Saturday, March 01, 2014


Just last Sunday I was bragging and boasting to Bill Boyle about how much of ANCIENT EVENINGS I had raced through - they said it couldn't be done! - and Bill said, "You've still got a long way to go," and I said, "But I'm reading so fast!" Ha! The next day I got sick. I've been sick all week! Which explains my prolonged and unnoticed absence. Don't worry, Dr. Theresa has been on the case, though she is not a doctor of medicine. I'm on the mend thanks to her! But I found myself unable to open ANCIENT EVENINGS again, I just couldn't make myself do it. Was it because of all the gross stuff in it all the time? Not really, I don't think so. I had a thought on Tuesday, something I wanted to look up about Richard Strauss. And today is Saturday and I still haven't quite summoned up the energy to walk across the room for MILTON CROSS' ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS AND THEIR MUSIC. Things seem like an effort! WILL I EVEN GET THROUGH THIS "POST"? There was an advance copy of Megan Abbott's forthcoming novel handy, though, and once I felt like reading again, that's what I went for, though ironically (?) it is called THE FEVER and it's about girls who are suffering from "terrifying, unexplained seizures" as I think it says on the back of the book. Yet it's a tonic! Keeps the old heart pumping and the mind racing. In an appalling coincidence, given its subject, I happened to grab as a bookmark a postcard advertising the Frank Tashlin movie THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT. That's not funny! But it's true. Megan's book will put you in a trance, pull you under. It's dream-like and dangerous, and things are starting to get out of control! That's a terrible description but I'VE BEEN SICK. Megan said, "You're like Cathy in Wuthering Heights! When will you be half-savage, hardy and free again?" But everybody knows I more like Heathcliff's kid, the one he left out in the rain, the one lolling all frail on a couch with a peppermint stick, weak and cruel.