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."