Should you ever find yourself on a month-long research trip-slash-wild goose chase in the Midwest in pursuit of a forty-years dead writer from whom your critical distance has lapsed to such an extent that you are convinced that, like Oedipa Maas, you are being subjected to an elaborate web of posthumous booby traps, wherein you remain in almost total isolation for four weeks, attempt to read 47 novels (mostly all at the same time), become addicted to the Food Network whilst eating mainly stale taco shells and wasabi peas and spend much of your time tramping up and down freeways since that’s what you like to do when you are in America, and you find that Glenn Branca plus Fox News does not rouse you sufficiently enough to take it all out on the gym’s elliptical machine, then I recommend silencing the rattling inside your head by listening to Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson which, like alchemy, will soundtrack the up-lit marble atria, limestone and Frank Lloyd Wright-lite of your temporary home into a tense Soderbergh corporate thriller of your very own creation.

Then you’ll be like Catherine Zeta Jones or something rather than this hot, mildly-coddled woman who has her photocopies, her 27 new polyester thrift-store scores, her sunburn and far more esoteric paperbacks than will ever fit in her tiny broken suitcase, and would like to bugger off home and scoff a whole block of mature cheddar and enjoy some actual human company as soon as possible, please. Ta.