|I:||I want to believe that interracial relationships can work.|
|I:||I want to believe that an empathy gap between two races -- one with whom there has historically and presently been a fetishization of the other -- can be breached with diligence, care, and not lease some measure of love.|
|I:||I want to believe this despite a lot of evidence to the contrary.|
|I:||I hope you an forgive knee-jerk reactions, but I also hope you don't dismiss them.|
|I:||Beyond that, I don't really know how to feel.|
Warren Ellis (x)
thewaltzingdead said: Hi, Mr. Gaiman. I am feeling inexplicably sad today. There's no trigger, it just happens - some days worse than the others. Any words of comfort, just anything to get me through this episode? :(
Stephen Fry said it so much better than I ever could…
April 10, 2006
I’m so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I’m not sure there’s any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it’s sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don’t love yourself that much.
I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:
Here are some obvious things about the weather:
You can’t change it by wishing it away.
If it’s dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can’t alter it.
It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.
It will be sunny one day.
It isn’t under one’s control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
It really is the same with one’s moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. They are real. Depression, anxiety, listlessness - these are as real as the weather - AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE’S CONTROL. Not one’s fault.
They will pass: they really will.
In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. “Today’s a crap day,” is a perfectly realistic approach. It’s all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. “Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.”
I don’t know if any of that is of any use: it may not seem it, and if so, I’m sorry. I just thought I’d drop you a line to wish you well in your search to find a little more pleasure and purpose in life.
Very best wishes
A 15th century song, as quoted by Roland Barthes in A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments
"The Antisocial-Media App," Mark McConnell in The New Yorker
Tomorrow, I’m going to hear a man speak for whose words on culture and race in America I have the utmost respect.
But sometimes I question the rationality of these words. With a man whose sentences are always so measured, thusly constructed — how does he even speak to the same issues of cultural anger and discontent and cacophonous injustice without speaking the same language blogs like BlackGirlDangerous do? Can his measured rationality convey it all the same? Why does it need to?
I don’t know. I think I’d like to ask.
For months now, Yahya Hassan has been the biggest story in Denmark. The young poet has collected literary awards and garnered widespread praise for having the courage to speak his controversial mind. He has also received death threats. On a December afternoon at Copenhagen’s central station, a young man assaulted Hassan while reportedly shouting that he was an infidel who deserves to be killed. At one of his readings, police protection cost 1,000,000 kroner, or a little less than $200,000.
"Why is a poetry book flying off the shelves in Denmark?" PRI’s The World interviews LARB contributor Pedja Jurisic about his article on Yahya Hassan — a story about a teen whose rage-fueled poetry has provoked a public debate in Denmark about immigration.
Read Pedja Jurisic’s original essay for LARB, "All the Rage in Denmark: Yahya Hassan and the Danish Integration Debate."
Necessary lit world news.
Our special issue The American South is out!
Whether you’re partial to images or prose, attempt to capture the American South and you will soon find yourself deep in a thicket of contradiction. And there, not least among your struggles will be the very challenge of defining where exactly it is that you’ve wound up. When we talk about the South, are we referring to a stretch of states below the Mason-Dixon, a frame of mind, a variant of culture, or a region sill reeling from having once ardently defended Jim Crow and the “peculiar institution”? Writing in the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Patrick Gerster includes among the stereotypical characters we might encounter: Bible-thumping preachers haunted by God, nubile cheerleaders, demagogic politicians, corrupt sheriffs, football All-Americans with three names, and neurotic vixens with affinities for the demon rum. Add to this roster a host of poets, painters, farmers, freedom fighters, and citizens—scattered north and south—coping with the uncertainties of post-industrial America, and we may just begin to grasp this entity that remains in equal parts a place on the map and a place in the mind.
In this special issue of Guernica, the first of four made possible through your generous support to our Kickstarter campaign, we offer fresh takes on a familiar landscape, where the American South is at once a geographical distinction and a bright spot in the imagination, where burden vies with birthright, and where ignorance and renaissance exist side by side.
Reading list excitement.
How do you decide if a novel aligns with feminist ideals?
I continue to think about this question a day after finishing Dai Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. But a singular striking detail (the novel’s cover) repeats in my head and I am reminded of another slim book and its cover art. Nabokov’s Lolita.