Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The art of reviewing, lesson CXVI

Updike's second rule of book reviewing reads:

"Give him [sic] enough direct quotation—at least one extended passage—of the book's prose so the review's reader can form his own impression, can get his own taste."

There's an art to quotation; sometimes a rave review will contain a passage from the work in question that will be so lackluster that it makes you go, "Eh?" (More interesting is when a negative review gives you a sample of the source prose, and the sample is so good that you're immediately suspicious of the reviewer—has s/he no ear?)

Dwight Garner's review today of Josh Axelrad's Repeat Until Rich is particularly generous with its quotes. I had little interest in actually reading this book (having come across it in a few other articles)—but now it seems like something worth seeking out. This is pretty good, no?:

“I’d been napping for close to a year. I’d found a job because you had to find a job; it was the rage, people worked. In the corporate world, pay is ‘compensation.’ That’s their bare-bones way of expressing it. Something is being made up for, amends are being made: reparations. If you’d expected of life some vital engagement that shook your soul, broke your mind, drew blood from your eyeballs, breath from your throat, shattered front teeth, minced your fingers and your toes, and left your heart squeezed dry as a juiced lime, you might have been at risk of disappointment, might have turned into one of those effete, wan-faced chumps reading Camus on the subway if you weren’t compensated sufficiently.”

(Followed by DG's aside: "Note to self: Quit being one of those effete, wan-faced chumps who reads Camus on the subway.")

This was also reasonably funny:

As if in response to criticisms of Mr. Mezrich’s book, Mr. Axelrad (who, unlike Mr. Mezrich, actually played on the blackjack team he writes about) pre-emptively announces: “Where I changed names, I changed other details too — cities of residence, prior occupations, physical descriptions (sexying everybody up, as a rule, with an eye toward a Hollywood version someday: longer legs, bigger pecs; I went ahead and added a half inch to my own height while I was at it).” But he adds: “The incidents are true.”

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Ourobori for March 31, 2010

I. Ouroboros, as the Greeks called the snake that eats its tail, has from ancient times been a symbol of cosmic unity and self-sufficiency. Dr. Hossaini says his mission here is to reverse what he calls the “fractionalizing of culture” that began with modern science, industry and art. —NYT, review of "Ouroboros: The History of the Universe"

II. And this: "The culprit may be the Higgs boson particle traveling back in time to destroy itself."

Holger Bech Nielsen: "It would look as if the future has an influence on what happens today or yesterday."

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Loons have learned to adapt in the past"

How Will The End Of Print Journalism Affect Old Loons Who Hoard Newspapers?


Launch my Lady Gaga station!

This was during Gaga’s “hair-bow” phase—that would be pre-hair-hat and pre-hair-telephone—and when I asked about the bow’s whereabouts, she rested her head on a pillow of her hands and said, “She’s sleeping.” —"Growing Up Gaga," Vanessa Grigordias, New York

I’m just going to go ahead and pronounce the “Telephone” video by LADY GAGA (born 1986) and Beyoncé the most impressive avant-garde film of the year: nine and a half minutes of glorious, relentless WTF, all the star-power and spectacle and verfremdungseffekt of a Matthew Barney movie with zero tolerance for boringness. —Douglas Wolk, HiLobrow

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Disambiguations™ for March 30, 2010

Sylvester Stallone, deli counter attendant.
After getting no career traction as an actor in his 20s, Stallone attacked his 30s like any 5'3 man should: He wrote a movie where he was an all-American hero with unbelievable success in sports.

That movie was "Rocky"... he banged out the "Rocky" screenplay in three days, in between working at a deli counter and as a movie theater usher... and it launched his career with an Academy Award for Best Picture.

11 Famous People Who Were in Completely the Wrong Career at Age 30 (11 Points)

I used to read exclusively fantasy fiction for years. I loved Ursula LeGuin, the Earthsea Trilogy, The Sword of Shanara – David Eddings was a grocery checker at a local grocery store in Spokane where I grew up. —Benjamin Parzybok, author of Couch (via)

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Monday, March 29, 2010

"This is in my head"

Why he has never called in sick since 1960: Every evening is the soup. This is my medication.

What he eats for lunch: Only homemade eating. No restaurants. Everything from home. Today I have ham salad and cake. Cake has to be every day. I love cake. Cake every day. This I have to have. My wife makes the cake. If my wife don’t bake, then I bake. Soup and cake. This is my favorite. —"Experience Necessary," NYT

Hidden subversive messages

The New Yorker's Book Bench on the current Believer:

The sixties are sexy again in the latest issue of the Believer, which gives new life to the moribund genre of boomer kitsch by exporting it to Yugoslavia. A bonus DVD presenting the short films of Slovenian director Karpo Godina manages to stimulate in all the right ways, featuring floppy-haired boys and sunny-looking girls in varying states of cinematic experimentation. In “The Gratinated Brains of Pupilija Ferkeverk,” the camera cuts back and forth between avant-garde magazine covers and a swing set which stands on a flooded plane and is intermittently visited by abstract arrangements of half-naked, drugged-out youths. A note in the magazine reveals that several of the films were banned by censors “on the mere suspicion” that they “contained subversive hidden messages.” Budding revolutionaries might not find much inspiration here, but makers of Levi’s ads should take note.

