. SO, a calendar of newspaper clippings, internet porn sites, ticket stubs, novels—and that all this could somehow be misconstrued as the timetable for a new novel that I have been working on for the past 5 years and now because there is a stopwatch and thus a shadow attached to it, is finally finished and ‘Tan Lin “What I read for Bruce” Tuesday, January 10, 2006’ goes something like this, goes something like the reading a work of fiction [at a time to be determined later]:


9:10-12AM E Train n.bnd
NY Times “Cells That Read Minds” 1/10 Read/scanned photos
9:12-14 The UnMasking of JT Leroy 1/9

1:32-45 P.M. L/R COUCH
NY Times “Six Women At Dresdner File Bias Suit”; “Dow Tops 11,000 First Time Since ’01” 1ST half. Giving Drivers Access to Fast Lanes—1st page
1:46-52 Parents Magazine 1 ‘06: “Be A Better Mommy in 2006” Skimmed 1st Pgph; “My Wild Child” “Skimmed 1 Pgph; Stroll In Style Skimmed photos; “Is Your Baby Dehydrated” Read chart; “A Weighty Issue” skimmed; “Steal it From Your Kids” skimmed captions/photos
1:55-57 Fidelity Broadly Diversified International Eqty Funds ; skimmed earnings charts

3:05-4:08 HOME OFFICE listings: John Yau Borrowed Love Poems, Juliana Spahr Fuck You Aloha I Love You, Harryette Mullen Sleeping with the Dictionary Michael Palmer Company of Moths, Little Brown Handbook 9th ed., Little Brown Workbook 9th ed, Robert Musil Posthumous Papers of a Living Author, Dave Eggers HBWOSG, Annie Proulx Brokeback Mountain, Gus Van Sant My Own Private Idaho, Bruno Dumont Humanite, Cacouette Tarnation, Kumar Passport Photos, Kluge The Devil’s Blindspot, On Bullshit, Timothy Wilson Strangers to Ourselves.
4:08-28 “NJCU Barnes and Noble Textbook Adoption Site”
7:40-8:28 Ebay listings for Paul McCobb Cees Brackman Credenza Kay Bojesen Monkey George Nelson Ebay Favorite Sellers Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman Wirkkalla Glass Vase Hackman Renzo Piano Flatware
9:45-46 NYTimes “More and More Women Risk All to Come to US” 1/10 Scanned
9:46-52 Partisan Tenor or Alito Hearing Reflects Quick Change in Washington 1/10 Skimmed
9:53-7 A Night to See the Stars Actually Wearing Clothes
10:00-0 Doctors Learn to Say What no One wants to Hear p1
10:02-5 When the Pill Arouses that Urge for Abstinence
10:08-9 A Horrific Case of the Hiccups 1/10 Read 2 colums
10:10-13 Report Casts Fresh Doubt on Prostate Cancer Tstg
10:14-17 J&R Ad 1/10 Scanned
10:18-21 Netscape News Cruise Ship Mystery at Sea 1/6
10:22-25 CBS Early Show Cruise Ship CEO responds to Report. 1/9
10:24-26 MSNBC Cruise Ship Murder Mystery.: 1/6
10:27-30 Cruise Ship Murder Mystery: Abrams Rpt: 1/6
10:30-31 Natl Briefing: California: Schwarzennegger Gets A Fat Lip 1/10
10:31-2 Texas: Not Guilty Plea in Drowinings: 1/10
10: 33-4 “27 Responses to ‘Aruba Cruise Ships and Drugs’ Scanned blogs

10:33-11:15 COUCH/BED Robert Musil Posthumous Papers of a Living Author p 1-21 I read and reread this about 3 times.
11:30-12:53 Dave Eggers A Heartbreaking WOSG p 1-74 Read/Underlined