Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

15

So, what’s it like with a woman? In bed, I mean.’

It’s half past twelve and it’s taken my sister two whole servings of almond chicken and fried rice to let her hair down. Or maybe it was the Coke. She hasn’t had any in more than three years. Slow-acting poison, she calls it. But tonight is special. Not everybody has a lesbian sister to comfort them after a breakup. Tonight’s heart-to-heart will be a real treat – irresistibly modern, maybe even obscene. My sister can’t help picturing herself as the lead in a popular TV series. Playing the sister of the lesbian is quite the role; it offers a seal of respectability. ‘Do you want Nestea?’ I ask her before dinner. She throws me a thunderous look, as if she’d just decided to go into business with the Mafia. ‘Screw it, I’ll have the Coke!’ she says, thrilled. Screw it! ‘Careful it doesn’t go to your head. You’re not used to such strong beverages.’ My sister doesn’t know her way around a can, so I transfer the Coke into a tall glass that she takes from my hands with a wanton gleam in her eye. The poor thing feels funny, she’s used to getting her beauty sleep. But great things are afoot! ‘What’s it like’ – enticing inquiry – ‘to fuck a woman?’ I swear this is the first time she’s ever uttered the word ‘fuck’, plumb-drunk on Coca-Cola. ‘So that’s what you wanted to know?’ I ask with a dash of cruelty. I flat out refuse to suffer fools, even when they try to make an effort. ‘You know that’s not true!’ she cries. I concentrate on the guest room and nothing but the guest room, crucial as fingernails. ‘Shall I tell you another story?’ She nods with a headful of eyes and the aspartame-laced smiles of a pampered girl who will never, never ever indulge in another can of Coke. ‘All right,’ I consent. The tactic works. ‘Have you ever heard of action painting?’ Now she shakes her head. ‘Jackson Pollock?’ I insist. ‘No.’ ‘Okay.’ I walk into my room and bring out a book of Pollock paintings. It’s tremendous; images like these make me re-evaluate my love affair with death. ‘This is art? A child could have made these!’ my sister blurts. ‘But a child didn’t.’ The woman must be dumb. Thick as two planks. This guest room is costing me a tidy sum, but what else can I do? Where else can I go? The sweet-and-sour prawns are affecting my ability to think, but I have another go. I’m sure that with some effort I can pluck a plastic flower from the dunghill, a plastic flower that will satisfy the dregs of curiosity of the poor aborted lesbian lurking in my sister’s brain. ‘This is an action painting,’ I begin. ‘Action painting is the product of impatience.’ She pulls a face like a cricket. ‘Around the mid-twentieth century, there was a period when artists were no longer being challenged. For centuries, they’d struggled with a series of problems: motif, depth, form, color, realism, fidelity, light . . . everything! In other words, they’d run out of lines of inquiry. And then Pollock rocked up with his huge, unplanned canvases stretched out on the floor, and wham!’ ‘Wham?’ ‘Look at this.’ I show her Number 3, flip pages, Number 5, flip pages, Number 34, a superb piece with that horrific red-thinking head and its two yellow hemispheres. ‘Look,’ I tell her. ‘Clear, simple manipulation of raw material! Pure experimentation! Pollock splattered canvases driven by the spontaneity of the moment. A work of art isn’t only the end result – it’s art in time, art in real time, in action, as simple and impulsive as a drawing by a child. But there’s a sophisticated concern below the surface, an interest in process – life’s immensity concentrated in that process. Do you get what I’m saying?’ ‘Sort of.’ ‘All right. So now you sort of know what it’s like to fuck a woman.’

—p.15 Permafrost (13) by Eva Baltasar 1 year, 8 months ago

So, what’s it like with a woman? In bed, I mean.’

