Sunday, February 20, 2005

a post about books that descends into pseudo-solipsism (sorry)

i never post about what i'm reading anymore. i used to, at least on occasion, but that seems to have dropped off lately.

which is strange because i have thought about blogging my reading habits on many occasions. the week before last i was reading "all the shah's men", about the 1953 british and american coup against mohammad mossadegh. it was the perfect book to blog, though non-fiction it read like a novel and was completely relevant to the kind of things i regularly rant about here. a bunch of different draft posts wafted through my skull as i read the book, but i decided to wait until i was done before i actually set anything down here.

then i finished the book and never got around to writing anything. once i got into my next book, writing about "all the shah's men" seemed less important. that was yesterday's book, at least in the noz-centered universe. the urge to blog, that nagged at me when i was reading the book, dissipated as soon as i put it back on my shelf.

when i was reading it last december, i had a lot to say about "the plot against america". while i was reading it, i was utterly engrossed and convinced that anything that took up so much of my attention would make its way into a post or two here. it seemed like it would inevitably, but it didn't happen. i had a lot to say about the book, i just said it in real life, both to mrs. noz (who read the book the same time i did) and to a book discussion group that we recently joined

sometimes this site is the repository of all the stuff that i can never rant about in real life. i read the paper on the morning train and arrive at my office with the irresistable urge to rant or snark at something i read. so it ends up here.

it doesn't always work that way. some things i post here are the same as things i say in real life. but i wonder what odd warped reflection of me comes through on this site. which brings up another question: what warped view of others am i getting from reading their sites. a lot of times, by regularly reading someone's site, it feels like i really get to know the author. but it's worth remembering that i really don't. when i finally met duncan black, he ended up being different than the atrios i had pieced together in my mind from reading his site. at least i remember thinking that when i first met him. now i can't remember exactly what that earlier impression of atrios was. at a recent drinking liberally duncan mentioned that one of his friends from real life, upon learning of his online alter-ego, read eschaton and told duncan that his online persona seemed so angry. which is funny because duncan does not come across as an angry person at all in person. and knowing that, i never read any anger into his site when i read his posts these days. maybe i used to, i don't remember if i did.

i'm not sure how this "why don't i post about books" post ended up meandering in this direction, but here i am. maybe it's because of golden boy, a person who trolls my comments now and then, and reappeared just this week in the comments to this post. he always seems so utterly sure of himself that he knows all about unspoken my opinions and motivations. and yet time after time i think he get's them completely wrong. in fact, i'm positive he get my opinions wrong. we're talking about my head, after all.