Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
nofutureparttwo

nofutureparttwo

Joined March 2017

a friend to thought • 20th/21st–C US lit; US history; philosophy; racism; law • words: http://americanchthonic.com
quote
nofutureparttwo

“History writes itself. It doesn‘t need my assistance.”
“But it‘s your life‘s work.”
“Your life‘s work could be scrubbing piss from a toilet bowl. Work isn‘t meaningful just because you spend your life doing it.”

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

The most important book I‘ve read this year; likely one of the most important books of my lifetime. Written with a righteous clarity that is uncompromising in both its outrage and its ultimate insistence on hope, Wallace-Wells sets fire to the comforting neoliberal fantasies of salvation through markets and technology that serve only to keep us from acknowledging our role in our own annihilation—and our agency over that fate. Essential reading.

review
nofutureparttwo
Stoner | John Williams
Pickpick

A singular novel, unlike almost anything I‘ve ever read. I can‘t believe I‘d never heard of it before I read it.

quote
nofutureparttwo
Stoner | John Williams

“Having come to his studies late, he felt the urgency of study. Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him an awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
———
My god, what a relatable description of being a nontrad student.

quote
nofutureparttwo
Stoner | John Williams

He saw [the future], not as a flux of events and change and potentiality, but as a territory ahead that awaited his exploration. He saw it as the great University library, to which new wings might be built, to which new books might be added and from which old ones might be withdrawn, while its true nature remained essentially unchanged. He saw the future in the institution to which he had committed himself and which he so imperfectly understood...

quote
nofutureparttwo
The Overstory: A Novel | Richard Powers

“But people have no idea what time is. They think it‘s a line, spinning out from three seconds behind them, then vanishing just as fast into the three seconds of fog just ahead. They can‘t see that time is one spreading ring wrapped around another, outward and outward until the thinnest skin of Now depends for its being on the enormous mass of everything that has already died.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Deployed upon that plain they moved in a constant elision, ordained agents of the actual dividing out the world which they encountered and leaving what had been and what would never be alone extinguished on the ground behind them. Spectre horsemen, pale with dust, anonymous in the crenellated heat. Above all else, they appeared wholly at venture, primal, provisional, devoid of order.”

nofutureparttwo “Like beings provoked out of the absolute rock and set nameless and at no remove from their own loomings to wander ravenous and doomed and mute as gorgons shambling the brutal wastes of Gondwanaland in a time before nomenclature was and each was all.” 7mo
5 likes1 comment
quote
nofutureparttwo

“And so these parties divided upon that midnight plain, each passing back the way the other had come, pursuing as all travelers must inversions without end upon other men‘s journeys.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“For this will to deceive that is in things luminous may manifest itself likewise in retrospect and so by sleight of some fixed part of a journey already accomplished may also post men to fraudulent destinies.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“The judge smiled.
Books lie, he said.
God dont lie.
No, said the judge. He does not. And these are his words.
He held up a chunk of rock.
He speaks in stones and trees, the bones of things.“

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augured the earth and some said they‘d heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang.“

quote
nofutureparttwo

“[He] cried out what it seemed he himself would not hear, a howl of such outrage as to stitch a caesura in the pulsebeat of the world. But the kid only spat into the darkness of the space between them. I know your kind, he said. What‘s wrong with you is wrong all the way through you.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Words are things. The words he is in possession of he cannot he deprived of. Their authority transcends his ignorance of their meaning.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“[T]hey rode out of that vanished sea like burnt phantoms [...] and there began to appear above them in the dawn-broached sky a hellish likeness of their ranks rising huge and inverted [...] the howling antiwarriors pendant from their mounts immense and chimeric and the high wild cries carrying that flat and barren pan like the cries of souls broke through some misweave in the weft of things into the world below.”
———
If Faulkner wrote Revelations

blurb
nofutureparttwo

This is scratching some type of itch for me, goddamn.

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

Happy George Saunders day, everyone!!!

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

A rigorous intellectual history of the slow subversion of post-Cold War democracy, written with a graceful clarity that‘s Orwellian in the best sense. The politics of eternity and inevitability, exhibited respectively by Russia and the West, are a dialectic; Snyder shows how eternity politics takes root in the cracks of Western liberalism. His formulation of Trump‘s “sadopopulism” is also deeply insightful. Essential reading.

