Saturday, January 22, 2005
Now back to my original purpose, after discovering the contents of the previous entry with delight... I read Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers. I'm too much of a words person to really like books with lots of pictures, but it definitely took me back. I still have this weird thing where September 11 brings to mind the smell of this Chanel foaming face-cleanser that I'd bought about a month earlier at the tail end of a massive gift certificate (a present from the editorial collective at the Yale Journal of Criticism, where I was managing editor) at Century 21, which was then out of action for many months to come. The indescribable smell of this pale-blue foaming stuff in an expensive-looking black-and-white tube--I'm too far uptown to have that other smell in the air, the smell we really all associate with September 11, of burning plastic and human flesh--is the way I remember those days following September 11, that and having to pull myself together to lecture on Wycherly and Congreve and explain to my Literature Humanities first-year students at Columbia why the NYT was featuring photographs of people in the Middle East cheering at the deaths in lower Manhattan... Anyway, an interesting read. And I also just finished Brooklyn Noir (on which my brother Jon Doe had some interesting recent comments, only I won't infringe his privacy, except to say that he thinks Ken Bruen is the best--he bought this volume at a Brooklyn Barnes and Noble after having read The Guards and loved it). Maggie Estep rocks!