The Isla Vista Book Club

making the strange familiar and the familiar strange
"Weeknights out here weren’t too different from weekends, so this part of town was already ahoot with funseekers, drinkers and surfers screaming in the alleys, dopers out on food errands […] Uphill and invisible, traffic out on the boulevard to and from the freeway uttered tuneful exhaust phrases which went echoing out to sea, where the crews of oil tankers sliding along, hearing them, could have figured it for wildlife taking care of nighttime business on an exotic coast."
― Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice
Photo: keenand831 via Instagram

"Weeknights out here weren’t too different from weekends, so this part of town was already ahoot with funseekers, drinkers and surfers screaming in the alleys, dopers out on food errands […] Uphill and invisible, traffic out on the boulevard to and from the freeway uttered tuneful exhaust phrases which went echoing out to sea, where the crews of oil tankers sliding along, hearing them, could have figured it for wildlife taking care of nighttime business on an exotic coast."

― Thomas PynchonInherent Vice

Photo: keenand831 via Instagram

"Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else. This is where California comes in. Mud slides, brush fires, coastal erosion, earthquakes…"
― Don DeLillo, White Noise

"Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else. This is where California comes in. Mud slides, brush fires, coastal erosion, earthquakes…"

― Don DeLilloWhite Noise

Overheard in IV

"I’ve met you at a party before. That place on Trigo."

-“The one with the balcony?”

"That’s the place."

-“And the black lights and the handle of Cuervo.”

"Oh my god, you remember!"

"She wanted to be lead singer in a coke-snorting hard-rock band but was prepared to be content beating a tambourine at studio parties. Her mind was exceptional, a fact she preferred to ignore. All she desired was the brute electricity of that sound. To make the men who made it. To keep moving. To forget everything. To be that sound. That was the only tide she heeded. She wanted to exist as music does, nowhere, beyond maps of language."
― Don DeLillo, Great Jones Street

"She wanted to be lead singer in a coke-snorting hard-rock band but was prepared to be content beating a tambourine at studio parties. Her mind was exceptional, a fact she preferred to ignore. All she desired was the brute electricity of that sound. To make the men who made it. To keep moving. To forget everything. To be that sound. That was the only tide she heeded. She wanted to exist as music does, nowhere, beyond maps of language."

― Don DeLilloGreat Jones Street

Many of us are prone to lay-philosophizing about the weird privacy of our own mental states, for example, and from the fact that when my knee hurts only I can feel it, it’s tempting to conclude that for me the word pain has a very subjective internal meaning that only I can truly understand. This line of thinking is sort of like the adolescent pot-smoker’s terror that his inner experience is both private and unverifiable, a syndrome that is technically known as Cannabic Solipsism. Eating Chips Ahoy! And staring very intently at the television’s network PGA event, for instance, the adolescent pot-smoker is struck by the ghastly possibility that, e.g., what he sees as the color green and what other people call “the color green” may in fact not be the same color experience at all: The fact that both he and someone else call Pebble Beach’s fairways green and a stoplight’s GO signal green appears to guarantee only that there is a similar consistency in their color experience of fairways, and GO lights, not that the actual subjective quality of those color experiences is the same; it could be that what the ad. pot-smoker experiences as green everyone else actually experiences as blue, and what we “mean” by the word blue is what he “means” by green, etc., etc., until the whole line of thinking gets so vexed and exhausting that the a.p.-s. ends up slumped crumb-strewn and paralyzed in his chair.
-David Foster Wallace

Many of us are prone to lay-philosophizing about the weird privacy of our own mental states, for example, and from the fact that when my knee hurts only I can feel it, it’s tempting to conclude that for me the word pain has a very subjective internal meaning that only I can truly understand. This line of thinking is sort of like the adolescent pot-smoker’s terror that his inner experience is both private and unverifiable, a syndrome that is technically known as Cannabic Solipsism. Eating Chips Ahoy! And staring very intently at the television’s network PGA event, for instance, the adolescent pot-smoker is struck by the ghastly possibility that, e.g., what he sees as the color green and what other people call “the color green” may in fact not be the same color experience at all: The fact that both he and someone else call Pebble Beach’s fairways green and a stoplight’s GO signal green appears to guarantee only that there is a similar consistency in their color experience of fairways, and GO lights, not that the actual subjective quality of those color experiences is the same; it could be that what the ad. pot-smoker experiences as green everyone else actually experiences as blue, and what we “mean” by the word blue is what he “means” by green, etc., etc., until the whole line of thinking gets so vexed and exhausting that the a.p.-s. ends up slumped crumb-strewn and paralyzed in his chair.

-David Foster Wallace

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers 

There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers 

Overheard by yrs. truly in IV on a cold night: “I don’t need clothers when I have liquor.”

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. 
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

― Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe