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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

entry arrow5:37 PM | Ho-hum.

Remember when I was most fanboy-ish when I saw Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese’s HBO documentary about the wit and writer from New York, Fran Lebowitz? I was positively giddy, and I wrote something like: “By the end of this film, I’ve come to this foolish hope: that one day I’d be a companion around her dinner table, and just listen to her talk and talk and talk.” I still have not changed that opinion: it would certainly be such a different kind of theater to watch Ms. Lebowitz talk and talk and give opinion on God-knows-everything-including-the-brand-of-the-kitchen-sink — but when it came to reading the two seminal works of essays that have made her reputation as a funny woman who also happens to be an intellectual (these are Metropolitan Life from 1978 and Social Studies from 1981, combined to one volume called The Fran Lebowitz Reader), I found myself … bored. This was it? These are supposed to be funny essays? They try to be, and they stink of such striving for an Oscar Wilde kind of epigram-making. I like the Introduction where Ms. Lebowitz tries to detail, hour by hour, the non-events that litter her day, but I was soon exasperated by her tendencies for lists, for tables, for the tiresome glee of having pronounced herself anti-nature, anti-work, anti-whatever. I usually find stuff like these rib-tickling (God knows I treasure Woody Allen’s Without Feathers and Getting Even — two very funny books which Lebowitz’s own unconsciously seem to want to equal, but fails), but somehow not these ones. What a tiresome bore this volume was.

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