Pop is off to Kay's for a couple of days. ... ... Arkady Ostrovsky: "I suppose the main difference between Russia and the Soviet Union is that the Soviet Union was trying to demonstrate that its system was different and better than the Western one, while Putin is trying to show that there is no difference between Russia and the West today. Russia doesn’t have a vision for the future; Russia doesn’t have an appealing ideology. All he needs to do is show the West as hypocritical, as cynical as Russia is — that we’re all the same. It’s sort of a lower denominator." [Atlantic] ... ... "Do the senses make sense?" One of Nabokov's little jokes. This evening I did not feel like reading essays. I trust I have not burned out on them, now that I have a few collections going in my reading life. However, I do feel like taking a break from all of that factuality. It can be a little dry, even under the most gifted thinkers and writers. Besides, I've been aching to revisit "Lolita". Having read it about a half-dozen times, I can now go at it in a most piecemeal and desultory fashion, reading a little bit on this evening, and then read a little more next week, when I am in the mood. It is just yet another book I will have going. I have these moods. Sometimes, I feel a need to focus on one or two books at a time, really wanting to concentrate tightly on them, and then there are times like now, when I like reaching into a bowl of assorted nuts, reading a little of this and a little of that and some from another half-dozen books. I want to read so many books; I am too impatient to wait until I finish one - I might die in my sleep tonight and never get the chance. I'd rather enjoy a little bit from several books now, today.