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September 19, 2010


Rob L

When a cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except put up with it until the wind changes. Eliot.

Norman Costa


Nice piece of writing. I really cared about the time you worked in the Midwest and lived in Cincinnati.

Here's my favorite sentence:

"How could I be absorbed into this landscape of teddy-bears-and-American-flag motifs, of paper towels and doilies and wallpaper with geese with bows tied around their necks, where half the women are named ‘Barb’ and people have signs in their front lawns announcing their preferences in the upcoming election of a county sheriff-- how, I say, could this place absorb me if I build an impenetrable fortress out of books imported from Europe and from the coasts?"

Neither you, nor anyone else, asked for advice on dealing with a bat in the house, but here are two suggestions. 1. Whack 'em with a tennis racket. It's harder for them to evade the netting. 2. Use a fire extinguisher, the kind that produces a cold foam or dusting, to incapacitate them.

I look forward to more.

Charles Wolfe

"Barb" ! nice. i think the books spilling in the field, the bleeding vietnam vet, the bemused trooper or cop, is very worthy of safran foer/shteyngart - and you're not even jewish ! (apologies to all anti-essentialists, technically i'm one too.)

Justin Smith

Thanks! I love Shteyngart. Safran Foer I haven't read.

You're one what? Do you mean you're Jewish or you're an anti-essentialist?

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