It’s half past twelve and it’s taken my sister two whole servings of almond chicken and fried rice to let her hair down. Or maybe it was the Coke. She hasn’t had any in more than three years. Slow-acting poison, she calls it. But tonight is special. Not everybody has a lesbian sister to comfort them after a breakup. Tonight’s heart-to-heart will be a real treat – irresistibly modern, maybe even obscene. My sister can’t help picturing herself as the lead in a popular TV series. Playing the sister of the lesbian is quite the role; it offers a seal of respectability. ‘Do you want Nestea?’ I ask her before dinner. She throws me a thunderous look, as if she’d just decided to go into business with the Mafia. ‘Screw it, I’ll have the Coke!’ she says, thrilled. Screw it! ‘Careful it doesn’t go to your head. You’re not used to such strong beverages.’ My sister doesn’t know her way around a can, so I transfer the Coke into a tall glass that she takes from my hands with a wanton gleam in her eye. The poor thing feels funny, she’s used to getting her beauty sleep. But great things are afoot! ‘What’s it like’ – enticing inquiry – ‘to fuck a woman?’ I swear this is the first time she’s ever uttered the word ‘fuck’, plumb-drunk on Coca-Cola. ‘So that’s what you wanted to know?’ I ask with a dash of cruelty. I flat out refuse to suffer fools, even when they try to make an effort. ‘You know that’s not true!’ she cries. I concentrate on the guest room and nothing but the guest room, crucial as fingernails. ‘Shall I tell you another story?’ She nods with a headful of eyes and the aspartame-laced smiles of a pampered girl who will never, never ever indulge in another can of Coke. ‘All right,’ I consent. The tactic works. ‘Have you ever heard of action painting?’ Now she shakes her head. ‘Jackson Pollock?’ I insist. ‘No.’ ‘Okay.’ I walk into my room and bring out a book of Pollock paintings. It’s tremendous; images like these make me re-evaluate my love affair with death. ‘This is art? A child could have made these!’ my sister blurts. ‘But a child didn’t.’ The woman must be dumb. Thick as two planks. This guest room is costing me a tidy sum, but what else can I do? Where else can I go? The sweet-and-sour prawns are affecting my ability to think, but I have another go. I’m sure that with some effort I can pluck a plastic flower from the dunghill, a plastic flower that will satisfy the dregs of curiosity of the poor aborted lesbian lurking in my sister’s brain. ‘This is an action painting,’ I begin. ‘Action painting is the product of impatience.’ She pulls a face like a cricket. ‘Around the mid-twentieth century, there was a period when artists were no longer being challenged. For centuries, they’d struggled with a series of problems: motif, depth, form, color, realism, fidelity, light . . . everything! In other words, they’d run out of lines of inquiry. And then Pollock rocked up with his huge, unplanned canvases stretched out on the floor, and wham!’ ‘Wham?’ ‘Look at this.’ I show her Number 3, flip pages, Number 5, flip pages, Number 34, a superb piece with that horrific red-thinking head and its two yellow hemispheres. ‘Look,’ I tell her. ‘Clear, simple manipulation of raw material! Pure experimentation! Pollock splattered canvases driven by the spontaneity of the moment. A work of art isn’t only the end result – it’s art in time, art in real time, in action, as simple and impulsive as a drawing by a child. But there’s a sophisticated concern below the surface, an interest in process – life’s immensity concentrated in that process. Do you get what I’m saying?’ ‘Sort of.’ ‘All right. So now you sort of know what it’s like to fuck a woman.’

—p.15 Permafrost (13) by Eva Baltasar 1 year, 8 months ago
29

Some people in Cedar Park held a candlelight vigil for Lucky’s, the Chinese takeout joint that closed when their rent was doubled. I saw the stories and tributes circulating on Facebook. ‘Where else am I going to get fried tofu at 2 a.m.?’ Tim posted. Five years ago, when I lived across the street from Lucky’s, I wrote a poem about the owner.

When I entered he rose up from his dinner and went behind the plexiglass to take my order. ‘One egg roll,’ he repeated, slashing pictographs onto a piece of cardboard. His dull limbs awaited my next move. ‘That’s it?’ ‘That’s it,’ I said. He turned stiffly in the direction of the kitchen and squinted. The smuggler’s fee, the store, the green card, the wife and children, naturalization. Was it worth it? Standing behind a plexiglass wall fourteen hours a day seven days a week dropping egg rolls singly into boiling oil?

the 'singly' really gets me

—p.29 I've Been Away for a While (25) by Dan Shurley 1 year, 8 months ago

Some people in Cedar Park held a candlelight vigil for Lucky’s, the Chinese takeout joint that closed when their rent was doubled. I saw the stories and tributes circulating on Facebook. ‘Where else am I going to get fried tofu at 2 a.m.?’ Tim posted. Five years ago, when I lived across the street from Lucky’s, I wrote a poem about the owner.

