Saturday, March 23, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Spotting F. Sionil Jose and Mavis Gallant

I finally saw F. Sionil Jose, the Filipino novelist, in his bookstore, Solidaridad, along Padre Faura Street, a stone's throw away from PGH. He was handing out books that had just been delivered to his assistants (I saw When Breath Becomes Air), telling them to which section they should be displayed.

F. Sionil Jose

I got Mavis Gallant's Overhead in a Balloon for Php 250!

Untitled

Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor at the New Yorker, wrote this about her:

Gallant was sometimes unforgiving, but also compassionate toward the characters she inhabited. I came to her as a reader years before I had any idea that I might one day know her. For a young woman, reading secondhand copies of the collections “From the Fifteenth District” and “Home Truths” was a revelation. Gallant’s characters were so interior one had the sense that they were almost trapped inside their own minds, peering outward through two circles of light. The degree of self-knowledge was painful, the understanding of the moods and motivations of others astonishing, but the moments of real connection heartbreakingly rare. There was isolation, and then there was the acceptance of isolation.

She is a "writer's writer."

Friday, March 15, 2019

Saturday, March 2, 2019

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Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered

Completing my census relaxes me. It requires nothing more than quick eyes, steady hands, and a computer plugged to electricity. It is best accomplished with some music. Kristin Chenoweth's version is beautiful. Do listen.



Love's the same old sad sensation
Lately, I've not slept a wink
Since this silly situation
Has me on the blink
I'm wild again, beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I

This song has been playing in the background as I kill the afternoon writing my census, about a hundred or more pages of entries at size 10, Arial. I am "bewitched, bothered, and bewildered" at the opportunity to have taken care of this many number of patients. I don't remember everyone on the list, but I can recall most faces.
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