Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds for December 6 — From the Parkives, XXVII

At the Poetry Foundation, Geoff Dyer traces some interesting artistic-novelistic-poetic connections...Selfdivider on Korea and German literature: "But in [my uncle's] private study, which was only a dark, tiny room with a low sit-down table, he had shelves of books with names that seemed almost mythical to me. Fichte, Hegel, Nietzsche, et al."...Halterius views a rarely seen "disasterpiece," the video-theater version of Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover...Levi argues that the novels of Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake) are about work...leading me to dust off this nugget from the Parkives:

By Donald E. Westlake
Forge/Otto Penzler Presents, 268 pp., $14.95

Fred Fitch, the gullible narrator of Westlake's 1967 novel, receives 300 grand from an uncle he's never met—and then his problems really begin. Sniped at, seduced, and ceaselessly solicited, Fred wises up just enough to keep his life, not to mention his loot. A neighbor fishes for some Fitch funding to self-publish his neglected masterpiece, Veni Vidi Vici Through Air Power, a book that asks one burning question: What if Julius Caesar had had access to a couple of biplanes? Fred himself recalls—or foreshadows—Charles Portis's Dog of the South übernebbish, Ray Midge, prone as he is to wonderfully absurd digressions that you can't help but read aloud: "I wanted to call him Ralph, I really wanted to call him Ralph. I wanted to start my answer with Ralph and end my answer with Ralph and put Ralphs in here and there in the middle of the answer, and answer only in words which were anagrams of Ralph." E.P.
—June 29, 2004, PTSNBN

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Blogger Sarah Weinman said...

Then I think this will be of interest:

10:30 AM  
Blogger Levi Stahl said...

Somebody Owes Me Money is definitely worth your time. Westlake creates a wonderfully personable and goofy voice for his protagonist, who is forced to deal with various bad actors whose comings and goings increase in ridiculous complexity until they reach a fever pitch that resembles some mishmash of Buster Keaton and Shakespearean comedy. It's great fun.

10:20 AM  

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