Three-quarters of the way into Alan Moore’s 1,266-page novel Jerusalem, where Moore unveils his Grand Theory of Life, Death, Time, the Universe, and the History of Albion, and I just don’t know what else Moore can do to top this. Moore’s place in the literary canon (notice I didn’t write “graphic novel canon”) is, for me, unassailable, but a book like Watchmen only hints at the sheer intellectual excess and ambition of Jerusalem. From Hell (my favorite), Promethea, and Voice of the Fire, Jerusalem’s clearest predecessor, come the closest.
I’ll start with a downer: 2015 was an awful, miserable beast of a year, and bidding it good riddance and wishing for a better 2016 kind of strikes me as perverse magical thinking. Bad luck, human caprice, and institutional corruption and racism don’t really obey the artificial thresholds of calendar years.
But nonetheless the end of a year provides a time for reflection. There were good and beautiful things too. But some of these bright spots in a dark year are below.
After my father died, I threw myself into a frenzy of writing. It was, in retrospect, an unlikely time to be productive. My writing did not happen in the relative calm of the weeks after the funeral. It happened in the midst of everything.
My essay on being a young reader in the Philippines, “A Life Inside,” is part of Entropy’s literacy narratives series. It’s also about books, sibling rivalry, libraries, parenthood, being an introvert, and (spoiler alert) literary sexual perversion.
Lots of good reads the last two weeks, though I ended up writing on the Myers-Briggs Test instead.
First up, M. Sereno’s poem, which left me speechless — all I could say, repeatedly, was “wow:”
Diversity: what a strange and bloodless word, rinsed clean of the gore
birthed in war and struggle and the breaking of bones, cracking teeth,
the slice to open veins: to speak, write, survive.
“Reasons I Checked out of Diversity Discussion Du Jour” (Awitin Mo)