july 1–15, 2023


  • Henry James, Daisy Miller
  • Henry James, Washington Square
  • Yukito Ayatsuji, The Decagon House Murders, translated by Ho-Ling Wong
  • Emmanuel Carrère, Yoga, trans. John Lambert
  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
  • Yukito Ayatsuji, The Mill House Murders, trans. Ho-Ling Wong
  • Monique Wittig, Les Guérillères, trans. David Le Vay
  • Ursula Le Guin, Dangerous People


  • Eating Raoul, directed by Paul Bartel
  • Washington Square, dir. Agnieszka Holland


  • “Sam Francis and Japan: Emptiness Overflowing,” LACMA
  • “Women Defining Women in Contemporary Art of the Middle East and Beyond,” LACMA
  • “Afro-Atlantic Histories,” LACMA
  • “Light, Space, Surface: Selections from LACMA’s Collection,” LACMA
  • “Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa. Cantándole a las plantas,” Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín
  • “Luisebastián Sanabria. Temporada de eclipses,” Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín
  • “Nicolas Collins. Alcance largo,” Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín
  • “Débora Arango. República, 1948–1958,” Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín
  • “Versión libre. Sucesos en la Colección MAMM,” Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín
  • “Fragmentos del mundo,” Museo de Antioquia, Medellín

A lot of disconnected reading because of travel. I’d intended to re-read more Henry James, though I ended up distracted and things are a bit all over the place. I do think I’d last read Daisy Miller when I was a teenager: the idea of a teenager reading Henry James feels ludicrous, as so much of his work is clearly literature for the middle-aged. Predictably I felt antipathy for him when I was young; I can’t say that I love him now, or that I’m ever likely to love him, but I do appreciate him more now, and I think I’ll keep going on with the novellas, still procrastinating away from reading the late books.

I last read Northanger Abbey an astonishingly long time ago; on re-reading, it turned out that I remember very little accurate about it. I’d remembered it as a comedy on the perils of reading, a parody of the Mysteries of Udolpho; that’s in there, though that’s a small part of the book, and the rest was entirely unfamiliar to me, to the point where I wondered if I’d actually read it. The peril of re-reading is to realize how block-headed you were in the past.

In a similar spirit of rectification, I finally read Carrère’s Yoga, which I’d been putting off – his previous collection published in English hadn’t done very much for me, and this didn’t do much either. I did like his previous books, which always felt like they were going to drive off the rails, then straightened themselves out at the last possible moment. With the latest two, I feel like I’ve had too much of Carrère – perhaps it’s that so much of the autofiction is meta-autofiction, where the repercussions of publishing books in his life becomes the narrative (and, in the latest one, much is pointedly excluded from the book, which the reader is expected to know because Carrère is a celebrity. It feels like Carrère has exhausted his subject.

The Sam Francis show at LACMA isn’t particularly kind to him: the contemporary Japanese work that it presents as an influence on him (Gutai and otherwise) is more interesting that Francis’s work, and makes the viewer wish there were a whole show of that. 

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