Saturday, January 19, 2013

Miles without a present to myself

I hadn't bought myself a present in
so long, I was feeling quite gloom-
ily out of practice. What to do,
what to do, what to do, I found my-
self muttering, almost audibly, can
you believe, rotating down the bal-
cony in a final settling of my cuff
upon my instep, its gentle break be-
lying all the labour in its fitting.
Should I venture down to Assouline,
I found myself mourning, now self-
doubtful of my avarice, and mime an-
other purchase of the swells; I won-
dered if they'd recognise this ennui
for what it is, or if I'd have to
book a table mid-town for 4, just
to open up my parcel to the gasp of
every waiter wafting Floris from his

What's become of all my shop-ping sprees' epiphanies of purpose, amidst entire indus-tries devoted to specifying what they must entail. I sense I need another villa to comply with these ukases, if not at least to blog of them, discreetly to the monde. Sat-urday used to be more generous with its hours, when the spec-tacle of my pleasures could go almost unnoticed - except to those who shared them, without the effrontery of enterprising Baedekers, dossiers purporting to exhibit delight in the dross of their own image. It's enough to incline one to disinvest in the imagination, and any thought of the city.


  1. Replies
    1. Dear DJS - I can't be sure what book you mean, in the phrase, "the book," but I can say that I certainly did buy it or not. :) Looking to my right, my "Context" tells me that you've one of Assouline's projects under discussion. I thought of this publisher for a volume once; it was a thing ostensibly on Lacoste. But when I saw, that they printed the thing in colours other than white, I knew what it would be worth. This isn't judging a book by its cover, it's inventing one with it. In the present case, I hope your experience is positive!

      Thank you for your visit ~

  2. I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that the author is in your title.

    1. Hallo, Daniel. Just back from a gorgeous morning walk, where my dog and I would be having our second tour of the day, I find your congenial note and feel I possibly should disclaim any recent purchase in Robert Frost. Besides, I'm not sure I'd have the courage to admit to it, if it were true; for then, I'd lack yet another good excuse for showing no influence of English letters. But now I see your point, that this mileage reference could be taken for a name, such as Davis or Archer might have been given. No doubt, this impression could have been exacerbated by a link I haphazardly associated with the publisher's name, but to land almost anywhere at Assouline these days is to be whacked with this particular news.

      I did make it over to your page, by the way, and was aghast to find how yucky they've become with their binding efforts. No doubt, there's some sort of caustic solution available to Yankees and bartenders, which could scorch away the disturbing dollop, but why not read the thing on Kindle, and be done with the larger issues, also?

    2. No solution available when the glue sticks two pages together. As gingerly as one tries, it rips or tears - in this case a gouging tear. Glue is meant to keep things together, after all. Let's hope, however, that the books doesn't start falling apart. (eyes rolling)

      Where, you know where my mind went after reading your post!

    3. Oh, well, I had hoped that the casualness which had marked the distribution of the glue had affected its composition, too; but now that you tell me, it's a potent adhesive, I have to attribute conscientiousness to the underlying smirch, Daniel, and this does smack of a multi-pronged sabotage of your library. It is always possible, I suppose, that some emancipated sprites in the People's Republic, like exuberant deities in Banville's "Infinities," are gumming up the works in earnest, harmless merriment: have you checked, to see if the pages in question, actually need to be examined? Who, after all, in a compilation this immense and, as you say, redundant, could be supposed not to have made allowances for some prunings and other eliminations, here or there?

      My guess would be, whatever the content, its loss might only enhance the whole. I'd count the pages if I were you, to see if they correspond roughly with their numbering. But as for where a reader's mind might venture, from any visit here, I make it a rule never to speculate. It was simply kind of you to look in, after all.