Thursday, May 6, 2021

Jenny Disky’s Intimate Catalog from Prime Cuts, Vitti Essays

Diet book author Herman Tarnover tried to categorize his offices in Skardale by associating them with British associations. It seems that did not work.

This, however, is an almost surefire way to choose a psychiatrist in Manhattan: if not copies of LRB (London Review of Books), TLS (Times Literary Supplement) or NYRB (New York Review of Books), or ideally all three, At the waiting room table, you slowly return out of the door. Their performance reflects the seriousness of the intention.

In such a waiting room, I always picked up The London Review of Books first because I knew I had a friend. Her name was Jenny Diski.

The review of the book was determined to be sound and definitive by critics at LRB, as if they were museum doctors, their reviews and essays cast doubt. They were wonderfully clever, but agreeable and funny. Diski’s writings made someone’s voice chew his nails very sensibly. He made the stuffing waiting room a little brighter.

Diski (1947–2016) Starting in 1992, the LRB has contributed over 200 pieces in 25 years. A new book, “Why Don’t You Don’t Do You Turn?” – It is a type of title you can’t remember even when you are typing it – a few dozen of the best collections.

One of Diski’s great themes was his own indolence. A previous collection of his work published in England was published under the title “A View from the Bed”. In this new book, she writes: “I am a connoisseur of sleep.” And: “An activity that initiates a phone call is never welcome because the person canceling it is welcome.”

Nevertheless, it was very abundant. He has published more than 10 fiction books and almost nonfiction books including flexible and fun travel books. “Skating to Antarctica: A Journey to the World of the World” (1998) and “Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking Around America with Intervention” (2002).

Laziness and cigarettes were mixed for him. She describes a typical day: “Smoke. Drink a lot Smoke Write. Staring at the ceiling. Smoke Write. Layed on the couch. Drink a lot Write.”

It was the smoke that turned him inside. Dickie lived long enough to write a memoir, “In gratitude” (2016)About her life with lung cancer. An essay from that book is reprinted in this new one.

“Why didn’t you just do what you told me?” Essays on such creeps, malcontents and staffers as Jeffrey Demer, Howard Hughes, Dennis Hopper, Keith Richards, Pierce Morgan and Richard Branson are also included.

Diski has something interesting if limited sympathy for Dahr, who, in his own mind, was causing rather than destroying. He finds that Richards has had a memorable jumble of critics. She tosses Morgan and does it.

The Branson essay is a major disco performance. She recalls how Amir (Paul Getty, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) used to run quietly; They moved on with their lives. not anymore. When she was written, she could speak of a royal couple in modern exile:

“They are, it turns out, saints of the latter day, deflections and the nobles themselves of slaves and murderers, enemy-foe enemies, martyrs and shields of people. And my lord how they cry, how they swivel. , How they demand our attention and sympathy.

Another major performance is an essay titled “A Feeling for Ice”, in which he manages to blend, if not originally so confidently and dynamically, a cruise to Antarctica and Ernest with memories of his troubled childhood. Shekelton’s assessment (“I came from) a family of suicidal mania”), his time in a psychiatric hospital and a restriction on the nature of despair.

Many of these pieces belong to devoted wives of famous intellectuals: Vera Nabokov, Martha Freud, Sonia Orwell. She considers their obedience, their sacrifices.

Even writing about Vera Nabokov she can’t help but be a “devoted wife that all writers, regardless of gender, long and for whom in the right of individuals to pursue their own destiny” May be the most passionate believer ”abandon his principles. “

Disney re-shares Anne Frank’s diaries in her censored and uncensored versions. We are about to contact Frank for the tragedy, but Diski finds a pleasantly irritable, wide-awake Soulmate. “Nixie was not her project,” she writes in the diary.

In keeping with a cookbook titled “Last Dinner on the Titanic”, she thinks of the food ahead in a disappointing taste. When will we get the direction of “Hiroshima Sashimi Sham” or “A Dresden Barbecue”?

Diski confronts his fear of spiders. After hypnotism, his orcophobia is cured. Still he feels loss. “Some way in which I knew myself has disappeared.”

She says: “I wonder, why not get hypnotized by all my worries and nervous habits, make everything weird and resistant, so that I can become … well, nothing I have a dangerous image. “

The book lacks, alas, an index. And some of Diski’s best items, written for other publications, are not here. For example, she used to write supermarket criticism in a column called “Off Your Trolley” for The Sunday Times of London. You can find those pieces in “A View from the Bed”. A critic! America needs one. And a tattoo critic. And a hotel reviewer. And … my list is long.

In John Edgar Wiedman’s new career-spanning collection, “you made me Love You,” A short story about critics begins with a joke: “You don’t have to be very smart to write a review of a book of short stories. All you need to say is that some of the stories in the book are better than others. “

I’ll take Vidman’s bait. Some essays in Diski’s book are better than others. The former are, in fact, slightly finer than the latter – more intimate and free-floating. It is as if he was beginning after two decades of writing for LRB, so as to dry well.

Yet I find myself now picking up LRB and wondering what to say about Kovid, about Boris Johnson, about awakening the culture, what does it mean when artists like Taylor Swift go to their old albums Runs again.

“The most idea about Every thing Appears as literary criticism, “Iris Murdoch wrote in a 1974 letter. In an ideal world, this happens often. Diski was a model.

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