Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The dangers of drink!

{Photo of the lovely Le Tigre bar in Madison, Wisconsin by rocketlass.}

At least somewhat under the influence of gin and champagne at a wedding last weekend, I . . .

1 Discussed, with rocketlass and another guest who happened to be an Anthony Powell fan, which of two attendees was most likely to be Pamela Widmerpool. The vote, as I suppose it usually would regarding this question, broke down on gender lines.

2 Urged said Powell fan to watch the BBC television adaptation of A Dance to the Music of Time. I would likely never have been willing to try it without Ed Park's recommendation, but on watching it this spring rocketlass and I were pleasantly surprised at how much of Powell's sensibility it conveyed. And oh, the casting is good! I'm not sure that it would hold any interest for a non-Dance fan, aside from its splendidly rendered period settings and costumes (How well upper-class men dressed in the first half of the twentieth century!), but for a Powell fan the initial appearance of nearly every character is a moment of sheer pleasure.

3 Succumbed, following years of resistance, to my friend Erin Hogan's entreaties to read her favorite novel, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. My capitulation came about in large part because said Powell fan, who happens to be her best friend, explained that, on reading Dance, he e-mailed Erin to say, "The Jest has fallen to second place." Worse, I promised to read it this week, which, as I try to be a man who honors his word, I've begun to do.

From reading literature, I'm given to understand that people have, through the years, here and there been known to commit more grievous errors when under the influence of drink. At times, there are unquestionable benefits to being a book nerd.

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