The Folded Clock: A Diary
Like many young people, Heidi Julavits kept a diary. Decades later she found her old diaries in a storage bin, and hoped to discover the early evidence of the person (and writer) she’d since become. Instead, “The actual diaries revealed me to possess the mind of a paranoid tax auditor.”
Thus was born a desire to try again, to chronicle her daily life as a fortysomething
At first, I'll admit, I thought she was a bit unstable. Some of her admissions irked me and I found myself totally being a dick and judging her. But then as I read I actually ...more
The diary format you'd think would work well with ...more
I passed my headphones to the boyfriend and watched his face undergo one of the more rapid transformations I've had cause to witness. To the present day, this remains the only ...more
On the other hand, with so many small looks into one moment or ...more
I still believe that, but I feel like I now need to add a caveat: If you're writing about your personal ...more
Today I finished Heidi Julavits' The Folded Clock and resumed a book I'd barely started, Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. It's interesting how the disparate books you happen to be reading at or near the same time interact with each other in your brain and complement the experience of reading the other—even for someone like me, whose book choices have followed no singular logic, pulled in many directions.
I am working for a few more months at a bookstore before I start a Ph.D. program in ...more
Out of the blue I have been exposed to the writing of another somewhat contemporary literary icon. Her name is Heidi Julavits, significant other to writer Ben Marcus who is an unconfirmed ex-student of infamous teacher, editor, and writer Gordon Lish. I seem to remember Gordon making some not-so-nice remarks about Ben Marcus and feeling slighted or unappreciated by him. Lish not feeling credited enough with helping him, or something or other to that ...more
Today I begin reading the new book by an author I adore. It's a non-fiction work in diary format, a departure from the author's normal tales. I look forward to my time in these pages. How often have I wanted to better know an artist whose work I love? This is my chance. I feel I am being invited to the author's residence for coffee and am allowed to ask anything. What insight will this author have? What are her deepest fears and most unspoken desires? What is she like when she isn't “being ...more
Those novels--specifically "The Vanishers" and "The Uses of Enchantment"-- have been important to me. At one point in "The Folded Clock" Julavits overhears two male writer friends of hers describe a third man as "not a threat," which makes her wonder whether a woman novelist would ever be considered a threat. If her novels fail that test, it ...more
Also, and maybe more importantly she has convinced me to get rid of my bad luck pants. Yes, I have a pair of trousers that are chocolate brown with a light stripe thru them. I bought them secondhand and it seems that every time I wear them, I get bad luck. I kept wearing them, though, because I wanted to resist superstition, and then I finally stopped wearing them because who wants to ...more
Time and the self are both deconstructed, and what is a ...more
I received an ARC of The Folded Clock: A Diary.
Each of the entries starts "Today I ..." and what follows is a riff and whatever it was she did or thought on that day - almost like she's writing Jazz. Some entries are funny (meeting an elderly famous person when she's wearing a bathing suit), some self-reflective (why is her dieting husband threatening?), and metaphoric (if the barn stands without the rocks for support, her marriage should ...more
Brilliant, breezy, brainy crossed with intimate, surprising, moving -- though not necessarily all in one essay. Probably my only "complaint" here is that by pure virtue of being packed together and untitled (except for the date [sans year]), some of the essays can't but get lost. I read it without marking it up, but I'm going back with pen in hand to highlight my favorite parts.
I don't think I've read anything quite like this: an accretion of masterly riffs and digressions on one ...more
Second, I enjoyed her writing style immensely. Even passages suggesting ...more
She was born and grew up in Portland, Maine, ...more