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July 27, 2011

Two contextual notes

I've been parsing through the voluminous notes we've received on the script from our peers, and from James and Toby's stint at the Sundance Labs, and begun to apply them to the script, which sounds constructive, but is actually a bit the opposite. Not that it's deconstructive. Hewing is the right term. This morning I found a mostly-unused journal someone left at our old apartment and which I'd set aside to be taken out with the trash before it somehow wound up in my new office, and I've begun to simply write about the script. Which is probably the sort of thing a lot of people don't wait until they're over a dozen drafts in to start doing. The work itself is what it is, but the fact that it's aided so immeasurably by the practice of writing by hand, in ink, on paper, something I romanticize but am almost entirely incapable of doing, hit me as it always does like a ton of bricks. I eked out four pages today and felt like I changed the world.

* * *

I like buying books at the airport. They're quite nearly the only brick-and-mortar bookstores at which I'll buy literature at list price. I like to read when I travel, just as I like to read when I don't, but when I'm traveling there's a recognizable shift occurring in my life and I like to attach literature to those changes. To be sure, I also always drift into bookstores in the places I visit. When I'm in New York, I'll wind up at the Strand and have to pick up something. When I was in Ashland last spring, I spent an hour perusing a used bookshop and left with a collection of Dylan Thomas short stories, which I haven't read yet but which, but when I do, will add to the memory of that sojourn.

That I haven't read it yet is indicative of something else; the books I buy when I travel are rarely the books I wind up reading. I don't stay at hotels often; I stay with friends and collaborators, sleeping on their couches, and next to those couches are usually bookshelves towards which I inevitably gravitate. I'll find without fail something I've always wanted to read or started but never finished or never heard of but am suddenly struck by, and I'll read that instead. I won't finish these books. Such survey leaves me feeling richer, minus the guilt that normally bookmarks unfinished texts; I always have to leave at some point, after all. On a few occasions, I've asked to borrow a book. More often, I make a mental note to buy my own copy later, which, given all the fresh volumes always weighing down my backpack, I don't believe I've ever done.

This is why I've only just now finished Pynchon's Inherent Vice.

Posted by David Lowery at July 27, 2011 1:15 AM