To Do While We’re Gone

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12/20/2007 1:00 PM |

Edith and I will be leaving this blog in the hands of a mystery guest-blogger starting tomorrow, but I’m not sure what he has lined up in terms of event recommendations or anything like that. So, if you’re looking for ways to keep busy between now and January 2nd, why not try…

Seeing a movie? Of the big awards-baiting holiday releases, I’d go with There Will Be Blood (opens the day after Christmas): all Westerns are, implicitly, American founding myths, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s oil saga is an epic consideration of bloodthirsty capitalism, tearing through the soil and the families that live on it. Through in a steady diet of casually achieved iconic framings and a ferocious Daniel Day-Lewis performance; I think the movie gets away from Anderson towards the end (he runs out of ways to contain Day-Lewis, maybe), but it’s as likely to become canonical as anything released this year. Rep-wise, the Walter Reade is running a Bob Fosse series in between Christmas and New Year’s, and if you’ve never seen, for instance, Cabaret, you probably should.

Reading? I won’t be doing a New Yorker Reader until I get back on account of I’m saving the new Winter Fiction Issue for a bus ride, as god intended. Also, first I have to re-read Ray Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” since one of the stories in the issue is “Beginners,” Carver’s original (and preferred) draft of it, later cut to frigging ribbons by Carver’s editor, Gordon Lish. As someone once said: “That’s minimalism, bitches.” If you have a lot of time, like you’re taking a plane or just lounging around at home or something, there’s The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, from the premier publisher of vintage crime fiction, featuring more than a thousand pages of tawdry, lurid, hastily written genre tales from the 20s, 30s and 40s. A secret history of American literature, maybe.

Celebrating the passage of time
? Hey, New Year’s is coming up. If you want to go to, like, a public party or something, the new issue of the L has a special page of New Year’s listings. Otherwise, this place tends to set out displays of champagne arranged by price, starting at like $3.99. Which is, obviously, recommended.