Posts Tagged ‘furniture’


Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


Sade logo

“Are all cell phones off?”


“Home phones unplugged?”


“The door?”

“Locked, as are all communication means.”

“Has ‘she’ been informed?”

“Couple of times. She won’t be in the way, won’t even approach the vicinity between 19.00 and 21.00 pm.”

So far, you expect Bruce Willis to blow up the place.

“Good. Which show is on?”


“Damn! She’s more into The Magnificent Century. What if she gets bored and feels the urge to barge in?”

“Mo–om! Don’t forget, the game is about to start!!”

“Alright, alright I won’t come to the living room… God!”

It sounds like a CIA operation, but it’s just the routine preparation to watch a Galatasaray match in our house. As a huge Galatasaray fan, my father has certain rules while watching a game, which I will discuss later. First, I would like to tell you my first words. “Mom?” “Dad?” “Pee?” No, no and no. They were “Ye-ye-ye, Ya-ya-ya!” This was my best try at repeating the GS anthem after my father.



Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Big thanks to Eugene Ostashevsky for introducing me to Vasily Kamensky’s immortal “Constantinople”: “a milestone,” as Ostashevsky observes, “in the history of Russian travel writing about Turkey.”


“Constantinople” originally appeared in Ferro-Concrete Poems (1914),“a work… famous primarily for being made entirely of commercially produced wallpaper.”


Comme il faut

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Tasteful readers!  Many thanks to everyone who submitted Kafka porn contest entries!  Frankly I received a few that were maybe a teeny bit more literal than I had been expecting, but I believe this is what makes the internet great.  I am delighted to announce the winning entry, by Lydia Kiesling: “Kafka porn is snuff porn that you didn’t actually watch but got arrested for anyway.”  An honorable mention goes to Dimiter Kenarov, for “undressing a person only to find new and new layers of clothing underneath.”  Unfortunately, neither Kiesling nor Kenarov wants the grand prize (my bed), so they get book prizes and I’m trying to sell the bed on Craigslist; big thanks to Andrew Leland of the Believer for already purchasing my (and my intern’s) favorite red chair, as well as two lamps, an ottoman, a saucepan, a carpet steam-cleaner, some geranium-scented laundry detergent, and approximately eight pounds of rice.  Buon appetito, Mr. Leland!

In other exciting news from the C-plus-list, I recently got my first magazine story killed!  It was a searing personal memoir of my Kindle drunk-dialing problem, commissioned by O, the Oprah Magazine, a publication to which I will always be grateful for its support of The Possessed. Unfortunately, as Oprah herself will tell you, no relationship is 100% smooth sailing, and O and I just weren’t able to see eye-to-eye on my Kindle drunk-dialing problem.  As a result, I recently received my first kill fee: a strange experience, because you realize at a certain point that what they are saying to you is basically “Take the money, take the money—just don’t make us publish it!”  For this reason, when I read the invoice that said “KILL FEE/ DRUNKEN KINDLE,” a tiny part of me felt like I had extorted Oprah. It was a strange, not un-empowering feeling.


In further empowering news, I am honored and happy to report that the Guardian ran a version of the Kindle piece on Saturday, so  nobody has to suffer in suspense regarding my super-classy ebook habits.  Read it and weep!  I mean it—it’s all very sad.


Kafka porn contest

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Patient readers!  I promised a Kafka contest, and here it is.  In the course of researching my recent Kafka article, I was interested to learn about a 2008 Kafka pornography scandal, provoked by the publication of James Hawes’s Excavating Kafka (the US title of which, Why You Should Read Kafka before You Waste Your Life, makes me proud to be an American).  As the Guardian put it:

At the focus of Hawes’ investigation are pictures he stumbled across in the British Library in London and the Bodleian in Oxford of the pornography to which Kafka subscribed while in his twenties. They include images of a hedgehog-style creature performing fellatio, golem-like male creatures grasping women’s breasts with their claw-like hands and a picture of a baby emerging from a sliced-open leg.

Myriad questions came to my mind.  Whom or what was that hedgehog-style creature fellating?  Was the Guardian being anti-Semitic when they called that breast-grasping creature a Golem?  And who wants to see a baby coming out of someone’s leg?  I consulted Google for answers and came across a terrifically helpful blog post which identifies and reproduces Aubrey Beardsley’s representation of a very angry-looking baby being removed from some guy’s leg (below), as per the description, in Lucian’s second-century proto-sci-fi hit True History, of how children are birthed on the Moon:



New Orleans

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Dear readers!  I am just back from New Orleans where I had a completely fabulous time at Faulkner House Books—big thanks to the terrific staff and all the attendees!  I got to sit behind a huge, incredibly important-looking desk, pictured below.  The format was meet-and-greet, an interesting challenge since I was sitting behind this amazing desk.  At some point I tried firing one of my readers, as a joke (”You’re fired!”), but he didn’t seem to think it was funny.

Later I started fantasizing about getting such a desk in my apartment: I could fire my intern, and he would be so sad and wonder what he had done wrong; then I would realize it had all been a big mistake and rehire him, with tearful embraces on both sides.  This initially struck me as a really fun game that we could play over and over again on the long winter evenings.  Then I got a hold of myself and realized the desk had made me drunk with power.  By then, everyone looked so confused that I just ended up reading from the book and answering questions, same as always.

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Resignation of the soul

Loyal readers