Fortress of Solitude

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Sometimes a blog becomes more than just an online scrapbook, a research tool, or a sustained burst of solipsism, trying to tag a virtual piece of the vast empty, faceless internet with my handle. I am not sure if this is one of those moments, or perhaps belongs to some other category.

Circle around the book,

Fortress of Solitude
, and my guilt at purchasing Jonathan Lethem's novel used, instead of buying a pristine copy - rewarding Mr. Lethem a few more pennies for transfiguring thought and sentences and words from his brain to page, and yet, if I had only seen this novel in hardback in some corporate-friendly bookstore, would I have even picked it up off the shelf? Probably not, and then I would not have been profoundly moved by his tale of growing up as an outsider in Brooklyn as I am. If my novel(s) ever make it to the unlikely stage of 'finished', would I be bitter at subsequently discovering them on a remainder rack? Or would I be happy knowing that more folks will read it who might not have otherwise? I'd probably purchase them all on the spot, and send them to everyone I could think of sending to. In fact, I already have a book of poetry, if you want it. Ahem.

If this all makes sense to you, then I suppose you too were knocked to the got-damn floor by an errant elevator door - a negligently un-repaired elevator door, sans sensor, broken yet ignored for months and months, an elevator door that smashed you directly, maliciously, in the small tender part of your recently recovered back, once again forcing you to spend long hours confined to bed with only ice packs and pain medications (including that ancient cure - wine, and the modern cure, an iPod) for company.

If this doesn't describe you, sorry for the occlusion - it could be intentional. My mind is flittering around like a fruit bat, probably why my blog posts are usually mercifully brief. Self-censorship is usually smart protocol. When these stray thoughts used to linger, collected in spiral notebooks, I never cared if I was coherent or nto. I was just happy to retain enough motor skills to scrawl cryptic sanscrit-emulating script onto page, not worry if my thought was worth mulling in the first place.

Anyway, thanks again to Henry Abbott for the recommendation: I'll probably give the book as a present to a few folks this year. Used or not, haven't decided. A curse of the introvert: every possible scenario has multiple solutions.

oh, and yes, I did self-censor more idle thoughts about race and East Texas - triggered by the Fortress of Solitude. East Texas, near Jasper, where I moved in time to attend 7th grade. At first, my only friends were black (I moved from Toronto, via Guam, and had never been exposed to racial deliniation. Friends were friends, regardless of skin tone), but there were enough racist rednecks that this became an untenable condition for an eleven year old. Instead, I just kept to myself as much as possible, until we moved again to Austin.

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1 Comment

Glad you are liking it. That man can write. You have to get his book Motherless Brooklyn too.

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on February 19, 2006 8:48 PM.

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