Twenty Four

Listening to Lydia Davis’s Essays One I suddenly miss Hemingway so from the bedroom table I fetch A Moveable Feast, a book I still haven’t finished and left a bookmark on page 117. Interestingly the bookmark draws my attention and I start to examine these words: How to be naughty in 2021, Goal #3 I want to get more sleep Naughty you…but I still want to binge a juicy story, suggested read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Who is Celeste Ng? I google her name and see simultaneously, a number of questions on her; her age and her nationality, why did she write Little Fires Everywhere, what is she known for, who is her husband, where are her parents from, where was she born, who is her agent et cetera et cetera. I also learn that Little Fires Everywhere was a bestseller in 2017, adapted to a TV Mini-series with eight episodes in 2020. So much so that I almost want to read this novel - that juicy story exploring ideas about race, privilege and life in the suburban town in Shaker Heights, Ohio. No, not now, I have already a number of books piling up in different places crying out for my attention. Continuing on with her audio book Lydia talks about a writer called Dahlberg, an author that not too many people read, or even know, that his book The Sorrows of Priapus was first published in 1957 with over forty drawings by Ben Shahn. Now I remember a book with drawings of Ben Shahn given to me many years ago by PK, because he knew I liked the artist. I roughly recall the name of the book something like The Sorrows of something, but have never bothered to look who the author was. Could it be Dahlberg? After a long search up and down the book shelves I find Edward Dahlberg, stuck between Cummings and Eliot. Why on earth does it take so long to locate the book? I recall then for a long time and after many relocations, The Sorrows of Priapus has been filed under visual art. That classification was revoked after I take up writing. Recontextualized, I put Dahlberg randomly among writers; and by chance it fell right between two of his American contemporaries.