Over at The Millions today, I’m one of six staff writers who contributed to a piece called “I Read About It: Music, Food, Poetry, and Lifestyle Suggestions We’ve Taken from Literature,” in which Janet Potter asked us: “What works of art have you been introduced to by other works of art?” I’m deeply susceptible to certain references in books—the most notable trigger these days is people drinking tea, or more often, people making tea, like to the point where I find myself suddenly hovering over the kettle with no knowledge of travelling into the kitchen. There are more dangerous habits, I suppose.
My blurb here, though, is a little twisty: in my freshman year of college, obsessed with jazz, I bought a book about it, Geoff Dyer’s “But Beautiful,” and by the time I’d finished with it, I’d all but given up the music—I’d turned back to books, wholeheartedly. Geoff Dyer does that to people. It was the Lester Young chapter that did me in. That’s him, up there. Fading away.