There’s not a moral to this story. Deepti Kapoor’s main character (I didn’t realize until right this second that none of the characters have names. Huh.) snorts blow, screws strangers, and lies to her loved ones. She doesn’t wind up at the top of the heap, but neither does she wind up buried by her sins. That isn’t what this book is about.
Don’t you hate it when someone [who is more talented than you] comes up with an idea that you know you could have done something great with [though probably not as great as they thing they did with it because they are more talented than you] but they came up with it first? This is just like the time Kanye released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy so I had to shelve my own album-length contemplation of black male angst. Megan Mayhew Bergman’s decision to write a collection of short stories about women who were on the edge of [capital I] Importance feels like that to me.
I received a reminder from the Toronto Public Library that my copy of Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators was due on Thursday December 4th. I started reading it a week ago and was only about halfway through, so I knew I had to pick up the pace. It’s a big book so I haven’t been bringing it to read on my commute (part of the reason it’s taking me so long to get through) but today I relented and dragged the book along. Standing at the corner of Bloor and Ossington, waiting for a streetcar at 7:45 this morning, I pulled the book out of my bag. It’s a cold day, but I was wearing gloves and a toque so I stood outside instead of in the crowded bus shelter.
A minute later – “plop.”
I looked around, confused at first about where the sound had come from, but then I looked down. Pages 245 and 246 were covered in green and white pigeon shit.
1) In the first edition, an unnamed narrator chats with Jim Burden during a train journey and Jim talks about his unhappy marriage to a wealthy female activist. The narrator in the introduction to the first edition is female, many think it is meant to be Cather herself. Cather’s publisher asked for a revision for the second edition so we now have the milder opening without the mean, wealthy, female activist. The publisher sold Cather on the idea by telling her a new introduction would allow them to market the second edition as a brand new version – removing Jim Burden’s unhappy marriage just made good business sense.