The Ambiguities

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The Ambiguities
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The Ambiguities

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The Ambiguities

 

Finished: The Angel Esmeralda, by Don DeLillo; The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon.

 

It was Patriots Day (Observed) in Boston. It was also tax day. And two pressure cooked bombs went off.

 

The past two days have been very wholesale nfl jerseys strange for everyone. The strangeness in my case is due to spending the last two days in transit. I was in an airplane when the bombs went off. When I arrived at my destination in Alabama, I was told the news. I packed what I needed to pack into the U Haul and drove, out of Alabama and into Georgia, flipping the dial through static to find snippets, details, all the sifting of information that occurs in the hours after Something Happens. And then stopped at my cheap motel room, sad but somehow not surprised. And then, unable to sleep, drove through the day until mid afternoon.

 

So yes, I had basically turned into a Don DeLillo character in a Don DeLillo story for a couple of days.

 

Mostly I was unsurprised not due to any DeLilloesque philosophical exploration of terror and the contemporary American condition, but because I been reading about bombs for weeks. In The Lazarus Project, anarchism in early 1900s Chicago is one of the main subjects; the Haymarket bombing lurks behind everything. When I was driving, I thought, is this going to happen to Chicago? before I remembered that it happened 127 years ago. (Not that it can happen again.)

 

And on the plane yesterday I read Novels in Three Lines, a truly amazing compilation of very short, very stylish news briefs filed in a wholesale nfl jerseys china Paris newspaper by the critic, anarchist, and clerk Felix Feneon in 1906. Many of his columns reported at least one bombing or (more often) failed bombing. They were everywhere, in 1906.

 

As prose it an incredible book, each Cheap NFL Jerseys three line snippet full of character and complexity. It its NFL Jerseys Wholesale litany of stabbings, beatings, shootings, accidents, strike related police brutality, and (yes) terrorist bombings, it surely one of the most violent books, line for line, in history. And yet there something comforting about it, too. As I implied above, there non or anti news here as well as news: that turn out to be nothing but sandbags, accidents averted, fires contained and suppressed quickly and efficiently, shots fired and missed. These terrible things happen over and over, in 1906 as today as 2000 years ago. It is part of human life, and human life goes on. And the lines often make clear that it is our response to such awful occurrences (or the fear of awful occurrences) that makes us human or less than human.

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