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#5326 Wilfrid

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 12:08 AM

I’m a bit manic about it. Which at least is not a terrible thing to be manic about.

#5327 Wilfrid

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 03:35 AM

John Rechy, City of Night, which has been on my list for years. Not what I expected, but maybe I should have. It’s painfully literary; a self-taught young writer with the weight of great examples on his shoulders. Some pages so overblown, you can only cringe. The dialogue is better, but when he gets cranked up it’s like Thomas Wolfe without the vocabulary.

My impression, he took himself to school with Shakespeare, Dostoevsky and Faulkner, and perhaps missed the writers who would have shown him to handle his material: Algren, George Mandel, Chandler Brossard, John Clellon Holmes, even Kerouac. This book is a year ahead of Last Exit, and for all it’s cult status isn’t playing at that level.

Not that it’s a bad read, for goodness sake.

#5328 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:25 PM

Prompted by the recent, somewhat one-sides debate between Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson, I lost my Zizek virginity to The Parallax View, plausibly his most systematic statement.

I won’t touch the politics here. It’s a very engaging and entertaining book, if you have a tolerance for theory. Hilarious at times, although the overall purpose is serious. I was impressed by the sheer range of popular culture references he has at his finger-tips, and I liked the way he can call on cinema as easily as literature to support his points.

His command of thinkers I know well — Kant, Hegel, Heidegger — is impressive, so I assume he’s sound on Lacan and Badiou too. After decades of trying with Lacan, I still can’t manage even his basic concepts. Given that I can parse Derrida and Deleuze, I am not sure it’s my fault.

#5329 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:28 PM

Complete switch, some British prole fiction next. John King, known for football novels (The Football Factory), also wrote Human Punk, the first half of which is set in, and steeped in, 1977. I pray it’s accurate (about to start).

#5330 Daniel

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 03:48 PM

picked up the newest David Means book, Instruction for a funeral..  He truly is a master of the short story, it may be his best book yet. 


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.

#5331 StephanieL

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:02 AM

The Last Night of the Yankees Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness, by Buster Olney, a former Times sportswriter.  Great account of the Yankees from the early 1990s through the glory days of the late 1990s up until 2001.  Each chapter is a focus on a player or other personage (like Brian Cashman), but Olney devotes the last part of each chapter to an inning-by-inning account of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, when the Diamondbacks beat the Yanks and the dynasty was broken.


"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." --John Steinbeck

 

"Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."--Arsenic and Old Lace

 


#5332 Wilfrid

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 02:53 AM

You mean when Mariano threw a sharp cutter to Jeter at second base instead of just tossing the ball, or they would have got the vital out?

Not that I still see it in my dreams.

Curt Schilling. Just saying.

#5333 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:50 PM

I can’t praise Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five highly enough. As a kid, I grew up with a national Jack the Ripper obsession. Books and even popular TV shows pretending to discover “his” identity.

At some point, it occurred to me that “he” didn’t exist. Really didn’t. Pure media creation. It also occurred to me that the murdered women who were obscured by the Ripper nonsense really did exist.

This has bothered me for at least 40 years. Rubenhold, to my amazement, has reconstructed the lives and relationships of those women in astonishing detail. I wouldn’t have thought it possible. One takeaway is simply that four of the five were unfairly smeared as prostitutes.

As the author says, she has given them back their dignity.

#5334 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:52 PM

Just to make it a really upbeat week of reading, I also highly recommend Steven Zipperstein’s Pogrom on the Kishniev atrocities. Especially interesting, the direct impact on social movements in the States in the following years, including founding of NAACP.

#5335 Wilfrid

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:54 PM

Oh and the new Nelson Algren bio, Never a Lovely So Real by Colin Asher is a knockout, and has new information about the extent of Algren’s persecution by anti-communist FBI informants, of which Algren himself was unaware.

#5336 Wilfrid

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Posted 02 July 2019 - 11:01 PM

Recommendations, might as well drop them here, from NYRB, which is doing such a great job of resurfacing forgotten international literature these days.

They have a selected poems by W.S. Graham, the desperately underrated Scottish poet. Excluding some of his unfashionable but breathtaking early work is unfortunate, but it has all the major poetry, including “The Nightfishing,” an amazing long poem which should be read alongside “Briggflatts” as an example of what very British modernism could achieve (David Jones work seems to me on a different track).

And for pleasure as well as quality, A Certain Plume by the delightful Belgian poet and artist Henri Michaux. NYRB doesn’t make it transparently clear what the volume actually is (you need to figure it out), but who cares, it’s prose poems, comedy, absurdity, and some verse, by a writer of startling wisdom. It includes one of those major-poem-by-a-minor-poet things, “Sur La Chemin de la Mort,” which I always associate with that other masterpiece, “Swan Lake” by PiL.

#5337 Wilfrid

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 11:07 PM

The second volume of Vernon Subutex by Virginie Despentes. I think better than the first, more sense of getting somewhere, more trenchant observations. A story of bad deeds and revenge set among super-annuated rockers, punks, hoods and businessmen in Paris. It’s very funny as well as kind of violent.

William Gibson without the software? Stewart Home without the irony? The third volume not yet translated?

#5338 joethefoodie

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 12:55 PM

lSTAVJB.jpg

 

HELP!



#5339 Wilfrid

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:29 PM

Don't tell us how it ends.  Oh wait, it hasn't really ended has it?   :(



#5340 AaronS

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 05:46 PM

admin post: please stop.