Thursday, July 31, 2008


Laundry in the wash. Had falafel with Bernie on his rooftop tonight -- they're moving tomorrow! Last chance for the rooftop! Truly the best in the city. And then saw a production of The Real Thing at a loft on 7th Avenue next door to Whole Foods. Interesting space. Books packed, so "to read":

- More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss (I told myself I wasn't going to start it until I was on my way to the airport, but I cheated, and the first chapter is one of the most gripping I've ever read)
- Machinal by Sophie Treadwell (to re-read)
- Veronica by Mary Gaitskill (to finish)
- New Yorker issue with swimmer cover
- The Fervent Years by Harold Clurman (re-read, from Cheryl; we are in cahoots)

I'm also charging my iPod so I can listen to This American Life + American Theater Wing interviews. Eric tipped me off to these. My favorite so far has been Edward Albee, who is kind of cantankerous, but then you think, Maybe that's okay because look who we're talking about. He says every time he goes to the theater he looks at the curtain and thinks, ASTONISH ME!


ryan manning said...

the asian phil collins

darinstrauss said...

thanks for the mention about the book. Please tell me what you think of it when you've finished. (
p.s: funny that you mentioned This American Life; I love that show, and I jut did a pice of them. (

Anyway, a friend of mine came across your blog and forwarded it to me. i hope you don't mind the intrusion...

Al the best,
Darin Strauss

Eric Z. said...

The original "astonish me!" goes back to this:
[Jean] Cocteau was the product of the years preceding the first World War, a decade of refined artistic taste. His real exploration of the world of the theater began when he first saw the Ballets Russes directed by Sergey Diaghilev. When Cocteau expressed the desire to create ballets, Diaghilev challenged him to the famous : "√Čtonne-moi!" ("Surprise me"). This remark seems to have guided Cocteau not only in his ballets, such as Parade, with music by Erik Satie, and Le Boeuf sur le toit, with music by Darius Milhaud, but also in his plays and movies.

I saw "√Čtonne-moi!" sewn into the back of a jacket once.

Hope you're having a great vacation, Leigh.

Leigh Stein said...


I heard your piece on This American Life, and that's why I bought your book. Both were/are excellent. I love the Internet.


Good to know! Yes, vacation is going well. Hope to see you on Friday?

Eric Z. said...

Yep, planning to be there. Love the Fine Arts Building.

Anonymous said...


-K- said...

By now you've probably read the Emily Dickinson article by Judith Thurman in the NY-er.

This afternoon I'll be reading about sex workers in India - but maybe not all of it.