Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Reading McSweeney’s 32, Part I

Some notes/comments/quotes/etc.

Each story in this is set in 2024. The editorial says that this is designed to give a more realistic focus to what can be seen at times as science fiction. To connect it closer to us. Fifteen years in the future. This sounds both sensible and patronising.

With cover illustration from the incredibly awesome Robyn O’Neil.

Anthony Doerr’s “Memory Wall”.

“Luvo can smell the nauseating thickness of perfume in the funeral home, can see the anxiety in Pheko’s eyes, can feel Alma’s unsteadiness in his own legs. Then he is snatched out of the scene, as if by invisible cords, and he becomes himself again, shivering lightly, a low ache draining through is jaw, sitting on the edge of the bed in Alma’s guest room.”

I like the headings in this.

Is the McSweeney’s newspaper going to be typeset in Garamond?

What’s on 4510?

“Alma laughs as Harold charges into the wavebreak.”

This would make a good film. But not as good a film as a story, I think.

“Rape gate”.

The rape gate became a feature in many South African homes in the early 1990s, in anticipation of lawlessness in a post-apartheid regime. The theory is that thieves can take whatever they want in the living room, but won’t be able to go into the bedrooms. The rape gate fad has diminished over the years: It turned out thieves were more interested in electronics.

Oh wow.

This story as a metaphor for reading, how images become ours, the assimilation of a character into our consciousness.”The memory of remembering.”

Oh wow.

This has become something very good very quickly. Of perception and understanding. Of compassion. Of the impossibility of understanding another person. Of the ultimate goal of compassion being the becoming of that other person.

“Pheko carries the plastic shopping bag containing the swimming trunks in his right hand but will not let Temba see inside.”



Filed under: mcsweeneys

One Response

  1. Hi there

    Could you please either remove the picture of the boys running into the river or credit me as the photographer. I didn’t give you permission to use my photo of my sons. I see you got it from Red Bubble where I am a member. It is also on my blog on this page

    I have only 20 photos on my website so far that are free for people to take, and two on, and this is not one of them.


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