-Over at Lime Tree Rodney Koeneke posts an appreciation of Killian's Amazon reviews: "It’s exactly the willingness to cast his verbal brio into the cyberwind that makes 'About Kevin Killian' one of the most innovative writing projects going today. It looks the gargantuan challenges the Internet poses to writing and our idea of the writer straight in the eye and coyly asks: 'Was this review helpful to you?' Helpful votes: 1,998."

-Read a not-so-interesting article on the not-so-interesting topic of literary hoaxes.

-Thought about Ipods when I read Aaron Kunin's “From the Desk of Anne Clifford” and learned that Clifford had Montaigne "read aloud to her as she sat stitching at Knole."(Thought also about readers at cigar factories and other new precedents for the portable Mp3 player.)

-Yesterday and today my attention never focused on tasks at hand, but I read some of the following: Maura Nolan, “‘Now Wo, Now Gladnesse’: Ovidianism In The Fall of Princes” (by prof at my old school); David Mura, “Asia and Japanese Americans in the Postwar Era: The White Gaze and the Silenced Sexual Subject” (multi-book review on a topic that's close to my academic writing); and a quirky one, Jonathan Lamb, “The Crying of Lost Things” ("another source of nonhuman language is to be found in advertisements, specifically advertisements for lost property... under certain circumstances the rhetoric of crying lost things, and of lost things crying, is imitated by humans calling for their kind"). Says Lamb:

Advertisements for lost property filled with close descriptions of things cannot be considered models of empirical observation or of nascent realism; they are expressions of desire directed with varying degrees of intensity at what ought to be one's own. The law's guarantee that the absent item still belongs to the owner is of no use and no consolation and is neglected. So the rhetoric of such an appeal is intended to materialize an abstraction and restore it to the owner. In this respect the advertisements I have been talking about [from 18c] are really an early form of the personal ad, the public address to a single reader which says in effect either, "I want from you what is missing from my life," ("Green-eyed professional woman seeks male counterpart. You are at least 55, honest, intelligent, professionally successful, nonsmoker, divorced or widowed, with a sense of humor"); or, "I am what is missing from your life" ("Rakish charm and contagious, naughty laugh, compassionate heart and ease about life. Curious, creative, passionate Renaissance man, 63. Blue eyes that sparkle, sexy trim build, handsome face, lively sense of mischievousness. Also accomplished writer"). On this axis of desire writers of personal ads straddle the extremes of crying and being cried, alternating between the roles of owner and object in effort to persuade their missing part to take shape. Description is the weakest rhetoric of this desire.

The tournament of value is a little better and has become a highly self-conscious genre in journals such as the London Review of Books: "Arch, fractious floaty F in need of TLC? Hello Mags, it's your husband. Since I know you read these, why not take notice of me for the first time in years at box no 03/15." Archness can become super-arch in the effort to attract exactly the right other part: "Please help, I am a serious personal ad trapped inside the London Review of Books. I wanted to be in the Guardian but couldn't afford it. Now I've forgotten what it's like to be centre Left-wing and own a portfolio of shares. I don't laugh at Matthew Norman's hilarious diaries anymore. And really I don't care what the next Harry Potter book is like." The obliquities of this kind of signaling are filters and codes, designed to ensure even in public an enclaved communion with someone who is cast in a double role, both as the missing thing and the conspiratorial broker who appreciates its occult value.

-Yesterday went to Capitol Hill for a post-season bbq with my summer ultimate team: lots of talk about whether our fall-spring team should move up to a more competative league. It took me about two seconds to zero in on chitchat with a psychologist who works at a maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane.

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