6 likes1 stack add
quote
nofutureparttwo

“Of course, citizens play their part in creating a totalitarian atmosphere. [...] Citizens are curious: surely what is hidden is most interesting, and surely the thrill of revelation is liberation. Once all that is taken for granted, the discussion shifts from the public and the known to the secret and the unknown. Rather than trying to make sense of what is around us, we hunger for the next revelation.”
———
So much here is hitting home for me.

quote
nofutureparttwo

“The temptation to believe what feels right assails us at all times from all directions. Authoritarianism begins when we can no longer tell the difference between the true and the appealing. [...] To seek the truth means finding a way between conformity and complacency, towards individuality. [...] When inequality is too great, the truth is too much for the miserable, and too little for the privileged.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Inevitability and eternity are not history but ideas within history, ways of experiencing our time that accelerate its trends while slowing our thoughts. To see, we must set aside the dark glass, and see as we are seen, ideas for what they are, history as what we make it. [...] As institutions are destroyed, virtues reveal themselves. A history of loss is thus a proposal for restoration.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

On sadopopulusm: “The politics of eternity converts pain into meaning, and then meaning back into more pain. [...] Under Trump, Americans came to expect the administration of pain and pleasure, the daily outrage or triumph. For supporters and opponents alike, experience of politics became an addictive behavior, like time spent online or on heroin: a cycle of good and bad moments spent all alone.”

Probably the most important passage in this book.

quote
nofutureparttwo

“A physical book makes it possible to fend off the nausea roused by the electronic despotism we‘ve let into our lives [...]. Your Kindle Fire is so named because it intends to incinerate your concentration, because Amazon understands that we Americans rather enjoy the hot oppression of endless options, the arson of our calm.”

———
YUP.

saresmoore Oh, this is real good. 12mo
4 likes1 comment
quote
nofutureparttwo

“[F]or some of us, a physical book will always be superior reading, because it allows us to be alone with ourselves, to sit in solidarity with ourselves, in silence, in solitude, in the necessary sensitivity that fosters development and imagination.”

(From Giraldi‘s essay on book collecting)

quote
nofutureparttwo
post image

“Literature is read and criticism written in defiance of the ongoing noise, the ceaseless cyber grating and reckless surrender of calm, and in defense of [...] the great wilderness that gives up its secrets only by way of an inquisitive hush, a whispered inwardness in which we can be wholly ourselves.”
——
This is my first encounter with Giraldi‘s work, and oh my GOD. #nowreading #criticism #essays

8 likes1 stack add
quote
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

“It wasn‘t fair. It happened to everyone supposedly but now it was happening to specifically to him. He‘d kept waiting for special dispensation, but no. Something/someone bigger than him kept refusing. You were told the big something/someone loved you especially but in the end you saw it was otherwise. The bit something/someone was neutral. Unconcerned. When it innocently moved, it crushed people.”
#georgesaunders #tenthofdecember

quote
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

“To keep him alive she started piling on him various things from life, things smelling of a home—coats, sweaters, a rain of flowers [...]. He was piled high with clothes. He was like the bed at a party on which they pile the coats.”

This is the best goddamn simile I have ever read.
#georgesaunders #tenthofdecember

quote
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
post image

Afterwards, sometimes there would be tears. Tears in bed? And then they would—Molly pressing her hot wet face against his hot wet face. They were sorry, they were saying with their bodies, they were accepting each other back, and that feeling, that feeling of being accepted back again and again, of someone‘s affection for you expanding to encompass whatever new flawed thing had just manifested in you, that was the deepest, dearest thing he‘d ever—

blurb
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
post image

I started listening to this earlier today, and I‘m already more than halfway through! My god this prose just sparkles. It‘s simply dazzling. And Saunders reads it so well. #nowlistening #nowreading #audiobooks

blurb
nofutureparttwo
post image

Just started. This truly is a miserable pageant of idiotic suffering. #nowlistening #audiobook

