First and foremost: Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events are being made into a feature-length live-action film starring Jim Carrey (this is old news, but worth repeating) and the film is set to be released December 17, 2004. Somehow, a TV promo spot [requires QuickTime] has already made it online. It looks exquisite. The casting for Klaus looks a bit off (too old, too tall, too skinny, too un-bookish, etc.) and I have no idea how they’re condensing an as-yet-unfinished series of thirteen books into a single movie, but I’m thinking this could be great. Really, really great.

I’m finally getting around to reading Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting after finally finishing Sigrid Undset’s Jenny last week. My friend from work tells me that women like Kundera, but I have enjoyed reading his books more than almost any other author. I was quite pleased to come across the following passages this morning while I was waiting for my car to be fixed (translation by Aaron Asher):

Graphomania (a mania for writing books) inevitably takes on epidemic proportions when a society develops to the point of creating three basic conditions:
(1) an elevated level of general well-being, which allows people to devote themselves to useless activities;
(2) a high degree of social atomization and, as a consequence, a general isolation of individuals;
(3) the absence of dramatic social changes in the nation’s internal life.

But by a backlash, the effect affects the cause. General isolation breeds graphomania, and generalized graphomania in turns intensifies and worsens isolation. The invention of printing formerly enabled people to understand one another. In the era of universal graphomania, the writing of books has an opposite meaning: everyone surrounded by his own words as by a wall of mirrors, which allows no voice to filter through from outside.

One morning (and it will be soon), when everyone wakes up as a writer, the age of universal deafness and incomprehension will have arrived.

No, the irony of my posting this here is not lost on me, thankyouverymuch.

NP: Franz Ferdinand, 40 ′

P.S. —I have a new address and phone number. I don’t know if anyone who cares reads this, or if anyone reading cares, or if anyone cares, or if anyone reads this, but here is the new info:
Michael Hoke
4400 East-West Highway #916
Bethesda, MD 20814
[cell] (202) 236-5705