When I entered he rose up from his dinner and went behind the plexiglass to take my order. ‘One egg roll,’ he repeated, slashing pictographs onto a piece of cardboard. His dull limbs awaited my next move. ‘That’s it?’ ‘That’s it,’ I said. He turned stiffly in the direction of the kitchen and squinted. The smuggler’s fee, the store, the green card, the wife and children, naturalization. Was it worth it? Standing behind a plexiglass wall fourteen hours a day seven days a week dropping egg rolls singly into boiling oil?

the 'singly' really gets me

—p.29 I've Been Away for a While (25) by Dan Shurley 1 year, 8 months ago
56

What British industrialists lacked was sticking power: in an English culture that viewed industry as an unpleasant intrusion into the rural idyll, they were too easily seduced by transformational ideas of themselves as landed aristocrats and country gentlemen. Show them a peerage, a steam yacht, a foxhound pack, a trout stream, a grouse moor or a golf course, and they went off hallooing in pursuit. A pattern emerged. The early generations made the fortune, the middle generations consolidated it, the later generations spent it: hard work, followed by the intelligent investment of profits, followed by freewheeling pleasure and decay. One or two members of the Tennant family began to understand themselves in this way. Broken Blood, a fine study of the family dynasty by a junior member, Simon Blow, has lives-gone-wrong as its theme, and the same melancholy preoccupation haunts Emma Tennant’s final book, Waiting for Princess Margaret, in which she resents her half-brother Colin Tennant for his narcissism and because, when their father died, he quickly expelled her from rooms she kept in the family home in a dispute over their father’s legacy.

—p.56 The Stinky Ocean (45) by Ian Jack 1 year, 8 months ago

What British industrialists lacked was sticking power: in an English culture that viewed industry as an unpleasant intrusion into the rural idyll, they were too easily seduced by transformational ideas of themselves as landed aristocrats and country gentlemen. Show them a peerage, a steam yacht, a foxhound pack, a trout stream, a grouse moor or a golf course, and they went off hallooing in pursuit. A pattern emerged. The early generations made the fortune, the middle generations consolidated it, the later generations spent it: hard work, followed by the intelligent investment of profits, followed by freewheeling pleasure and decay. One or two members of the Tennant family began to understand themselves in this way. Broken Blood, a fine study of the family dynasty by a junior member, Simon Blow, has lives-gone-wrong as its theme, and the same melancholy preoccupation haunts Emma Tennant’s final book, Waiting for Princess Margaret, in which she resents her half-brother Colin Tennant for his narcissism and because, when their father died, he quickly expelled her from rooms she kept in the family home in a dispute over their father’s legacy.

—p.56 The Stinky Ocean (45) by Ian Jack 1 year, 8 months ago
75

Alice took her parents to Hollywood Boulevard to walk the Walk of Fame. She wore large sunglasses. Her parents walked on the stars, the scuffed terrazzo, and read the names aloud. Her father said, ‘One day you’ll have one,’ and Alice said nothing but felt something keenly, something close to pain, because though it was tacky, he had said exactly what it was she wanted.

—p.75 In Bright Light (71) by Paul Dalla Rosa 1 year, 8 months ago

Alice took her parents to Hollywood Boulevard to walk the Walk of Fame. She wore large sunglasses. Her parents walked on the stars, the scuffed terrazzo, and read the names aloud. Her father said, ‘One day you’ll have one,’ and Alice said nothing but felt something keenly, something close to pain, because though it was tacky, he had said exactly what it was she wanted.

—p.75 In Bright Light (71) by Paul Dalla Rosa 1 year, 8 months ago
76

Alice looked away. Whenever Alice was at a party with a pool, she remembered an industry party she’d gone to when she first came here. She was twenty-three. The party was hosted by an Australian funding body. It was confusing. There were agents and casting directors all at a hotel, a rooftop bar in the city. There was a pool. A girl, an actress, decided to jump in the pool because she thought it would be funny or that it would show that she was fun, that she could be magnetic. But no one else got in the pool and the girl waited and then got out of the pool and the bar staff gave her a T-shirt and the T-shirt was branded with the name of the hotel. So the woman went to the bathroom and came back, and stood on the rooftop, still damp, wearing the branded T-shirt over her dress. And she stood there, Alice watching, with an expression that was still smiling but also fake, and the girl stayed like that for a while and then she left.

—p.76 In Bright Light (71) by Paul Dalla Rosa 1 year, 8 months ago

Alice looked away. Whenever Alice was at a party with a pool, she remembered an industry party she’d gone to when she first came here. She was twenty-three. The party was hosted by an Australian funding body. It was confusing. There were agents and casting directors all at a hotel, a rooftop bar in the city. There was a pool. A girl, an actress, decided to jump in the pool because she thought it would be funny or that it would show that she was fun, that she could be magnetic. But no one else got in the pool and the girl waited and then got out of the pool and the bar staff gave her a T-shirt and the T-shirt was branded with the name of the hotel. So the woman went to the bathroom and came back, and stood on the rooftop, still damp, wearing the branded T-shirt over her dress. And she stood there, Alice watching, with an expression that was still smiling but also fake, and the girl stayed like that for a while and then she left.

