Thursday, September 03, 2009

Imagined works of art

Sometimes you see people and you instantly know who you would cast to play them in the movie of their life. The other day I was at a meeting and as soon as someone started speaking, I had cast this character actor from In and Out and Six Feet Under. (For my part, people have variously suggested Anjelica Huston, Rachel Griffiths, and Tina Fey.) Not that anyone's going to make a movie out of either that professor's life or mine.

Then this morning as I was walking to the bus, I caught a glimpse down a side street of a truck slowly hauling up onto its base a big dumpster that said "BAY STATE" in big clean letters. Then I met the assembled truck as I crossed a different side street. And I just had this feeling that if Robert Lowell were alive and had seen it, he would have used it in a poem perfectly.

Do others do this - imagine good projects for people other than themselves? I just wish I could appropriate some of it for myself.

That's all for today. It's a lull in a very busy week at work, and I'm reading Pale Fire by Nabokov. I don't think I'm going to be able to tell you what I think of it until I'm done. I feel like I need a commentary on the commentary that is the book.