Thursday, August 11, 2011

Literary Enforcement

Tim Gunn, in A Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style, advises us  not to be  "pack all the outfits I never wear at home" packers.  One must also pack literature--it is unthinkable to travel without a book, multiple books in my case-- and I have a habit of packing books that I feel I ought to read, but don't necessarily want to read--a sort of literary enforcement similar to the fashion enforcement of packing all the clothes you wished you wore more at home.  On this trip, I was warned to make room in my suitcase for all the training manuals that will be sent home with me so I could pack just one book and unfortunately the ONE book I chose to pack is Women in Love by D.H Lawrence.  I feel like I did when we went to Rome and I accidentally packed Persuasion when I thought I had packed Sense & Sensibility.

Not that it's not good.  It's considered the masterpiece of one of the major writers in the English language and I can appreciate why, but the characters have long, intense, hard-to follow philosophical conversations and there's this chick name Hermione who I want to smack upside the head and shout some sense into.  It's lucky I also have Don and Betty Draper, along with the gang at Sterling Cooper, to amuse me.

I feel like I am talking to myself here.  This whole week, I've barely spoken a word to anyone, which is fine because I like solitude, but one does end up with lots and lots of thoughts that need to be expressed.  You may or may not be wondering if I'm going to write about what I'm actually doing here.  I  didn't come to Wisconsin to read Women in Love, watch Mad Men, discover a way to amubulate myself into an impregnable corporate campus, investigate the public transportation system of Madison, WI, or suck every last drop of enjoyment that Verona, Wisconsin has to offer.  No, I'm here to work, which is what I've been doing from 8:30-5:00pm every day, and my experience at Epic has been truly something--something that is best illustrated with photographs--so I'll write about that when I get home and can hook up my camera.  Ditto for the trip into downtown Madison I accomplished last night (by city bus, although I had to take a cab back).


  1. This is why I like the e-readers. I can take lots of book options on my Nook and still only use up the packing space of one book. The other reason I like it is that books are slowly eating all of the space in my house, and the rate at which I'm losing space has decreased since I got the Nook. I've even recently discovered how to check out e-books from the library, which is amazing to me - free books to read on my high-tech gadget!

  2. e-readers! Of course! I will need to invest in one if I'm going to do much more traveling. I wish I could put all these darn training manuals I have to lug home onto a kindle.

  3. Hahaha and they say that the training companions will fit easily into your suit case because of the flixibility of the binder; not so. had to travel with mine in my backpack, which made waiting endless hours in different airports a pain in the ass, and the neck, shoulders, back.

  4. I'm not sure about these e-readers. I think they're the Devil's Work. A book is about the pleasure in browsing numerous titles in the shop....checking out the artwork, sniffing the paper (ok, that might just be me) and doing the Opening At Random To See How Interesting It Is,

    You can't go wrong with the Drapers though :-)

    Ali x

  5. there is nothing like a book, dog-eared, coffee-stained, wine-soaked...see how a kindle fairs then!!