Monday, February 02, 2009

I Am Not Steve Martin

From today's VSL:

Midway through his career as an actor and performance artist, John Haskell began cultivating his own, strange corner of the literary landscape. His first book — I Am Not Jackson Pollock (2003) — positioned him as a sly interpreter of our often-befuddling culture. His new novel, Out of My Skin, should cement that reputation.

The novel’s hero, Jack, is a writer who wants to walk away from his own, befuddled self. And so, after meeting a Steve Martin impersonator, he decides to become one, too. What he’s really trying to do is find a way to empty himself of his cares and neuroses. Instead, he feels colonized by a persona that takes over and won’t let go. It’s a quirky premise but a solid one, and Haskell exploits it to the fullest: The book is crammed with quiet surprises and quick, thought-provoking moments.

From today's NYT, an article on Steve Martin's banjo playing:

“It’s a secret world,” he said of bluegrass in an interview at his “SNL” dressing room, where his banjo sat beside him in its case like a baby in a bassinet. “It’s a big world, but it’s thin. And it doesn’t make the news, which is actually quite fantastic.”

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