Sean Penn has published his novel.
I generally do not diss other living writers (once you’re dead, your ass is mine), but I’m going to break my rule and say that is just . . . bad. I won’t even use the “Lord, it wasn’t good” cartoon for this one. This is abysmal::
“Hence his life remains incessantly infused with her identity-infidelity, and her abhorrent ascensions to those constant salacious sessions of sexual solitaire she’d seen as self-regard.”
That’s on page 11. I think it means the male protagonist is upset that some female within his grasp is masturbating, but that’s just a guess. (More quotes at the link above.) I thought Penn had reached the bottom of my estimation when he said that film was too important to waste on entertainment. (Entertainment is the delivery system for ideas, you moron.) But this, this sinks him far below that. This isn’t just dumb pseudo-intellectualism, this is Bad Writing.
From now on, whenever I look in despair at some of my own Bad Writing, I can comfort myself with the knowledge that at least I’m not Sean Penn.
For the love of god, tell me something good to read.
I’m reading The History of Hell. Next up: Inventing Hell. If anybody ever looks at my Amazon buying history, they’re gonna get an exorcist. (I highly recommend the Dictionary of Demons if you’re looking for demon names, although they’re Euro-centric, so you’ll have to go farther afield for other cultures.)
So what are you reading?
Power came back on Tuesday night, but the internet didn’t. Then there was a big snow storm. Power is out again. NOT HAPPY. But I am plugged in at the dinner about to have an amazing late breakfast so, hey, for the moment, I’m happy.
Thank god I have rechargeable lamps, battery lamps, headlamps. And back-up batteries. And paper books.
So what are you reading this week?
UPDATE: Power is on, internet is back, Jenny is happy.
This may be the most glorious poem ever written:
Maya Angelou, 1978
Now go here and be amazed all over again. Continue reading
New month, new books. Whatcha reading?
February is almost gone, American politics are moving at warp speed, and I’m getting older by the second, which are coming at me a lot faster than they did when I was twenty. Time to slow down with a good book. What did you read this week?
It’s the month of the dead. Let’s think about love.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43, 1845
One of the reasons I love this poem, aside from the fact that’s it’s an amazing declaration of love from a wonderful real life love story, is because I taught this in a high school English class once, and a boy told me, “I would kill to have a girl say that to me.” When you get high school boys loving poetry, you’ve written a good poem.
But my favorite Barrett poem is still Sonnet 14:
“If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only.
Do not say, “I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”—
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.”
Or as some dude once put it, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . . ” (Sonnet 116.)