Leftcoastzen 👏👍😬😳 1y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
nofutureparttwo
Politics of Friendship | Jacques Derrida
post image

this #bookhaul was waiting for me today when i got home from work! last week #verso sent me a coupon for 50% off my next order, so i decided to buy myself an early birthday present. and what better gift to give oneself, than the gift of radical critique? (linked the other four books in the comments! 👇)

16 likes4 comments
review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

If you‘re going to read one book on this dumpster fire, I‘d recommend Harding‘s. Like with other recent titles on Trump/Russia, most of what Harding reports is already public knowledge; what sets him apart is the detached, international perspective he brings to the bizarre Le Carréan fever dream that was the 2016 election and its aftermath.

8 likes1 stack add
review
nofutureparttwo
post image
Pickpick

Rhodes was a Forrest Gumpian figure of the Obama era, present at nearly every major decision, victory, and loss. He writes with candor and affection, offering a portrait of Obama as dynamic, exasperated, and uncertain; yet filled always with fierce love and generous spirit, even when confronting the impossible double binds that ensnared his presidency, which were unlike those faced by all black Americans—even at the heights of power.

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

This was a dispassionate, meticulous accounting of the longstanding social and financial ties between the Trump circle and the seedy shadow-world of Russian oligarchs and crime syndicates. Hettena does not really offer any new information, but he accessibly summarizes the mass of knowledge we already have in a refreshingly unsensational fashion.

quote
nofutureparttwo
A Little Life: A Novel | Hanya Yanagihara

“Fairness is a concept taught to nice children: it is the governing principle of kindergartens and summer camps and playgrounds and soccer fields. [...] Fairness is for happy people, for people who have been lucky enough to have lived a life defined more by certainties than by ambiguities. Right and wrong, however, are for—well, not unhappy people, maybe, but scarred people; scared people.”

This book. This. Book.

TrishB Yep 💔 1y
aschermetz This book gave me the worst book hangover I‘ve ever had. I‘m still recovering. So so good. 💔💔 1y
9 likes2 comments
quote
nofutureparttwo
Borne: A Novel | Jeff VanderMeer
post image

“Names of people, of places, meant so little, and so we had stopped burdening others by seeking them. The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesque fairy tale, something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity. Anonymity amongst all the wreckage of the Earth, this was what I sought. [...] These things became blissful; how could names have power next to that?”

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

The final (and weirdest) book of the #SouthernReach trilogy, Acceptance adopts a fractured, multi-perspective narrative to recount both the beginning and end of the story of Area X. The effect is something like the temporal dilation of the quarantine zone itself; timelines run together and echo each other. My least favorite, and the weakest overall—but a worthwhile and fitting conclusion feat. This trilogy was unlike anything I have ever read.

RaimeyGallant Sounds interesting. 1y
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
nofutureparttwo
Authority: A Novel | Jeff VanderMeer
Pickpick

The second installment in VanderMeer‘s unsettling #SouthernReach trilogy was a little bumpy for me at first. Whereas Annihilation was a first-person account (that reads like if Shirley Jackson had written Walden), Authority takes on similar themes—the uncanny; the unconscious and the split subject; being un-at home with oneself—in the generic form of a psychological Le Carréian spy novel. It lagged a bit, but I came to love it in a different way.

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

There is so much to unpack! Wolitzer raises questions about the possibility for female solidarity under capitalism, the ethics of pragmatic compromise, the value of women‘s work—especially emotional labor—and the potentially corrupting influence power can have on the young and idealistic. She also explores the relation between introversion and empowerment within feminist discourse. It‘s not without its faults, but it‘s still a hell of a novel.

blurb
nofutureparttwo
Authority: A Novel | Jeff VanderMeer
post image

Slow night at the store, so i‘m getting quite a bit of reading done! I‘m about 80 pages into the second book in VanderMeer‘s #SouthernReach trilogy, and while I‘m enjoying it, it has yet to grab me quite like Annihilation did (which was all the more gripping for being so absurdly compact). Hoping it‘ll change soon.

