Handful of dust #1
a collection of flash essays for lazy readers
Hi, thanks for being here. ICYMI, I put out an essay on Henri Cole’s sonnets last week. This is a new monthly post for paid subscribers only—more on that below. If you want access to this post & everything else this newsletter has to offer, consider upgrading your subscription. Xoxo.
“Handful of dust” is a collection of flash essays on what I’ve been reading (and trying to read) for the past month. The title is inspired by Evelyn Waugh’s novel of the same name, and also by the fact that a good bookshelf probably has some dust on it. The idea for this series came to me after I visited Normal’s bookstore while I was in Baltimore last weekend. My friend Rochelle’s allergies started acting up from all the dust. Books causing our bodies to react—this felt visceral with meaning to me. Anyways, I love a good used bookstore, and yes, the dusty air quality within them. If you think about it, your own bookshelf can be a used bookstore too, if you lend out what you have to your friends. I left Baltimore with a few loans, some of which I write about here.
As a disclaimer, it’s likely there will be books I write about that I haven’t yet finished. The number and genres of books will vary month to month. And the writing found here will partly be collected from failed essays. As a result, these essay collections will probably feel even more fragmented than my other writing—the act of reading should be fragmented, books should live with us in the real world. Sometimes you have to put a book down for a while to see how it mirrors what is happening in your life. You can’t see something properly when it’s inches from your face. Besides, I don’t really believe in finished business, in general trying to let more things trail off and leave the door unlocked if not open. I hope this series will act as a digital representation of my own bookshelves, guided by the philosophy that a bookshelf isn’t a trophy case, but a display of taste. I hope you’ll find something to your taste here.
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