Saturday, January 20, 2018

Diary

Though I'm not particularly busy (I never am), various factors are preventing me from writing much on the blog. The new car purchase has been taken care of, with the car now sitting in the garage mostly unused. I don't have anywhere to go, and am a little hesitant to drive on ice and snow without snow tires. So far, other than driving back from the car dealership, I've only driven it once, to take a neighbor boy to school after he missed the bus. I am still spending time on investments, since, as I said, this is one of those rare opportunities to make easy money. I have been buying leveraged exchange traded funds, which are extremely volatile, and trying to avoid downswings. Since the market's direction has been consistently up for a few months, timing mistakes have been less problematic, and I often make thousands of dollars per day. This compensates for the losses I've accrued under less auspicious market conditions over the last few years. However, I must remain alert so that I can make quick sales in order to minimize losses in the event of downturns. I am also anticipating increases in interest rates and investing in inverse leveraged exchange traded funds for that purpose.

At the moment, I'm reading a fairly good book on human genetics, but am not sure whether I'll have any comments to make on it, since it is straightforward and so far doesn't have any revelations that change my thoughts. As usual, I've been trying to come up with some fiction to read and having a hard time of it. I considered writers such as Thomas Bernhard and Karl Ove Knausgård but decided that I probably wouldn't like either of them. There is something about the sensibilities of Germans and Scandinavians that I find distasteful, and my distaste, particularly in regard to Germans, runs deep. My parents, with good reason, were about as anti-German as you can get, and that has rubbed off on me; most of the Germanic people I've known, including my ex-wife, have had oafish characteristics that I can barely tolerate anymore. Perhaps before the World Wars I might have found something to like in Germany, but since then I don't think Germans have produced any art or literature that I would enjoy. I have been unable to take most contemporary American, English or French literature very seriously, and this brings me back to László Krasznahorkai. His writing is already a little tiresome to me, with the unrelenting gloom and pervasive sense of futility, but I am always able to detect a sophisticated artistry in his work that I never find elsewhere. In any case, I have ordered his latest book, The World Goes On, which is another collection of short stories.

My thoughts about this blog vary over time, and they are affected by my sense of who is reading it and why. I still seem to have a dwindling number of long-term readers who read it, probably for the heck of it, because they are mildly interested and have nothing better to do. Now, the majority of the blog's hits are from Google searches, many perhaps by students who are seeking information for assignments. The most visited post is "Kakutani on Houellebecq," and the second most is "A Woman Meets an Old Lover." These kinds of hits are usually one-offs, indicating that the reader was seeking specific information and was not curious about anything else on the blog. The Googlers may have no intrinsic interest in the blog; many of the posts fall into a series of posts that I've made about a book I'm reading, and I am finding that people read only one and not the rest. On top of this, with the lack of feedback, it is difficult for me to get a sense of what readers expect. At this point, I am more or less just writing what I feel like writing, and if something comes up that makes me reconsider the topics and themes of the blog, I'll change course if necessary. In any case, I don't see myself giving up the blog purely due to a lack of attention. Having comments pouring in would be less desirable to me than no comments. Obscurity is preferable to Internet fame.

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