recently affected by: ‘Magical Thinking’ by Augusten Burroughs

augusten burroughs’ life is so surcharged with meaning, it makes me imagine a life so full, it burst like an overripe nectarine.
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these are stories told on a wall, more like graffitti than a mural: utterly shameless, painstakingly compulsive and downright hysterical. but like his other book containing memories from his sober intervals, his humor is dry. as in dry wit. the kind that makes me think of an angst-ridden house, m.d.

so i get to thinking how so many uncommon things could happen to just one person. who gets to be taken in by his mother’s crackpot shrink then later in life happens to hire the housekeeper from the underworld (among many other fantastic incidents)? maybe god hurled all these vibrant experiences towards augusten burroughs because he knew burroughs would make them look hilarious in several bestselling books (one of which was even adapted into a movie).

————

so what does magical thinking mean anyway?

if i may put it over-simply, it is the belief in the interconnectedness of all things and forces. to use psychological jargon, we might say it is causal reasoning, though it does not rely on science. this may involve the universal belief in superstition, karma and amulets, as well as the personal belief in lucky charms/odd practices significant only to their particular bearers (like american idol 6’s gina glocksen’s small plush lizard(?) or that korean dude’s barefoot audition and performance).

burroughs recounts the correlation between thinking and happening. that is, you can make something actually happen by willing hard enough for it to happen. around this theme revolves one of his most barefaced stories: he “magically thought” of death coming to his overbearing ex-boss. and she did die in a freak accident.

which makes me go back to some of the audaciously unkind things i have conjured in my head through these years, all of which have happened one way or another. the most remarkable of them having only occurred last year when this pompous, fraudulent sales manager put out libelous stories about me in an effort to ruin my career. i refused to retaliate, but i thought hard enough for him to suddenly get a heart attack. which he did.

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12 Responses to “recently affected by: ‘Magical Thinking’ by Augusten Burroughs”


  1. 1 Makoy August 23, 2007 at 6:06 am

    thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment. care to exchange links?

  2. 3 ayen August 23, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    thanks for those neat words you left on my fiction entry. ano, ahm, i have more fiction on my blog, just click the “fiction in english” link. in one of them, the president died. buti nga sa kanya. hehe.

  3. 5 cat with the fiddle August 28, 2007 at 12:49 am

    hi ayen, i’ll check them out 🙂

    thanks, makoy 🙂

  4. 6 ton August 29, 2007 at 9:40 am

    well, i like the book cover

  5. 7 ton August 29, 2007 at 9:42 am

    i don’t think i ever told you that i’m not a very big book reader… in fact, the last time i probably read a book was way back in college, and it was harry potter of all things..

  6. 8 cornerseat August 30, 2007 at 4:59 am

    hi ton, yes, it is a really nice picture on the book cover, isn’t it?

    i’m an avid reader, but of the HP books, i have only read the first book. and that was the time when just about no one yet was aware of its presence…

  7. 9 banzai cat September 3, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Hi fiddler cat!

    Just wanted to mention that I’ve seen copies of peter hoeg’s books in the books for less roces avenue branch in quezon city. specifically, smilla’s sense of snow both tpb and hardbound as well as danish history. alas, i didn’t have money at the moment so i couldn’t get it for you. 😦 are you anywhere near that area?

  8. 10 cat with the fiddle September 4, 2007 at 12:57 am

    banzai cat, wow, i have to get them! i’m not around the qc area though… i’m in makati. perhaps i could call books for less? i hope they have a branch near my office or our home in the south.

  9. 11 banzai cat September 4, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Ah, you’re in Makati? There’s a branch in Valero street so you could give ’em a try. Their phone number is 892-1014. Or if you want to try Roces in QC, their phone number is 371-4539. Personally, I like Roces branch because it’s their main and they have a lot more books as compared to the other branches.

  10. 12 cat with the fiddle September 4, 2007 at 10:07 am

    thanks for telling me about books for less. i’ve never been to any of their outlets before.

    i called valero, roces and ATC branches already. only ATC has copies of hoeg’s sense of snow and borderliners. i had them reserved until the weekend (i work in makati, but i go home near ATC). unfortunately, none of those i have called have danish dreams 😦 i’ll call other branches.


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