Harvard would not consider his application without letters of recommendation from his teachers. But as an emigrant, and a troublemaking one at that, Michael had nothing but scorn coming to him from the Soviet authorities. Even under the aegis of glasnost and perestroika, turncoats were not to expect testimonials. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Michael wormed himself into U.C.L.A. by way of summer school and extension courses. Almost immediately his academic course was bifurcated by his intention to read Les fleurs du mal in the original, standing at odds with his interest in formal logic. Michael’s curriculum comprised studies of French language and literature and the foundations of mathematics and intensionalities with Alonzo Church. Unconcerned with degree requirements, he haunted the Philosophy Department’s library day and night, writing out term papers in a single longhand take, with a fountain pen. He distracted himself by weightlifting and sword exercises at the school gym. The handling of his loud Italian motorcycles inspired confidence that reached unto their scuffed tire sidewalls, his toes dragging on innumerable canyon roads. His black leather outfit drew volunteers for bitch perch duty. As he pulled away from the pub at 2 a.m., his hair was likely blowing in the wind, his crash helmet gallantly adorning the head of a freshly bagged bimbo. Not that he was averse to finding true love. But such attachments were not to be found by looking. His father often regretted having once inspired him in a moment of candor compelled by a cognac fumes, to follow a time-tested recipe: «Всякую тварь на хуй пяль ― бог увидит, пожалеет, и хорошую пошлëт.» If he crammed every creature on his cock, God would take note of his diligence, take pity on him, and send him a good one. Continue reading bad company III
Distinction comes with time. That is what we learn to say in response to the decay attendant upon its passing. The blending of flavors in vintage wine, the weathered surfaces of antique marble, the lines furrowing an old man’s face, all signify distinction.
And what good does my distinction deliver to me? Only this, the ability better to discern appearance from truth, opinion from knowledge, desire from interest, conciliation from justice. The passing of time makes me ever less inclined to curtail my inquiry at the surfaces of things, such as the surface of manhood or the surface of friendship. Continue reading of men and fuckers
I am writing down this response to your criticism. It is overdue by eleven months. Last time we saw each other after my father’s death, you gave me its gist. At that time, I had not yet resumed my writing. But you were already entitled to your opinion. We had known and supported each other through similar peripeties: your divorce and remarriage; my cohabitation, collaboration, and conflagration. And as far as I know, you numbered among the septet of my readers. In addition to Hilary Putnam and Bill Todd, that ill-fated treatise wended its way into the hands of Colin McLarty, Eric Gans, and my old man. With you, that makes six. But of course, Erin read it, too. And herein lays my response to one of your barbs. Continue reading pornographic imagination I