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On Ask Polly: A Chilling Cautionary Tale About the Dangers of Getting Involved With Attached People

"As I see it, at least, with regard to man, a love affair, a love for any definite woman—is something in the nature of a widening of the experience. With each new woman that a man is attracted to there appears to come a broadening of the outlook, or, if you like, an acquiring of new territory. A turn of the eyebrow, a tone of the voice, a queer characteristic gesture—all these things, and it is these things that cause to arise the passion of love—all these things are like so many objects on the horizon of the landscape that tempt a man to walk beyond the horizon, to explore. He wants to get, as it were, behind those eyebrows with the peculiar turn, as if he desired to see the world with the eyes that they overshadow. ... Of the question of the sex-instinct I know very little and I do not think that it counts for very much in a really great passion.... It is a thing, with all its accidents, that must be taken for granted, as, in a novel, or a biography, you take it for granted that the characters have their meals with some regularity.

"The real fierceness of desire, the real heat of a passion long continued and withering up the soul of a man is the craving for identity with the woman that he loves. ... We are all so afraid, we are all so alone, we all so need from the outside the assurance of our own worthiness to exist. So, for a time, if such a passion come to fruition, the man will get what he wants. He will get the moral support, the encouragement, the relief from the sense of loneliness, the assurance of his own worth. But these things pass away; inevitably they pass away as the shadows pass across sundials. It is sad, but it is so. The pages of the book will become familiar; the beautiful corner of the road will have been turned too many times. ...

"And yet I do believe that for every man there comes at last ... a time of life when the woman who then sets her seal upon his imagination has set her seal for good. He will travel over no more horizons; he will never again set the knapsack over his shoulders; he will retire from those scenes. He will have gone out of the business."

-- Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm 0

On Raymond Chandler, In Order

This one is hard to argue with. I would flip 5 and 4, but otherwise, sure.

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm 0

On Martin Amis Still Talking

I don't know. I kind of liked Night Train.

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm 0

On Are These The Worst Sites On The Internet?

Gawker isn't so bad as long as you never, ever read anything by Neetzan Zimmerman. Viral nova looks like it could be Neetzan Zimmerman dot com.

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm 0

On Four Important Things For Us Dumb People To Know About Space Before Seeing "Gravity"

@Werner Hedgehog Except the whole point of Einstein's theory of general relativity is that these two cases are the same. There is no possible local experiment that can tell you if you are at rest in flat space or accelerating continuously in curved space. Right?

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 9:49 am 0

On Six Lesser-Known "Golden Ages" of Media, 1991 - 2005

Also, for Lingua Franca, weird you leave out Rick Perlstein, arguably their highest profile alum. And Adam Shatz, who's now books editor at The Nation.

Posted on August 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm 0

On Six Lesser-Known "Golden Ages" of Media, 1991 - 2005

What, no love for the Baffler?

Posted on August 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm 1

On Should You Move To Paris

@lbf Yes, it was at exactly that line that I thought, "Oh I see, this is satire! Like that thing about lost love and the grimy Canadian hitchhiker. Sneaky, how he draws you in and then sees how high he can pile the cliches before you catch on. But now I get it. (Plus, Rosecrans Baldwin? kind of gives it away.)"

I was wrong.

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 10:14 am 0

On A Ton of Long Things You Can Start Watching on Netflix Now!

If you like Disease Things (doesn't everyone like Disease Things), the sadly abbreviated two seasons of the BBC's new Survivors are on Netflix or iTunes or somewhere like that. Seriously if you like the post-apocalypse soap opera-y rebuilding civilization while having feelings type drama, then you will eat. this. up.

Also from the BBC in the pulp/sci fi/soap opera vein, Jekyll. (or is it Hyde?) Retelling of the Stevenson thing, OBVIOUSLY. Pulpier than the above. Also downloadable, I'm pretty sure.

You could re-watch Altman's The Long Goodbye, like I just did. OMG that movie is nine kinds of brilliant.

Or getting back to long things, why not watch Kieslowski's whole Decalogue? You've got another day off, right? And come on, you know that shit will rock your OkCupid profile.

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 1:38 am 0

On Bicycles Are Obviously New York City's Number One Menace!

I recently moved back to NYC, and it's really striking how much more bikable the city has gotten in the past three years. Bike lanes everywhere, that people use, and that cars mostly seem to respect. Way more bikes on the road. Bike racks everywhere. I have't seen statistics, but it certainly seems like the Daily News is fighting a losing battle here.

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm 0