Friday, June 13, 2014

gods of summer they were at twenty


 
 
 
 
 
 




Hi, it's me. 

I know, I know, I know: I've been super AWOL the past few months due to ~FEELINGS~ and ~RESPONSIBILITIES~ and ~PERSONAL REASONS~ but I'm back and ready to rumble and I've written officially ten billion half-drafts of posts so I have sooOoOOooOooooOOoOoooOooOOOOooOoooOOOOOooOOOOOoOooOooOoOoooooOoo much dope stuff to tell you about that I'm super close to posting on this dumb blog. There's a lot about why I've been gone and why things have been totally Suck Fest 2014 around her for so long and why I'm theoretically ready to try to fix some of the Suck Fest things and make my life a little bit shinier and better again, plus also some stuff about becoming a vegetarian and getting a Real Job and also books I've been reading and also some stuff about Japanese eels and Attack on Titan and medical marijuana and about love handles + short-shorts this summer and how I LOVE it and also about Tamanduas and bush babies and Spotted Genets and Fenec foxes. THRILLING. (*confetti canons* *barfs*)

This is just a little junk-post about #1: that I'm back and I'm here and I'm ready to write again! and #2: my new summer credo, and finally #3: a call for book recommendations. I already covered #1, and #2 makes me So! So! So! So! So! So! So! Excited!!! So I'm really happy to tell you about it.

Okay, have you guys read any Albert Camus? Like, I always knew that his work was kind of ~out there~ in the world, and that he was French and a demi-existentialist and made everybody feel kind of angsty. That's all I really knew. But then I found out that's he is most famously an absurdist---which is my 100% #1 All-Star Champion favorite genre of literature ever ever ever ever---so I sort of threw myself into his body of work, starting with his essays, and found myself full of rapture and magic and itchiness and I was all overwhelmed and euphoric. So now Camus is one of my dreamiest and most trusted heroes.

His essay "Summer in Algiers" makes me feel especially stir-crazy and hopeless and awesome because it's all about summer, so I've read it like 4000 times in the past two weeks. I'm one of those people that treats summers like they need theme songs and catchphrases and long to-do lists, and I'm also one of those people that looks for "signs" everywhere and inevitably finds them in hyperdescriptive defeatist essays written by dead French philosophers.

I found the official theme or canon or whatever that I've adopted for summer 2014 in "Summers in Algiers," in a passage near the end:

"There are words I have never really understood, such as ‘sin’. Yet I believe these men have never sinned against life. For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. These men have not cheated. Gods of summer they were at twenty by their enthusiasm for life and they still are, deprived of all hope. I have seen two of them die. They were full of horror, but silent. It is better thus. From Pandora’s box, where all the ills of humanity swarmed, the Greeks drew out hope after all the others, as the most dreadful of all. I know no more stirring symbol; for, contrary to the general belief, hope equals resignation. And to live is not to resign oneself." (Albert Camus, "Summers in Algiers")

I guess I freaked out when I read the part that says, "Gods of summer they were at twenty by their enthusiasm for life and they still are, deprived of all hope." I was like HI I'M AVERY AND I HAVE JUST READ WORDS THAT DESCRIBE MY CURRENT LIFE AND ALSO MY SOUL OKAY. It was just one of those weird things where the phrasing and the timing and the placement of the words was the exact way I had wanted to describe myself, but hadn't yet thought of the words. So it was scarily accurate and beautiful and heaven-sent from Camus, and it immediately became my summer credo: "Gods of Summer They Were At Twenty." It's full of power and hard sunlight and invincibility and junk food. I use it as kind of mental steroids because when you think about being young and Olympian forever in an eternal summer, it makes you feel like you can punch through walls and shoot lasers out of your eyeballs and do whatever you want. But it also reminds you about transience and impermanence and the fleetingness of the idyllic and symbolic "summer" and also the brevity of being twenty-years-old, strong and fearless and able. So it's a good summer credo, because it's empowering but it also reminds you to be realistic. I might even need a hashtag for it. #GOSTWA20 #stopkoni

You can read the rest of the essay here.

Okay, okay, good. Remember how I said there were three things I was going to talk about in this post? #3 is really easy but important: I just wanted to ask you guys if you had any good book recommendations for me? I've been chain-reading like a book or two a day (my mom's voice: "NERD!"), and I've sort of hit a dry spell because it feels like I've read All Literature Ever Written On Earth. My only request is that you do NOT even think about telling me to read anything written by John Green. I honestly don't have time for the wrath and rage I will feel if somebody suggests The Fault in Our Stars. I am not joking. I will burn Utah to the ground. Stay away from me.

That's all I've got for this post. Thanks for sticking around.




Chin up and guns out.
-Avery Jalaine


 

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous13.6.14

    Huzzah. Your blog gives me life. (This is Jen, by the way, I was just too lazy to log in.)

    You should read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and Atonement by Ian McEwan, if you haven't already. Good luck!

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    1. Anonymous7.7.14

      Guarantee she's read all these already.

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  2. I know Stephen King isn't everyone's book of tea, but his books really are so good. Especially The Stand. Read The Stand. It's like, the most thought out post apocalyptic book you'll ever lay your fingers on, and also it's like, weirdly spiritual, but not in like a mormon sense, just in like a stephen-king-is-continually-awesome way. Or then there's Never Have I Ever which is an auto biography about a girl who's never been on a date and it will make you laugh your face off.

    xoxo
    e

    the little diary

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    1. definitely meant to say "cup of tea"... freudian slip I suppose lol. Everyone should drink tea out of books. #newtrends

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Oh thanks. You're pretty.