—p.76 In Bright Light (71) by Paul Dalla Rosa 1 year, 8 months ago
134

On the Amnesty International website, the Tamil poet Cheran explains he has ‘no naive hope or belief that my poetry can turn the world upside down’; nevertheless, ‘words and imagination are my weapons. I have no other. There are several poems in my collections on disappearances evoking the friends I have lost.’ Even his more atmospheric, less clearly political poems speak of yearning and loss:

Ask
me,
when the last train of the evening has gone
and the railway lines shiver and break in the cold,
what it is to wait with a single wing
and a single flower.

—p.134 Victim and Accused (133) by Vidyan Ravinthiran 1 year, 8 months ago

On the Amnesty International website, the Tamil poet Cheran explains he has ‘no naive hope or belief that my poetry can turn the world upside down’; nevertheless, ‘words and imagination are my weapons. I have no other. There are several poems in my collections on disappearances evoking the friends I have lost.’ Even his more atmospheric, less clearly political poems speak of yearning and loss:

Ask
me,
when the last train of the evening has gone
and the railway lines shiver and break in the cold,
what it is to wait with a single wing
and a single flower.

—p.134 Victim and Accused (133) by Vidyan Ravinthiran 1 year, 8 months ago
136

There are moments when prose turns to poetry; when, reading a novel or a story, a sentence acts like a trapdoor you tumble through into a history previously unglimpsed, or (it could be one and the same) the injured textures of your own life. The eye that skims from page to page is swapped out, you feel it has to be, for the ear that listens. After over three hundred pages of realist prose about life in a mid-nineteenth-century Midlands town, Eliot writes a sentence of prose that’s also a line of poetry. As sounds converge (‘grass’ and ‘grow’, ‘hear’ and ‘heart beat’), time itself becomes audible; ‘silence’ itself sings, rhyming with ‘like’, ‘die’, ‘lies’ and ‘side’. Reading this passage by a Victorian novelist, I’m once again with my mother at the end of that pier in Greece, past nightfall – listening, listening.

—p.136 Victim and Accused (133) by Vidyan Ravinthiran 1 year, 8 months ago

There are moments when prose turns to poetry; when, reading a novel or a story, a sentence acts like a trapdoor you tumble through into a history previously unglimpsed, or (it could be one and the same) the injured textures of your own life. The eye that skims from page to page is swapped out, you feel it has to be, for the ear that listens. After over three hundred pages of realist prose about life in a mid-nineteenth-century Midlands town, Eliot writes a sentence of prose that’s also a line of poetry. As sounds converge (‘grass’ and ‘grow’, ‘hear’ and ‘heart beat’), time itself becomes audible; ‘silence’ itself sings, rhyming with ‘like’, ‘die’, ‘lies’ and ‘side’. Reading this passage by a Victorian novelist, I’m once again with my mother at the end of that pier in Greece, past nightfall – listening, listening.

—p.136 Victim and Accused (133) by Vidyan Ravinthiran 1 year, 8 months ago
141

he darkness my voice disappeared into that day, reading my poems onstage, could to some extent be medicated away (I was put on antidepressants); it could be partially explained without reference to racism or the intergenerational terrors which, like a set of rogue genes, get passed down from Tamil parents to their children. My counsellor suggested my mother was overattentive to me as an infant. As soon as I declared a need – maybe, even prior to this, before baby Vidyan began to cry – she rushed in to placate me. As a result, I never learned to entrust myself to the darkness which, should I only hold out, would conjure her, a duration in which I might learn to self-soothe. Instead I came to feel that, without an immediate response, I must be alone.

i guess i have the opposite problem lol

—p.141 Victim and Accused (133) by Vidyan Ravinthiran 1 year, 8 months ago

he darkness my voice disappeared into that day, reading my poems onstage, could to some extent be medicated away (I was put on antidepressants); it could be partially explained without reference to racism or the intergenerational terrors which, like a set of rogue genes, get passed down from Tamil parents to their children. My counsellor suggested my mother was overattentive to me as an infant. As soon as I declared a need – maybe, even prior to this, before baby Vidyan began to cry – she rushed in to placate me. As a result, I never learned to entrust myself to the darkness which, should I only hold out, would conjure her, a duration in which I might learn to self-soothe. Instead I came to feel that, without an immediate response, I must be alone.

i guess i have the opposite problem lol

—p.141 Victim and Accused (133) by Vidyan Ravinthiran 1 year, 8 months ago