Two Days Short of Six Months
Was all it took. I mean, Leonardo is a tough act to follow and, you know, there’s no need to be prolific—especially when you’re not winning any oscars.
But then again, isn’t there some bit of satisfaction from discovering the irony of trying so hard to maintain creative integrity that you end up giving in to it all not because it finally felt right but because you wanted to?
Surely witnessing calculated responses to periods of vacated performance is no longer something we can avoid. You must have noticed last year was all about crafting the most ambitious vehicle to not only escape from purposeful hiatus but have it cruise effortlessly straight into top form: the luckiest one-night stand ever; the redemption of rom-com abs; the upgraded version of 500 Days of Summer; the final high from Blue Dream; and the boringly great cinematic experience by that guy whose last film was Children of Men.
Yet as Donna Tartt snuck into that very same party by dropping her first novel in over a decade, she would embrace their habit of hoarding the supply to better damn all demand and deconstruct it one layer down, revealing to us what is now the fuss of 2014: the understated return.
By the way some critics view The Goldfinch, Tartt spent all those 11 years recycling simple cliches only the masses still enjoy, scribbled in the form of pedestrian-like prose made suitable for none other than vanilla-eyed adolescents. Those critics, hoping to be struck by lightning and the bottle it came from, probably think films still need to include a complex character arc or avoid being a derivative of what came before to be loved by the highest of the highbrow populace.
If 2013 had you by the balls, addicted to big, heavy-handed rebuttals consuming the pop culture zeitgeist, then 2014 let it all hang loose with the brevity of a quiet acknowledgement that yes, austerity suddenly came into vogue. There’s something downright impressive about the art of dismissing any and all suspicions of being forgotten while also lifting everyone’s expectations one notch higher by way of subtle diligence and, of course, without relying on the exact same plays that fooled us once before.
So in the mean time—rather, by the way—here are 26 words patently scribbled to make up for all my purposeful yet pedestrian 181 days of leave:
All in life let your own word die
Door hardened by hand
Now hollow through trade
What knock can you field
Heard not one from lie