Theories of movement

I’ve been living in San Francisco for almost two weeks now and I like the climate changes that occur when you go downtown. It’s always foggy and cold in the outlying districts and sunny and warm in the financial district, which can sometimes be surprising when you look out your window and it’s misting but when you get downtown you see people wearing shorts.

M and I have been spending a lot of time doing pretty much nothing but eating. I feel a little bit like a kid around her. She listens to disco music in the car and I don’t mind.

I picked up Nam Le’s “The Boat” a couple of days ago. Despite the glowing reviews it received when it was published two years ago, I’m left slightly disappointed after the first three stories. There’s no doubt that Le has talent – his lyricism is impressive. I have problems with the subject matter, especially the teenage assassin in Medellin. That story feels like a way to showcase Le’s ventriloquism, a cheap trick.

Besides his awkward attempts at proving that he’s a capable writer, Le seems to have no idea of how to finish a story. No matter how moving some of these stories are, the endings are too open. What happened to having a strong conclusion? Maybe the rest of the stories will redeem this collection.

Has anyone been watching the World Cup?

6 thoughts on “Theories of movement

  1. Agreed. But the end is just perfection for me!

    I will be in Berkeley, so near SF. I plan to take many trips into the city 😀

  2. I feel like “Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice” is the best in the collection, but there are some really random metaphors that catch me off-guard.

    Will you be in SF?

  3. I haven't read the collection, but I do think that “Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice” is an incredible piece of short fiction and, maybe because I am a poet, I appreciate the lyrical denouement that story reaches. I can't comment on anything else, but I think he pulls of the seemingly inconceivable notion of writing about the Iowa Workshop as a student in it, and about a sort-of ethnic family narrative incredibly well.

    Also, I am coming to the bay in July. Keep it classy for me 😀

  4. S: Sorry! I'm back! You should watch the games if you get a chance, so then you'll know which teams are good and you can watch them during elimination rounds.

    Mel: I think that was a good match, especially because of Green's fumble. But really, the USA showed lots of promise. I saw a bit of the Ger-Aus match…waste of time. Looked like Germany was playing against 5-year-olds.

  5. I saw the borefest that was the U.S. vs England match. I was too busy sitting under a tree to watch Australia get owned by Germany.

    Not kidding about the tree.

  6. I thought you were never going to write! Stop taking sabbaticals like this from your blog, Denis!

    I've watched only one match so far, guess I'll watch more as it picks up heat 🙂

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