Word Spaces: All-stars
Here’s an alternative take on Word Spaces, where instead of asking writers about their work space, I simply google “[name of writer] desk” and write about the images I found. I do this because I prefer not to interface with actual people.
AMY TAN’S DESK
I’m getting some ‘major Asian vibes’ here. She’s got Indonesian-type textiles on both her windows and body, and some effigy island-man lamp. She probably just got some big smile email from an executive at Lifetime who wants to adapt one of her books — daunting for the dog no doubt, who just might end up on the menu at the film’s reception, if the Asians have their way. (I’m allowed to make Asian jokes.)
MILAN KUNDERA’S DESK
From the looks of him, he should have called his book “The Unbearable Heaviness of Being Czech-French.” I’m the last guy you’d call a nationalist, but I seriously think there’s something wrong with Europeans. I know he was pro-communist but really Milan, does your lamp, folder and white-out have to be red? And who even uses white-out anyway? I don’t know, I think he’s sniffin’.
I knew he typed on a typewriter, what I didn’t know is that he used his cat. We should have known with A Farewell to Arms that he was referring to his own. The cat wrote ‘The Old Fish and the Sea,’ but it sounded too much like Moby Dick. Now we know A Moveable Feast was written about a fast mouse.
SUSAN SONTAG’S DESK
Susan Sontag had a lot of books in her office, and the Dewey-decimal altitudinal ladder is a charming touch. What is she doing, painting the ceiling? Hey Susan, I like your earlier essays but please, try to keep the books low enough for a publisher on his knees begging for a manuscript. Her post-its are arranged rather Hans Hoffman-y, but then again, she’s against interpretation.
FRANZ KAFKA’S DESK
God, I’m already depressed. You’d think there’d be a pen somewhere, or God forbid, a chair. Notice the wastebasket behind the desk. I imagine a crumpled draft: Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find himself unpublished.