Fri-Yay: Weekly Roundup

Writing:
“Textual fragmentation and ambiguity–at both syntactical and linguistic levels–is not just an intellectual device for undermining the power of representational (i.e. ‘meaningful’) language, as the LANGUAGE poets might suggest, but also a tool for establishing readerly affect through ‘breathlessness’ and other anti-rational bodily responses.”

–from a draft version of a proposal for this year’s AULLA conference, themed Love And The Word. (Note: I’m not sure how much of this I believe, how many of these generalisations are valid, or what kind of scope such a suggestion might have. In short, I have no idea what I am doing.)

Reading:
Finally finished reading Evie Wyld’s All The Birds, Singing after putting it down for months. I didn’t dislike it, exactly, and the abuse and trauma that run through it are viscerally portrayed, but something about it just didn’t work for me. Or rather, lots of little things that grate against me gently; it’s the tone of all contemporary Damaged Misfit Lit; it’s the unpleasantness of the narrator; it’s the style, waxing slightly too poetical for the pragmatic main character; it’s the way the supernatural lurks around the edges without being fully realised. It seemed to get markedly better in the second half, but still felt like a slog. (Note: the second novel I’ve read this year with a female character who kills a kangaroo as a child. It happens in The Natural Way Of Things, too. Is this the OzLit zeitgeist?)

Watching:
All seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager have been added to Aussie Netflix, along with the rest of the ST serials, so I’ve been reliving my adolescent nerdhood with Voyager season 1. It’s obviously far from perfect, but there’s something so beautiful about a show that always, always pivots on the importance of working together, collaborating, and sharing experiences rather than being distrustful of the strangers you encounter.

Doing:
Picking up shifts while my manager attends mandatory training; making orange and rosemary cake with polenta, which ends up having the structural integrity of a damp sandpit; spending too much money on work lunches; painting my toenails even though it’s 8 degrees and rainy.

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