Well, it’s been a very busy week here, and today was one of the most exhausting. So I’m ending the day fading quite a bit. I’ll leave you with a shot of Zadie Smith in full flow, chatting to the LA Times Books editor in front of a paying audience at UCLA this evening. (Part of the UCLA Live series, which is regulalrly interesting.) I went along to hear what she had to say, accompanying a friend who had a spare ticket. Ran into my good friend Marc Kamionkowski there, who is apparently a fan of her work. I found the chat to be… nice. Nothing profound, but she’s got a good sense of humour which is vey familiar to me, since it comes from a similar place to mine, I imagine: We have similar backgrounds. I dozed a bit, which was not a reflection on her…. I just doze sometimes during a busy work week.
In terms of the length, I am not sure that it really needed to be as long as 90 minutes, but then that’s probably just me. Frankly, it was better than it could easily have been. Sometimes you go along to hear someone talk about their work, etc, and they end up making great pronoucenments on all sorts of things and you just wish they would shut up and you can go back to appreciating what they do. Not in this case. She is actually quite interesting to listen to, and did not attempt to be an authority on anything other than what she does. There was a lack of depth there that probably comes from the fact that she is young. Were I not so tired, I’d be more charitable and say that she had a “refreshing lightness”… or something like that. Really, I’d like to do it again in 20 or 30 years when she’s had time to really absorb more of life…. to compare and contrast. She has a good ear and eye for observation, so a lot of good stuff will stick over the years, and she’ll be a really special treat to hear from in time.
Was amused to see (the prodigously talented) Tracy Ullman standing just off to my left, while we picked up tickets at the box office. Amused for at least a couple of reasons, and none of them because she stared at me for a moment as though I was familiar. One was because before arriving, I told the friend I was escorting that I might go into stealth mode to avoid the no doubt lots of English people who will turn up, since (1) it is the West LA, and the English Abroad are everywhere on the West side and (2) it is Zadie Smith. Did not expect Tracy Ulman though. Was expecting more anonymous expat English. The other reason? I am not at liberty to explain at this point. Sorry. Maybe later.
The title of the post? (1) Always wanted to use it. (2) I hope that it will be clear tomorrow, or the day after.
Well, I am tired down to the bone and brain, and so will do things involving the following: Gimlet. Sofa. Movie. Pillow.