Tuesday, September 5, 2006
THAT TIME OF YEAR...
One friend tells me he has enacted his annual ritual of listening to The Kinks' "End of the Season" (from Something Else) another tells me he's got Joe Walsh's "Indian Summer" going through his head . . . however you parse it, August is gone and it's time for everything after. Actually The Kinks' song always feels a little later to me, after the equinox and just before Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going," and "Indian Summer" makes me think of those days in October when it shoots up near 80 (and it will, oh yes, it will) and everything is mellow and golden and there's rotting leaves all over the ground (and for the mood of that, check out The Doors "Indian Summer" on Morrison Hotel...and for the mood now, try "Summer's Almost Gone" on Waiting for the Sun). But what both comments signal is that The Kids Are Back In Town and another school year is upon us, soon we shall (to use the Bard's most excellent phrase) "fall into the sere, the yellow leaf."
Me? I got trapped by rain in Labyrinth Books on York Street. Among the various tomes I scanned with interest: Stephen Dixon's new novel, The End of I (maybe a little too close to home); an anthology of Baudrillard writings on Utopia from the late '60s, Veronica by Mary Gaitskill (good opening, but do I care about New York models?), three novels by Patrick MacCabe--think I'll read Breakfast on Pluto first, some time--a new book by T. J. Clark, a glance at Vattimo's Dialogue with Nietzsche (but I've got the library's copy), Girly Man by Charles Bernstein (I was tempted by the "war is" poem), Mark Strand's latest (but the first poem made me shut the book); various McSweeney's editions (give them credit for design, also some of the prose was decidedly entertaining), Claire Messud's Emperor's Children (sorry; note: God is in the tonalities), a copy of New German Critique with an essay on Adorno's Aesthetic Theory by my friend Gerhard Richter (I'll have to ask him for a reprint), and, when the rain had settled enough for me to be on my way, what was my choice? Tony Judt's Post War: A History of Europe Since 1945. I guess I'm in no mood for literature . . . "we had some good times, but they're gone/the winter's coming on, summer's . . . al-most . . . go-o-oone."