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That’s How it Starts

November 16, 2007

So. I’m up early. I can’t quite call it insomnia today–but it’s still that wired feeling that forces me from my bed. Nice tho. I’m plugged in here and have a purring cat curled up right beside me. And I’m listening to All My Friends, as played by Franz Ferdinand. Cause that’s about where my head’s at.

Yeah I’ve been feeling this strange Late-Nineties Nostalgia
and I can’t quite attribute its origins. Thinking about Pulp’s This is Hardcore and my years at U of T. Can’t quite help it being back on the grounds again. It’s different now tho. So how does this relate to reading? Well. It’s that same feeling. It’s this same nostalgia feeling, this strange buzzy feeling that’s expressed in this Franz Ferdinand song…that’s what I felt when reading Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

I’ve ranted to my friends about my problems with Michael Chabon’s writing, his excess verbiage, his ability to drop staggering columns of description between lines of dialogue. But that wasn’t what I found here. Mysteries of Pittsburgh is a “fifth year” book about recent graduates living in Pittsburgh around the university dreaming larger than life dreams. It’s about a gangster’s son living in the shadow of his father, but seeing giants in the people around him, in his new friends, and ends up falling in love with both a man and a woman amongst them. In this small circle he enters a world of titans, which should be striding the skyscrapers of Manhattan or the red-carpets of Hollywood; but instead, are bumming smokes and downing pints in bars of an unknown city. And yet, under Chabon’s first-person narrative, the ordinary becomes the epic; just in the way, that well, I felt it really does at that moment of your life. When the people around you really are the new gods of the scene, capable of greatness, capable of anything. Before we’ve had a chance to fall. And if that can happen in Pittsburgh, why can’t it happen here? It’s familiar enough.

Just went for a quick look for pics for this entry too and it looks like someone’s making a movie of it now too.

One of the ways we show our age…

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