As mentioned in my first post, I’ve been thinking about my “circumference of readership.” Fitting term, now that the shortest distance between myself and most of you is measured by a great arc.
Most of what I have been writing about is clearly geared towards an audience of Americans. The more time I spend here, the more I end up writing about things that are probably familiar to most Israelis, but which I am trying to communicate to Americans in a vernacular than precludes non-native English speakers (or so says my family.) This is problematic in the sense that people checking up on me should probably be able to understand what I’m talking about. On the other hand, playing ESL mix-n-match would make this stuff pretty soporific (as if it wasn’t boring as bean-counting already.) I guess I could just wait for English to complete its worldwide conquest.
How much of what I choose to read is selected based on pure linguistic prowess? Probably most if it. Maybe I’ve been hanging out with too many MFAs (Are you reading this W.?) Recently I’ve considered elements like plot, ideology and suspense to be fringe benefits. Obviously, the best authors can skewer all of the above onto the same spit, but I’m not so sure that I can. This leads to all manner of self-doubt, especially in the realm of poetry, where the line between linguistic craftsmanship and “poetic transcendence” is ethereal if it’s there at all (I’ve never really gotten my fingers around that slippery bastard). In the end, you just hope you’ve got enough weird metaphors to compensate for any lack of authentic gravitas. When in doubt, obfuscate. This may be my new mantra.
Anyway, in an effort to drain all the academic sewage out of my brain, today I tried my first Capoeira class. It was a rollicking good time. There are parts of my legs I didn’t know existed that have set themselves on fire in some sort of buddhist protest against high-kicks. Plus I got to wear some really sweet, really green irridescent stretch pants that my grandfather lent me. He says he got them in Bali, but I think he might have meant ‘Bally’, like the gym.