Reading some of Pappos's short pieces on his blog site made me realize how addicted he is to the either/or. Does he ever experience a maybe both/and? Or isn't the whole game of wall street and corporate management based wholly on the "or"--you win or you lose. Markets are up or down. Products sell or they don't. His piece on the bankrupt pride of the Greek soul is perfect for this. Wonder if he's ever heard of the DeMoulas saga, Greek tragedy, around Boston, especially last summer's climactic battle?
Reading experiences frame one another, as with all of living. Coming to Pappos right on the heels of finishing Calasso on Baudelaire shapes my sense of what Pappos may or may not have pulled-off. Calasso is so slow and nuanced, magisterial, breathtaking. Pappos is nuanced enough but in that high-speed rush way that is not breathtaking even though it may at times take your breath away.
I envy it of course but by the end I wanted most of all to now write a novel that would be as opposite Hotel Living as possible. Nugget of great disappointment from my expectations as set up by the title. I wanted a novel that was really about hotel living, a sort of Pico Iyer thing but much better than he's been doing of late. I don't think this title is really that good for this novel. Have to laugh at library and publishing cataloging---in that string of tags they list 2. Single-occupancy hotels. That sure will mislead some researchers someday. When he gets a movie out of this book, and it could of course happen, it will have a much better title. Hotel Jerk or whatever. Hotel Innovation.
One of his best effects is to use the fog of corporate and management jargon with his command of trendy idiom to obscure and advance what people are saying and doing all at the same time. Maybe even something Nabokovian to give him high marks in that class of immigrant writers who master the language and add something to it, to the literature.
If Hotel Living is literature. Might be a fine trendy read. White and Cunningham. Of course. But no one will say as was blurbed on Calasso's book "one had thought they didn't write books like this anymore."
Sunday, July 19, 2015
July 8 Weds
Started reading Hotel Living, new novel by Iannos Pappos, which caught my eye because of the title, so close to mine. Wanted to see what he does with it. Of course the publicity for it talked about the anomie of hotel life as one moves around the high flying hedge fund wild world. Didn’t mention it is a gay love story. Or is so far. Also compared to Gatsby and Bright Lights Big City on the back cover, so who knows how it will keep going. Very good so far, pointed and fun and acutely observed. Called the Trollope of the moment. Of the mba and banking worlds today.
Nicholas on Facebook “Culture always trumps process. A currency is both but the former is more important than the latter, so should always reflect a shared politics, which the euro does not, so as the article says the drama continues, and the pain redoubles.”
Feeny canceled for tonight.
I wonder if Nicholas would permit “culture” to be replaced by “history and national character”? Of course “culture” as a term no doubt assumes both without specifying a political, ideological position on the meaning of those terms.
Friday morning around 11. Enjoying Pappos’s novel. He had first-class editing on it and he writes super-well. No workers this morning and it is not Nascar race weekend at Loudon. Not until the 19th.
Pappos’ book has that rushed, wild feel that makes it a “great read” if that term is still used. Makes you feel you of all people do not know what the latest and coolest terms are and you never will. Someone’s business card is in lower case Calibri so of course I have to stop to see if I have Calibri on here and what it looks like lowercase. I am in Optima now. Now I am in Calibri. Here is all lower case calibri. looks like the Gill sans I used to fancy.
Here is Calibri. Here is Gill sans and here is Gill MT. Line there for my novel: He couldn’t tell Calibri from Gill sans or Gill MT.
Thurs July 16
Thurs mid-afternoon. Just finished Pappos’s Hotel Living. Damn him! Amazing finish and doesn’t he just pull if off rather brilliantly! I went through the longeurs of boredom with the drugs and hollywood, Teresa and Ray and LA, just as he wanted me to, just as he made me do, that Pappos, that Trollope! The one key blurb on the cover says if Trollope were here he would want to write this book. Pretty great compliment. The book is So good that now I have to look up some reviews and get everyone to explain it to me and agree with me.
Astonishingly beautiful day. Va out by the fountain. Lunch and walk at Docks, saw Natalie and her friend. We ate at the deli in the house at the other end. Two big circular sculptures are gone, probably sold. New dragonfly in rusty old parts. ok but not great.
Flora called from the bank. Appraiser can’t file the final ok because there is no kitchen in the house. Flora didn’t know we were already under construction. Finally we agree that if we wait two weeks Tom from Loon appraisal can come back again and see for himself and for the housing loan regulators that there is a kitchen. She says it is the regulator level of the process that doesn’t like using Zillow etc--well it’s new federal regulations.
Cabinets are stacked in the dining room. 6:42 pm Tyler, Alan and Warren came and carried them in.
Friday night July 17
Kitchen floor in, some cabinets in place. Wow. Strange feeling of regret and remorse too, or being somehow unworthy, like out house is not up to the grade of upgrade we are having done or something. What a strange response to it all? Strangers examining our lives and we’re not up to the level. Making up some mythos that Alan and crew are more used to working for all the Rusty McLs of the lake district, the Hirschfields and such and we are not meant to be in the company. Strange notions, where did they come from?
Some leftover response from Ioannis Pappos’s novel. I am Stathis and all that. Can’t find that many reviews of it.??
Dream the other night. I had painted a big painting, five vertical panels divided by straight lines, all one canvas. Very satisfying gray on gray somehow, minimalist, texture with surface on top of texture. Probably the granite piece we chose now that I think about it, but this was a lovely painting I had done. Next scene is the gallery and the anxiety about the fact that the painting had been left out of the show, or left somewhere else, not there, not where it should have been. Sense of loss. Anxiety. And pleasure that the painting was so good.
Feeny by the way said nothing about the painting I gave him. Not a visual guy.
Today lunch at Norwich Inn after a fine early morning swim. Then look at the Montshire museum and speculation on how much Emma would enjoy it. Eliot too. Overdrawn at the bank so came home and call generic tiaa and requested fast withdrawal. Not here until Tues. Just the call makes me feel clandestine and dirty somehow. I did ask Charlie in Dallas, on the line, if this kind of call was the most popular request they get. Yes, of course. Nothing unique there. Need money. As fast as.