Sunday, February 04, 2007

Born in Dizziness

Update: Literary dizziness in the aforementioned L.A. Times. My PKD piece is in this latest installment, which I just discovered also has a piece by (LATBR editor) David Ulin on (Dizzyhead!) Howard Hampton's Born in Flames (considered along with the latest by Joan Acocella)...and BiF is a book that contains several pieces I edited...OK, I need to sit down.

Here's a bit from the Ulin:

With "Born in Flames," Hampton moves from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to Thomas Pynchon, from the Clash to Plastic People of the Universe to Tiananmen Square. In one essay, he compares the proto-punk band the Mekons with "Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism," Fredric Jameson's "ornate, pitiless mausoleum of a book." [...] When, in an essay on Los Angeles music, Hampton cites the fictional Lola Heatherton, "the greatest of [Catherine O'Hara's] SCTV characters, the second-tier alcoholic-pillhead singer-dancer-actress par excellence," to illuminate the kitschy power of singer-songwriter Dory Previn, we get a vivid glimpse of the critic's mind at play. This is writing that exposes an imagination's workings, overlapping, a floating stew of reference points that encompasses high culture, mass culture and everything in between.

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