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Understanding Pain, Long Stories, and Hunter & Ron
Plus: Why the Ohio special election backfired for the GOP.
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MARK CLEMENS: Pain Seeking Understanding.
CURIOSITY AND LEISURE FORMED the matrix of the modern essay, but pain was close behind. Montaigne was in his mid-forties when he became, as he put it, “acquainted with the kidney stone through the liberality of the years.” The stones drove him to baths all over Western Europe, to purgatives, enemas, and bloodletting. He was chagrined to find himself investigating the contents of his chamber pot, measuring what he voided against what he’d drunk. It was a family disease; it killed his father. “It was precisely,” he said, “of all the accidents of old age, the one I feared the most.” He thought it might be better to die, at first. Yet “I am already growing reconciled to this colicky life,” he reported after living it for eighteen months, “I find in it food for consolation and hope.” The ailment sharpened the perspective that came to characterize the Essays—delight in physicality, mistrust of those who would leave it behind (“these transcendental humors frighten me”), loving laughter at human frailty. “We seek other conditions because we do not understand the use of our own,” he wrote on the last page of his book, and the form he named was his attempt to understand his, healthy or sick. Two new memoirs take up this attempt to live the examined life amid ongoing personal suffering. Their authors seek to understand their own conditions and consider whether there might be any use in them.
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NICK RIPATRAZONE: When a Master of the Short Story Went Long.
IN 1957, EIGHT YEARS AFTER HE WON the Nobel Prize for Literature, William Faulkner joined the University of Virginia as a writer-in-residence. He lectured to classes and took questions. “I don’t know any literary people,” he told one group of students. “The people I know are other farmers and horse people and hunters, and we talk about horses and dogs and guns and what to do about this hay crop or this cotton crop, not about literature.”
DANIEL MCGRAW: Why the Ohio Special Election Backfired for the GOP.
“AS I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS VOTE more and more, what they were trying to do and the way they were trying to do it was just kind of creepy.”
Outside a polling place in Cleveland on Tuesday, a thirtysomething art teacher was explaining to me her “no” vote on the ballot issue that, if approved, would have changed the way citizen-led constitutional amendments work in the state. Future amendments to the Ohio constitution could have been enacted only after receiving 60 percent of the vote in a statewide election, as opposed to the current simple majority.
I-71, OHIO—Happy Friday from the road. As summer winds down to a close, we’re hitting the road to see some family. This will not interrupt your daily Overtime fix, but it might mean I’m a little slow to respond to emails.
Coming soon to the Buckeye state… Ghost interchanges. I’m as pro-car as they come, but this is utterly dumb.
Will Trump endorse in Ohio’s Senate race? Frank LaRose and Bernie Moreno are wondering. (So is Sherrod Brown!) My guess is if he does, he’ll do it after the primary’s result is obvious.
We have a protective order! And now Jack Smith will start sharing “millions” of pages of discovery docs. Trump is banned from having a phone or electronics when reviewing sensitive items.
"Can't do that, I'm on deadline. Maybe tomorrow." Daniel McGraw told that to an EMT in Lakewood, Ohio yesterday after being hit by a car. He’s fine, he tells us. He did meet his deadline (and it’d be OK if he didn’t!), but the story gets crazier. McGraw was inside a grocery store when he was struck. And there’s video. Even crazier, this isn’t his first rodeo. This is the third time he’s come into contact with a vehicle. If you’re on Twitter/X, go give him a follow and send him well wishes.
Do you think… There’s a reason why Ron DeSantis won’t watch the entirety of Field of Dreams with his kids? This is why.
The Ukraine funding is a bargain… Just look at these numbers.
Meanwhile, in the “Free State of Florida™…” DeSantis is firing more elected officials, and law enforcement even paid a visit to one of their staffers on maternity leave to let them know they were fired, too.
The DOJ will never satisfy House Republicans… A tale in two screenshots.
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