WanderingBookaneer I‘ve picked it up thrice and have always bailed. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
14 likes1 comment
quote
nofutureparttwo
City on Fire | Garth Risk Hallberg

“When you were young, you had the resources to rebuild after each crater fate blasted in your life. Beyond a certain age, though, you could only wall off the damage and leave it there.”

review
nofutureparttwo
Annihilation | Jeff VanderMeer
Pickpick

I can‘t believe a book could fit so much to unpack in so small a space (it‘s about novella-length). Like the endless sentence on the tower wall, VanderMeer only gives us enough info to keep us following along. Area X is a horribly beautiful place: fecundity and decay exist together with a sort of verdant violence; the same can be said of VanderMeer‘s writing. It does with ecology what Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness did with colonialism. I loved it.

Reggie I like the alliteration in your review that goes well with VanderMeer, verdant violence. Nice. (edited) 2y
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
nofutureparttwo
The Cat in the Hat | Dr. Seuss
post image

Enjoying a hot cup of sass after digging out my driveway. #MakeAmericaReadAgain

quote
nofutureparttwo
Annihilation | Jeff VanderMeer

“Some questions will ruin you if you are denied the answer long enough.”

10 likes1 comment
quote
nofutureparttwo
Annihilation | Jeff VanderMeer
post image

“That‘s how the madness of the world tries to colonize you: from the outside in, forcing you to live in its reality.”

———

Oh my GOD. I just started the first installment of VanderMeer‘s eco-horror #SouthernReach trilogy last night, and I‘m hooked. Reminds me of Justin Cronin at his best. #AllEyes #audiobook #libby #nowreading #nowlistening

review
nofutureparttwo
& Sons | David Gilbert
Mehso-so

I wrote a longer review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2269886793. A drôle, clever story about the possibility for redemption, the impossibility of family, the mimetic relation of life and art, and the best pretzels in Manhattan. Offers dazzling descriptions (“The mirror revealed a decent young man, perhaps a tad in costume, like he was starring in a high school production of Adult: The Musical”), yet felt lacking in emotional depth.

quote
nofutureparttwo
The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen

“[T]he mall was bordered by an example of America‘s most unique architectural contribution to the world, a parking lot. Some bemoan the brutalism of socialist architecture, but was the blandness of capitalist architecture any better? One could drive for miles along a boulevard and see nothing but parking lots and the kudzu of strip malls catering to every need, [...] each one an advertisement for the pursuit of happiness.”

saresmoore Well, there‘s a truth punch. 2y
nofutureparttwo @saresmoore Right?? This book is basically a 400-page series of truth punches. Also “the kudzu of strip malls” is one of the most brilliant descriptions of anything that I‘ve ever read. 2y
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
quote
nofutureparttwo
The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen

“I was careful, then, to present myself as just another immigrant, glad to be in the land where the pursuit of happiness was guaranteed in writing, which, when one comes to think about it, is not such a great deal. Now a guarantee of happiness—that‘s a great deal. But a guarantee to be allowed to pursue the jackpot of happiness? Merely an opportunity to buy a lottery ticket. Someone would surely win millions, but millions would surely pay for it.”

quote
nofutureparttwo
The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen

“I pitied the French for their naïveté in believing they had to visit a country in order to exploit it. Hollywood was much more efficient, imagining the countries it wanted to exploit. [...This] marked something new in the world, for this was the first war where the losers would write history instead of the victors, courtesy of the most efficient propaganda machine ever created [...]. Our fate was not to be merely mute; we were to be struck dumb.”

quote
nofutureparttwo
The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen

“I naively believed that I could divert the Hollywood organism from its goal, the simultaneous lobotomization and pickpocketing of the world‘s audiences. [...] Hollywood did not just make horror movie monsters, it was its own horror movie monster, smashing me under its foot.”
———
Clear resonance here with Adorno‘s critique of the culture industry, further complicating this book‘s dialectical engagement w/ Marxist criticism.

review
nofutureparttwo
The Sport of Kings | C.E. Morgan
Pickpick

There is so much in this book, and so much to love. I was a little disappointed by the ending, but that seems ridiculous in light of the brilliance that preceded it. Morgan deploys her central organizing metaphor—the fetishistic resemblance between horse breeding and chattel slavery—to devastating effect. This book absolutely deserves its comparisons to Melville and Faulkner.