Sunday, February 10, 2008

February 3 - 10, 2008

torpor by Chris Kraus
2006- paperback

One Chris Kraus's earlier books was recomended to me a few months ago. It made me fall in love with fiction and literature again even though her books seem to blur fiction with non. As soon as I finished her earlier book I wanted torpor, but it is a book one has to seek out at enlightened bookstores. torpor, in a sense, sought me out since Chris Kraus, who is participating in the Sex Worker's Art Show tour, and it traveled to where I live.

One aspect of this book that caught me by surprise was Sylvie and Jerome's trip to Romania. Before this past August I knew little about Romania. As I learned this fall about this country and its history and art (Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Kristine Stiles, Andrei Codrescu's Hole in the Flag, the film 12:08 East of Bucharest and, soon, the new film 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)torpor added yet another voice to my unserstanding of the country. I love unexpected overlaps like this that I encounter in reading.

Ghost of Georges Perec, you are next.

This reading resulted in 18 notecards so I will just mention some resonances here.
p. 18 (Thirtysomething the tv show and people at this age) "They no longer want to change the world. Now, they are creating families."
p. 23 fond de l'air
p. 24 (French rationalism) "The notion that the world could be contained by classifying." Mention of Comte de Buffon's Encycolpedia of the Animals- described in terms of what they are not.
p. 25 Rheingold sign
p. 45- (travel) "The future is a promise that's been deferred so long you've nearly given up, but it can be suddenly fulfilled."
p. 46 "All the saddest songs, she thinks, have happiness inside them."
p. 48 and 49 Bedouins
p. 50 Romania's reproductive policy
p. 54- Jerome and Sylvie memorizing Nausea at age 13- proof they "were actually the same person."
-the photograph labels included throughout the book
p. 63- "...places in the world where time stands still..."
p.66 underlining passages in books
p. 67- mention of Dadaist collage (also mention of prints in the manner of George Grosz twice)
p. 68- leaving traces
p. 72 "Do you really think you have accompolished enough to have a child?"
p. 75- city going to sleep
p. 79- history
p. 98- chaos engineered
p. 101- "Were the poets still in charge?"
p. 103- "...when language isn't written down, it's nothing."
p. 107- happiness
p. 117- "What do people do?"
p. 118- "She's terrified of flying. She hates to think her life will end before it has begun."
p. 119- "All she wanted was to talk about the things that interested her and be listened to by someone other than Jerome."
p. 127- Munson's Diner
- Hannah Arendt, you are next after Georges Perec
p. 137 and 186- "'The crisis in language,' Perec once quipped, 'is not in words.'"
same page- holding onto memories in fragments
p. 150- "What if the whole concept of 'relationships' that tormented her was unnecessary?"
p. 152- "Deep down, Jerome didn't merelyl want to be a friend to all the artists: he longer to be one."
p. 157 tenses
p. 189- books, rants
p. 191 "..she thinks: I'm 35 years old. Everything I do now has to matter."
same page- definition of Debrouillard
p. 192- women on the list
p. 193 "...the evening dusk seems Kodachrome and magical..."
same page- buildings holding hands
p. 194 books comment and playing a Lydia Lunch record
p. 196- shoe repair
p. 199- The Balkan Wars (echoing my recent viewing of the film, The Secret Life of Words)
p. 225
p. 269- colors, children's books
p. 270- Proust
p. 273- alone together
p. 280- digging her nails in
p. 283- working at a post office
p. 283- corduroy
same page- grilled cheese at the Town and Country Diner
last chapter- would have tense
p. 285- "The photo is a strange artifact: a souvenir of possibilities that never came to be."

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