the blues

September 15, 2010 § 2 Comments

“The blues” is such a nice way to say I’m feeling fucking sad for no reason and I’ve no fucking idea why. You can roll your tongue over the word “blue” and feel that you’ve just made something beautiful; sadness put to some useful aesthetic use. Partly this stems from having just finished Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, which is very blue indeed. It is ripe with loss on every page; it was too much for me to read all at once. I read bits before bed and had blue dreams and woke up feeling blue. To those of you reading it for the first time I’d suggest not reading it in winter, or before bed, or during, you know, the dark night of the soul. Read it when the soul is sunny.

I also just finished Roberto Bolano’s The Savage Detectives and think that it’s a book that absolutely refuses to be talked about or analysed. I can’t seem to think about it. It seems, more than any other book I’ve read in awhile, to be 577 pages of sentences to be read, experienced, and then put aside. A part of me feels that the act of rumination or analysis will be pointless. But we’ll see what I can make of it. The point of this blog was to train my mind to make sense of absolutely anything. It’s proving harder than I thought; my lazy mind is prone to languishing in feeling and very resistant to thought.

Blueness is further exacerbated by having also just finished Skim, one of the saddest and loveliest graphic novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. The illustrations by Jillian Tamaki are heartrending all on their own; if there were ever a person meant to draw loneliness, isolation, and confusion with tender attention to detail, it’s probably Jillian Tamaki. Just the curve of Kim’s jaw, or the small line of her smile, allows the reader full access into the gamut of emotions that riddles her character from one panel to the next. This is not to say that Mariko Tamaki didn’t do a thoughtful and sensitive job with the words; but I can’t imagine this book being as good as it is if it was illustrated by someone else without Jillian Tamaki’s artistic sensibilities.

But it’s also an essentially sad book. And all this sad reading, combined with the thick blanket of clouds that have been a daily staple of the KL skies over the last week – reminding me of Winnipeg fall days, makes me feel adrift and restless, and just a touch blue.

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