Some Geoff Dyer Links

Right now I’m reading Otherwise Known as the Human Condition for a review, and it reminds me of just what a good, versatile critic Geoff Dyer is.

So, since I’m in a Dyer mood right now, two recent Dyer links.

First, an excerpt from Otherwise, Dyer on a typically Dyeresque topic, reader’s block.

I find it increasingly difficult to read. This year I read fewer books than last year; last year I read fewer than the year before; the year before I read fewer than the year before that. The phenomenon of writer’s block is well known, but what I am suffering from is reader’s block. The condition is creeping rather than chronic, manifesting itself in different ways in different circumstances. On a trip to the Bahamas recently I regularly stopped myself reading because, whereas I could read a book anywhere, this was the only time I was likely to see sea so turquoise, sand so pink. Somewhat grandly, I call this the Mir syndrome, after the cosmonaut who said that he didn’t read a page of the book he’d taken to the space station because his spare moments were better spent gazing out of the window. . . .

And here’s Dyer on his “hero” Friedrich Nietzsche.

I keep waiting for my love of his writing to wear off, but it never does. Actually, love is not the right word – you can go on loving writers long after you’ve stopped reading them. I keep reading Nietzsche and I never cease to be astonished by his insight, his freshness, his brevity (deep problems treated like cold baths: in and out as quickly as possible), his profound plumbing of consciousness, even his “howlers” (as Cioran termed them). I suppose he’s a philosopher, but that seems a poor description . . .

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Could this simply be a function of advancing age?

The world outside the window (and dogs, and Mozart) seem more and more deserving of wonder.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


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