Monday, September 5, 2011

Currently Reading: Vacation Edition

Brian and I have spent the last couple days in Provincetown at a gay waterfront resort. When I say gay I mean I've been the only woman anywhere near the pool. Every afternoon, from 4-7 there's a Tea Dance, which looks to me like a huge, alcoholic game of dress-up. I endorse make believe.

Poolside, I've been reading the Sept. 5 issue of the New Yorker, fascinated by Larissa MacFarquhar's profile on moral philosopher Derek Parfit, of which I understood about 60%:
He has few memories of his past, and he almost never thinks about it, although his memory for other things is very good. He attributes this to his inability to form mental images. Although he recognizes familiar things when he sees them, he cannot call up images of them afterward in his head: he cannot visualize even so simple an image as a flag; he cannot, when he is away, recall his wife's face. (This condition is rare but not unheard of; it has been proposed that it is more common in people who think in abstractions.)
I'm also reading Things Fall Apart (for my African literature class), and Hamlet (for a literature & film class).

 Yesterday, we rode bikes to Pilgrim's Monument and climbed to the top. At Provincetown Museum, I learned about scrimshaw, the art of carving into the bones and teeth of whales or ivory:
Brian thinks it's disturbing that I would be interested in art made out of dead animals' bones, but I think it's disturbing that he would be interested in antique weaponry meant to kill humans. And so it goes.

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