Friday, September 12, 2008


I'm in the middle of writing a review of Amanda Lohrey's new book Vertigo but I'm finding it heavy going. Not the book, which I really like, but the writing of the review. I'm over 600 words in, which usually means a canter to the finish line, but not this time. And of those 600 words, the only ones I'm really happy with so far are the ones in the two opening sentences:

Vertigo is to dizziness what a migraine is to a headache, or the flu to a cold in the head. You don’t really grasp the difference till you’ve had the nastier one.

Giddy with the difficulties of composition and awed by the responsibilities of reviewing -- I once gave a seminar paper about reviewing that consisted entirely of an amplified list of the many different people (and things) to whom (or which) the responsible reviewer has, erm, responsibilities -- I've come over here where I can say whatever I like however I want, surely one of blogging's main attractions, to consider this health-related factoid a little more.

The older you get, unfortunately, the more likely you are to have experienced the cold/flu, headache/migraine and dizziness/vertigo distinctions for yourself. I knew I was irredeemably middle-aged the day I caught myself having the apparently insane thought 'Oh thank God, how lovely, it's an ordinary headache', but that was nothing to my first experience of vertigo, during which I would have thought 'Oh I do so wish this were just a migraine', except that vertigo renders one incapable of rational thought. It was, thank God, a fixable inner-ear disorder going by the majestic yet hilarious title 'Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo', a condition infinitely more paroxysmal than benign. And if a certain rural mate is reading this, she will laugh herself stupid at these hypochondriacal magnifications of relatively harmless, minor and temporary conditions involving disorientation and neurological brouhaha.

But since I currently don't even have so much as an ordinary headache and the review is now two days overdue, there's no excuse not to get back to work.

*girds loins, not a pretty sight*

(I might be back shortly, though, because the Large Hadron Collider has just given me an idea for a meme.)


librarygirl said...

By bizarre coincidence I woke up yesterday with the room seemingly going round and round and feeling like hell -
doctor diagnosed "Labrynthitis" which is the coolest sounding illness I've ever had! (ear infection with yet another throat infection).
- Librarygirl

nasking said...

To attack a person's writing style is beyond the pale lady. Criticise my views...but to continually attack me this week or so regarding CAPS & so on is harassment. You hypocrite.

I spent years trying to come back from a head injury & an illness. I'm proud of my achievements. And fought to get Labor into power with all my heart & skills (including sending many ideas & links to top Labor politicians for two years prior to their win...which I was thanked for, repeatedly)...& my comments & links related to this bogus war have been respected by many other commentors over the years.

I took many risks along the way when others were scared into silence. Sometimes people need to use alternative styles & more abstract writing in order to protect their family.

I read your blog regularly...gawd knows why, you have done nil but be dismissive & sarcastic towards me. I will not return.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Nasking, I won't delete this, as the above comments policy indicates I would, but I will answer it instead. I think you probably will return, if only to see whether there is an answer, but this is as far as it goes and any further comments from you on this subject will be binned. [For other people, this commenter is bringing an, ahem, disagreement across from another blog. Move along, nothing to see here.]

You were repeatedly insisting that other commenters should 'read your comments more carefully', and, provoked by a personal insult from you that you seem to have conveniently forgotten, I was suggesting a way you could ensure that that would happen. Had I been less irritated by your provocative, aggressive remarks about feminists and abortion I would probably not have responded at all. I have mentioned the dreaded CAPS precisely twice, both in the context of thread discussion about them, and I have not 'attacked' you at all. Nor can I see where you get 'hypocrite'; my sins are many but that is not, I hope, among them.

I am sorry about the injury, and the illness.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

The day my father fell through the front door and it took my mother an outraged couple of minutes to realise that he wasn't , uncharacteristically , legless , was when I first realised that the inner ear wasn't just something simple to draw for a Biology test .
I wish you a speedy recovery and an even speedier completion of the review .