READ: Before the internet. | “You are getting yourself a bad reputation as a lonely woman. Stop it at once.” | Seven rules for being alone. | “Why I hate my best short story.” | “Some wine I drank in England.” | “My control over words felt like a monkey of barrels.” | Bohemia was never a safe country for women. | “In today’s world, a secondhand woman is like a secondhand car,” he said. “Once it’s been driven, it’s not worth a fraction of its original selling price.” A secondhand man, on the other hand, Yu explained, is like renovated property in China’s real-estate market: “The value only appreciates.” | …whether the recipe was for a typewriter with candy keys or a rubber duck with potato chip lips, it began, like a prayer, in the exact same way: “Make cake according to directions on packet.” | “There is no diagnosis.” | In praise of Daphne du Maurier. | “Because my home life was stable, I had the luxury of dreaming up very bad situations and strategizing how to survive them.” | Listening to Elif Batuman narrating The Idiot on audiobook.
LOOK: Bolt hole. | Vita’s cigarette case. | Everyday oil.
THINK: How to better talk to children about their art. | How to raise a reader. | Ask Polly: I’m terrified of having kids! | “Self-esteem decreased during pregnancy, increased [after birth] until the child was six months old and then gradually decreased over following years.” Mothers with three-year-olds hit a low point in their self-esteem. | Sexting in the present tense. | Actually, how Donald Trump eats his steak matters. | “[W]e know that protest is not the answer but it creates space for the answer.” | A reminder that this boring-looking politics podcast is excellent.
“Anything can happen, the tallest towers/ Be overturned, those in high places daunted,/ Those overlooked regarded.”
READ: I write, “HORMONES ARE LIFE. HORMONES ARE MENTAL ILLNESS.” I write, “EQUALITY BETWEEN THE SEXES DOES NOT EXIST.” | “You have to teach yourself, if you have never known it before, that conversation is a thing you can have with yourself as well as other people.” | Clerks. | “Feel the feelings, as unpleasant as they might be, and return to the breath. By working at being with your breath, your body may become an anchor for the baby to find calm in the present moment.” | What if we cultivated our ugliness? | “I can’t help thinking there are men who still somewhere deep inside them have an unconscious fantasy that one day they’ll be helpless again. And they don’t want the person who’s going to be looking after them to be thinking, ‘Fuck you, I wish you’d die in the night.’” ( Why she broke by Helen Garner. / The good daughter.)
LOOK: Time to get into jelly. | Boiled meat. | Beautiful. | Eyes as wide as swimming pools.
THINK: “This is one of the penalties of being a better survivor. You survive, but maybe not quite as intact as you were before.” | “To be pregnant in public was in poor taste — unsophisticated, trashy, unbecoming, obscene.” | Many terrorists’ first victims are their wives. Why can’t we talk about it? | Depression might not be due to past traumas and present stresses but because of skewed visions of what lies ahead. | How writing heals the body. | “We tend to think of “wellness” as the province of swoony liberal elites, but it does, in fact, blossom at both cultural poles…” | “I want to be buried with my editorial endorsements,” [Hillary] said with a laugh. “I want an open casket and they can all be piled on top of me. You won’t even be able to see my body.” (P.S.)
And here is an experiment: to see/save all the links as a list, and easily save to Pocket.
READ: A little tooth. | Sometimes she would simply “throw objects into the Thames at the dead of night”. When I asked what audience there was for these works, she said: “There was no audience at all. An audience of one.” | It pains me to say it, but I am a failed artist. | Kara Walker—No/Kara Walker—Yes/Kara Walker—? | Growing up in Comme des Garçons. | “I can remember my father saying to me at Thanksgiving, when my aunts would be around, ‘When I put my hand on my tie, it means you’re talking too much‘.” / We look at the world once in childhood. The rest is memory. | On parenting books. | Perhaps this one will be my last sharehouse. | Still Moving: a TinyLetter about women’s still life in the early 20th century. | Currently reading: Balancing Acts: Behind the scenes at the National Theatre.
LOOK: Fergus Henderson’s suit. | Persephone x Grenson. (Obviously not realistic as an actual shoe!) | Food Memory Bank. | New CBeebies drama for pre-schoolers set on inner city council estate. | Balls. | Granny Boyd’s biscuits, a Nigella recipe you almost certainly have the ingredients for in your house. | Leila’s Shop with Stevie MacKenzie-Smith. | Takeout-style sesame noodles.
THINK: I think I’ve ruined my child. | Matrescence. | “I took a standard practice that was about making the meeting open to other people and in a snide way I tried to use it to re-center myself and my feelings.” | Accelerationism. | Do public school uniforms solve inequality? | “The irony is that conservatives don’t actually care if progressives disapprove of them, with the result that political correctness generally amounts to internecine warfare on the left…” / “Dear Dr. ___. I’m the person who inadvertently bumped you at IGA this evening…” | “I don’t have many jealousy triggers. But I don’t like it when someone my wife is seeing takes the parking spot in front of my house.” | Skin hungry.
READ: David Sedaris’s diary. | “Today is totally not going to work i’m so sorry. Been really hectic over here and some tears lol.” | Sophie Calle’s “neat trick is to create art as a way of distancing herself from emotion while provoking great tides of it in viewers.” | Stepmothers. | “For some reason, legs and waistlines argue constantly during this decade. In your forties, the encore adolescence, there seems to be some kind of revelation about pants that I have no access to (yet).” | Can’t wait to read: A Writing Life: Helen Garner and Her Work. | Soon Claire Messud will have a new book!
LOOK: Summer vegetable galette. | Green soup. | The best Nigella Lawson recipes: Part 1 / Part 2. | Strictly Ballet. / Dancer. | Anna Wintour’s wild garden. | Brian the Stockman at Wave Hill Station Mounting a Dead Horse. | “… the kind of dress that prioritizes the individual and her needs over the clichés of female role play.”
THINK: Work is my self-care. | “… birth is painful and frightening, a facing of one’s mortality and a loss of innocence akin to an experience of war.” | “The fruitlessness of endlessly fine-tuning your self-image—of frantically trying to echolocate your personhood against someone else’s story, real or fictional…” | “As refugees, we owed them our previous identity. We had to lay it at their door like an offering, and gleefully deny it to earn our place in this new country.” / Uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome. | It is on society to make changes, not on the disabled person. | To Melania, protection means hiding. | Why authoritarians attack the arts.