From §44

“The underlying bureaucratic key is the ability to deal with boredom. To function effectively in an environment that precludes everything vital and human. To breathe, so to speak, without air…It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.

The amount of work David Foster Wallace put into The Pale King is incredible. He wrote it for almost a decade; I read it in two months. I wonder how much time Michael Pietsch (the editor) spent arranging all DFW’s notes to come up with the final manuscript. Amazing. 

Relevant quote of the day

“An odd thing about beauty, however, is that its absence tends not to arouse sympathy as much as other forms of privation do. To the contrary, Edith Wharton might well be more congenial to us now if, alongside her other advantages, she’d looked like Grace Kelly or Jacqueline Kennedy; and nobody was more conscious of this capacity of beauty to override our resentment of privilege than Wharton herself.” -Jonathan Franzen on Edith Wharton

Let me just say that this passage perfectly explains my current feelings toward someone I know. I actually replaced Edith Wharton’s name with the person’s name when I went over the text a second time.

Cats study

I painted some cats yesterday. Now I remember reading a Neil Gaiman story in high school called “The Price.” What I especially remember is this:

That cat, my wife had said, when he first arrived, is a person. And there was something very person-like in his huge, leonine face: his broad black nose, his greenish yellow eyes, his fanged but amiable mouth (still leaking amber pus from the right lower lip.)

Cats freak me out a little, to be honest.