Aren’t things supposed to slow down in summer? Contrary to my expectations, fourteen simultaneous things seem to be happening at once, all the time, with pesky employment-based tasks drawing me away from much more interesting activities that do nothing to help pay the rent. And that hurried sense has also seemed to apply to my reading; having jumped randomly into Peter Nichols’ autobiography, Feeling You’re Behind, I decided within the first two chapters that I just didn’t have the time to waste– or, more diplomatically, spend– on this dated chunk of nostalgia.
A couple of months ago, an article appeared in The New Yorker, discussing some writing instructor’s caution to students and mentees about dropping names and references that would only cause blank confusion in readers a decade after the shine had worn off said beings and events. Admittedly, I’m not familiar with Nichols’ work, and so his allusions to his plays do nothing that might otherwise embellish the everyday scenes that inspired his dramas. But the book (or at least its first two chapters) is so filled with British slang from a certain time period, I felt as if I were continually dipping into a comedic realm in which some lazy smart-ass takes the easy path to laughs and just throws out a few funny-to-Americans-sounding nonsense terms in wide use across the Pond.
Well: I’ve got another solid plane ride ahead of me tomorrow, and so I’m hoping to finish Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, which is affirming my worst fears about the logical outcome of consumerist tech-manic societies. The vote so far is out on which other volume (or two) I’ll pack for the three-day business trip, since I’m living large and getting a whole room in the hostel to myself. (!) Apologetic pen light in a roomful of nineteen strangers? Not this time around. It’s fully illuminated reading for this budget traveler; I’m taking maximum advantage of it.