The Lottery, Shirley Jackson (1948)

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had … Continue reading The Lottery, Shirley Jackson (1948)

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment, Erdedy’s Wait, Infinite Jest

I’ve chosen to blog this particular passage, which runs ten pages in lenght, for a few reasons, the most honest reason being its unrelenting frankly honest potrayal of a person in the midst of a serious marijuana dependancy. Erdedy’s chapter has him eagerly awaiting the delivery of 200 grams of high-resin weed, of which he will force himself to smoke in its entirety in one … Continue reading Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment, Erdedy’s Wait, Infinite Jest

Death of an Author, Roland Barthes

In his story Sarrasine, Balzac, speaking of a castrato disguised as a woman, writes this sentence: “It was Woman, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive fears, her unprovoked bravado, her daring and her delicious delicacy of feeling” Who is speaking in this way? Is it the story’s hero, concerned to ignore the castrato concealed beneath the woman? Is it the man Balzac, … Continue reading Death of an Author, Roland Barthes

Author’s Note: A Scanner Darkly, PKD

This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed–run over, maimed, destroyed–but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling … Continue reading Author’s Note: A Scanner Darkly, PKD

“The pain, so unexpected and undeserved…”

“The pain, so unexpected and undeserved, had for some reason cleared away the cobwebs. I realized I didn’t hate the cabinet door, I hated my life… My house, my family, my backyard, my power mower. Nothing would ever change; nothing new could ever be expected. It had to end, and it did. Now in the dark world where I dwell, ugly things, and surprising things, … Continue reading “The pain, so unexpected and undeserved…”

Paris from Camus’s Notebooks

Originally published in The Paris Review on September 19 2016.  The myth is tenacious: an unknown writer on the verge of international fame, not suspecting that the scattered pages on his or her desk will become that miracle, a first published novel and a passport to glory. From March to May 1940, Albert Camus was that man, finishing a draft of the book he was … Continue reading Paris from Camus’s Notebooks