Cusp This!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Have you ever been recommended a book by a friend that makes you think less of them? I just finished The Fuck-Up by Arthur Nersesian. I was supremely unimpressed. Maybe that New York is just not the New York I have known, but I didn't like the narrator, and therefore didn't care about his adventures.

It's also a very moody, what-is-this-all-for book. Now, I can love a well written what is this all for book. I love the Unbearable Lightness of Being, for example, which is a downer. The French Lieutenant's Woman, now that's a what-is-this-all-for book. Well, maybe the ones I like are more isn't-it-funny-that-this-might-all-be-for-nothing books. I guess that is a very different tone, but still.

I think the thing is that I want to be told something when reading (or living). If I'm taking the time to read your book, then I would like to learn something from you. It's an unspoken contract, I give the author my time and attention and they give me some intelligence--often that intelligence is simply that I can view the world through a different perspective.

My dear friend JA got a role at the theater I interned with post-college. I'm excited for her, though I think my feelings highlighted my dying love for the industry. You know when you find out that an ex is with someone fantastic and you think, 'well, good for them'? One part of yourself congratulates yourself for being so mature, and the other part realizes that the love you used to carry for the ex has died. That's how I felt about the theater when Jolly told me about her part. I gushed to my grandmother about JA's success, and she said, "I wish it was you." I didn't. I'm relieved it's not me.

When I was working in the theater one of the older actresses who I extremely admired once said it's sad when you realize that getting the part is the best moment of the experience. It was always the best part, to know that someone somewhere chose you. Then you had to deliver.

See, I just want my authors to deliver.


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