Sunday, June 21, 2015

Spewing this and that

Spoiler alert: As of this afternoon I am back on raspberries.
Oy, such a week. My version of "throwback Thursday" was a throwback to the flu of my childhood, inclusive of puking and high temperatures. On the bright side, it meant I slept, on and off, for something like thirty hours and I'm not about to complain about that. I imagine I temporarily dropped a few pounds too but it was nasty. And, now that I'm pretty much recovered (fingers crossed) I find myself wondering how it is that one withstands such experiences so readily in childhood. As I (dimly) recall, everyone just got the flu once or twice every year and it was always a stomach flu. You spent a few days in bed, eventually graduating to having ginger ale, saltines, and chicken boullion. And what I don't understand now is how I (or anyone else) withstood such an ordeal year after year. Are children just both more susceptible and more resilient? Do kids still go through this annual trauma or do they all get effective flu shots these days? So many questions that I just can't answer. Mostly, I'm glad to be done feeling wretched, and I'm hoping that Scott hasn't caught it from me.

Balancing Nabokov: View through the back door
Another great relief is to have finished reading Pale Fire this afternoon. I'm now officially calling it: Based on the three Nabokov novels I've read over a period of three--or more--decades, I'm going to say that I'm just not a fan of Nabokov. Oh, I remember Pnin, which I read in my twenties, fondly enough but Lolita (in my forties) left me cold, and Pale Fire has left me almost angry. "A joke's a joke," someone should have told Mr Nabokov, "and sometime more is just tedious." I try to figure out why it is that I take it so personally because it's not, I insist, that his characters aren't likeable. They aren't, but I refuse to believe I'm as shallow as all that. I think that what troubles me is that Nabokov seems not to like his characters. I'm sure I'm wrong, but it feels that there is no sympathy in Nabokov--not in his books, not in his characters, and not in him. As soon as I write that I feel I am wrong--and that it's unfair of me to make sweeping generalizations based on reading a fraction of his total output, and that my reading is likely to blame, not his writing. But we're parting company, Vladimir Nabokov and I. No hard feelings, I hope, but I'm done. I should like very much to love my next book. I'm not sure yet what that's going to be.

Gradka, with life restored to what it should be
 The weather in Seattle continues gorgeous and we're having a bumper crop of raspberries this year. (One of the worst things about being sick? Not being able to eat raspberries fresh off the vine. And I'm just not sure I'll be able to face peas again any time soon.) It's shaping up into another weekend of not actually going anywhere or doing anything, but on such days, with Gradka out of her cone and the backyard being so pleasant, it's not so bad being a homebody.

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