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11/16/09

Augusten Burroughs



I recently discovered the world of Augusten Burroughs, and I am enthralled. Yesterday alone (well, including 3 hours of today - 12-3 am) I read Magical Thinking and Running with Scissors. Dry I read on the way to Maui with Soph. I can't wait to read the rest of them... one of them is on my bedside table and the other ones are in my queue at the library.



As some of you may know, much of his material is utterly horrifying. But that's why we like it. That, and his brilliant writing, and the fact that he has survived to tell the tales. Nothing gets me like a horrifying, well-written memoir.

I will leave you with this bit, taken from the title story in Magical Thinking (which was funnier than the other 2, although all books so far have made me laugh and cry):

Perhaps my supernatural abilities come from my solid spiritual beliefs. I believe in the baby Jesus. And I believe he is handsome and lives in the sky with his pet cow. I believe that it is essential the cow like you. And if you pet the cow with your mind, it will lick your hand and give you cash. But if you make the cow angry, it will turn away from you, forget you exist, and your life will turn into shambles. I believe that as long as the cow likes you, you can get what you want.

In order to keep in the cow's favor, you need to "let go and let God," meaning, you can't obsess about controlling every little thing. You have to let things unfold naturally and not try to chance things you cannot change. On the other hand, I believe that if you've made the cow happy by living this way, you're allowed to ask for favors.

I tell people my theory, and they think I am either kidding or insane. But think this as they may, I have cow saliva on my hands, and many of them do not.

- Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking, p. 241

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