Posted 29 April 2019 - 03:35 AM
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.
Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:25 PM
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.
Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:28 PM
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.
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
Posted 24 May 2019 - 02:53 AM
Not that I still see it in my dreams.
Curt Schilling. Just saying.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:50 PM
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.
Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:52 PM
Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:54 PM
Posted 02 July 2019 - 11:01 PM
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.
Posted 10 July 2019 - 11:07 PM
William Gibson without the software? Stewart Home without the irony? The third volume not yet translated?