37.1 Jackals and Arabs — Franz Kafka
37.2 Kafka and Arabs — Jens Hanssen in Critical Inquiry 39 (Autumn 2012)
37.3 Jens Hanssen, Kafka and Arabs — in Jadaliyya (Nov. 7, 2012)
38. The Men — Lisa Robertson
39. Cinema of the Present — Lisa Robertson
this week — 57.75
to date — 883.71
Politics is something that I’ve consciously tried to avoid in these post and so far I’ve done an okay job of it I think, but it’s been a tough slog over these past few days to avoid all the crap that’s going on what with the Pulse shooting and the Brexit vote and the fiasco around Steven Galloway at UBC none of which are actually related except that they’ve caused an overall feeling of being emotionally deflated. None of that has anything to do with any of the reading above, either. I met my friend Jeff for drinks and we talked a bit about the Middle East, he just getting back from a conference that coincided with the opening of a contemporary art gallery in Palestine. I’ve a growing interest in speculative fiction and works in translation from the Middle East, though it’s not showing up in my reading, yet. I have a few titles in my to-read-pile (Aziz’s The Queue sits at the top) that I hope to get to soon. He suggested revisiting Kafka and forwarded me the two companion pieces from Hanssen. I hadn’t read “Jackals and Arabs” before. It’s pretty clear, though, that Kafka would have been appalled by the Israeli occupation of Palestine. And if there was any doubt, I think that Hanssen sufficiently crushes said doubt. I’m nearly through my pile of Robertson; I think that I have one or two titles left. I liked The Men better than Cinema, though when it comes to book-length poems I tend to prefer more narrative(?) style in the vein of William’s Patterson or Carson’s Autobiography of Red. Purely personal preference. I’ve no regrets spending a couple transit trips with Cinema.
I noticed very early on in my running that I tend to perform better when I’ve shit on my mind. I tweeted once that given my experience I didn’t understand why professional athletes would want to be happy at all. And so I figured that going into the Scotiabank half marathon this morning I would have a decent run. I did, I guess, but I’d really hoped to crush my BMO half time of 1:46:00 and in that I fell short. I ended up with 1:46:31, which I do think is pretty good for me, for my second half marathon, but I wanted to do better. World events didn’t propel me through the race this time around, so I think I need to rethink my hypothesis. I did everything nearly identical to my BMO prep, but for whatever reason nerves were higher, giving me an upset stomach and sufficiently dehydrating me before I even left the house this morning. I’ll spare you the [shitty] details. Or not, apparently. Anyway, I started well, and the race starts fast and I hit 10 kilometres with nearly a personal best, but I ran out of gas by the 12 kilometre mark and it was a struggle between my body and my pride to not walk a couple times. I haven’t done many races, but I have never walked. That being said I went from first-half splits of 4:30 down to 5:30 in the last 5 kilometres. Pacing is clearly still a problem, along with nutrition and hydration. Maybe there’s some psychology in there too.