“There’s this ebook of aphorisms.…” Jeremy Robust is saying. He catches himself. “I’m like a strolling ebook of aphorisms.”
Right here, an exhaustive checklist of everybody he quotes or references by identify in my presence: Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Walker Percy, Kenneth Lonergan, Mark Strand, Hilary Mantel, Karl Ove Knausgård, Dustin Hoffman, Glenn Gould, Stanley Kunitz, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rainer Maria Rilke, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Charles Bukowski, Steven Pressfield, Steven Spielberg, M. Scott Peck, Ron Van Lieu, Carl Jung, Franz Kafka, Barry Michels, Peter Brook, Thomas Kail, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Cate Blanchett, Bob Dylan, LCD Soundsystem, John Berryman, and John Keats speaking shit about Lord Byron.
Someplace between Jung and Kafka, I’ve to ask: What’s with the quotes?
“Individuals have been making enjoyable of me about it for so long as I can bear in mind,” he says. “I had an outdated girlfriend who used to name me Kierkegaard.”
I used to be ready for the quotes. Robust was ready for me to be ready, which might be why he prefaces numerous them with “I’m certain I sound like a jackass after I say stuff like that” or “I’m simply going to maintain quoting shit, as a result of that is who I’m.”
The behavior registers much less as a pretension than an earnest compulsion to soak up what he can from the world and share what’s significant to him. You possibly can see that a part of his thoughts working in actual time. Once I point out the idea of arrival fallacy—the phantasm that after we attain the purpose we’re striving towards we’ll attain lasting happiness—he retains on referencing it with me. After we encounter a candy greyhound combine on our stroll, her proprietor tells us that she’s a lurcher, a Britishism for a selected form of mutt that has a pressure of sight hound. Robust later makes use of the time period to consult with himself. “Once I married my spouse,” he says, “she introduced my breeding up a notch.”
He’s kidding, however acknowledges that when he’s together with her European household throughout the holidays, sporting their finest black-tie across the Christmas tree, “it appears like a really far world from the one I got here from.”
That world was working-class Jamaica Plain, Boston. Mother was a hospice nurse. Dad labored in juvenile-detention facilities. Whereas Kendall Roy has all the cash on this planet however not an iota of parental love, Robust speaks, time and again, of counting on the latter. Once I ask if his mother and father watch him on Succession now, he says, “I believe my mom might be upset by it. She liked after I performed James Reeb in Selma. The darkness of Succession is difficult for her.”
As a toddler, sensing his mother and father’ stress over their monetary precarity, he got here up with an unique music to cheer them up referred to as “Poor, So What?” (He sings the refrain for me, which matches: “Pooooooor…so what?”) When he was 10, his household moved to the wealthier suburb of Sudbury. They struggled to slot in, nevertheless it offered Robust with the supposed alternatives. In his case, that meant throwing himself into the theater program. (It’s startlingly simple to image Robust as a precocious youngster actor in a newsboy cap.)
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