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A sound policy

I don't believe all of the stuff I tweet. I believe in Harry Stephen Keeler, though. Just sayin'.
Roger Ebert

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Boog-ie down productions

Levi reads one of the most enjoyable books of last year, Christopher J. Miller's The Cardboard Universe and thinks to bounce it off both Steve Hely's How I Became a Famous Novelist (the other most enjoyable b. of l.y.) and Elif Batuman's The Possessed. (Perhaps not coincidentally, The Cardboard Universe found its way onto the Believer Book Award's shortlist.)

Here's a link to my take on Miller (from the L.A. Times), and to Jason Boog's related musing on "enhanced eBooks that don't exist yet" (at Galleycat):

Still, the encyclopedia format begs for some simple HTML coding in the eBook edition. When reading the book's individual encyclopedia entries, the reader should be able to jump between entries with the same ease as a print book--but the clunky Kindle interface just isn't built for this kind of browsing. With an iPad or tablet computer version, the author could actually embed a few sly Wikipedia entries or websites to help the reader find out more about the real life science fiction author lurking behind the pages of this funny book.

Which reminded me (prompted by Levi?) of my disappointed reaction to Eoin Colfer's Hitchhiker's Guide sequel:

"And Another Thing . . . " punctuates its increasingly tedious story line with entries from the "Guide," some of which show a glimmer of Adams-like spark. What if Colfer had let Arthur, Zaphod and company rest in peace and, instead, given us some approximation of the "Guide" itself? Rather than follow the pesky rules of plot, Colfer might have created something truly anarchic, in the spirit of the original, but in a form Adams could only dream of.

A book consisting only of discrete entries might sound daunting, but, in fact, the structure would be liberating. And any time the reader got confused, a button could be depressed, and those two beautiful words -- DON'T PANIC! -- would come swimming out of the e-ink ether.

Unrelated thought: Levi should become a "book model"! Dapper dude!

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Disambiguations™ for March 26, 2010

In the Guardian, shades of Steve Hely:

Now, though, what still is – and will continue to be – called literary fiction has also caught the "samey title" virus. At times I suspect there's a computer somewhere that spews out clichéd names for such works, depending on how badly the publishers want it to be Taken Very Seriously Indeed.

The Inheritance of Loss, for example: what a tiresomely predictable title for a Booker winner. Honestly – The Inheritance of Loss? Presumably the marketing department keyed in "self-important, depressing, award-winning, Literary-with-a-capital-L" and hit Return, and this is what the machine gave them. (They also added the fairly redundant subtitle, "A Novel", just in case we might have mistaken it for a comical sports book.) Add to this list of shame such dreadful titles as: Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The Secret Scripture. The Accordionist's Son. The Storyteller's Tale. (Christ, that doesn't even read grammatically.) The Clumsy. The Trite. The Cynical. The horror ...

(Does the caption to this article really say "A pile of books"??)

II. Dept. of You Can't Go Wrong: At the U. Chicago Press blog, Levi talks to Hard Case Crime's Charles Ardai about Donald E. Westlake (and Richard Stark). (Further Levi thoughts here and here.)

III. Am teaching B.S. Johnson's "book in a box," The Unfortunates, next week. Realized I'd read about the holes in Albert Angelo's pages, but I'd never seen them. (The edition I have, the ND paperback, does not have the holes cut out.)

Here it is!

Other books with holes: Salvador Plascencia's People of Paper:

(More on Johnson here.)

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That was the title?

You recently watched the Streamed Movie. To help us ensure a great experience for all members, would you take a moment to tell us about the picture and audio quality? —Netflix

"It was like a Who song waiting to happen"

"Beautiful article," says Nada Surf, talking about Joe Hagan's Believer piece on Bill Fox. Then they proceed to cover Fox's "Electrocution." On WNYC's "Soundcheck" (jump to c. 15m in).

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Apocalyptic SF contest

From Joshua Glenn:

Disambiguation readers are INVITED TO SUBMIT an extremely short RADIUM-AGE APOCALYPSE STORY to the following URL:

The story should (a) be apocalyptic, i.e., either the world or life as we know it should be shattered; and (b) it should either be set in the 1900-35 era (science fiction's Radium Age), or be written from the perspective of that era — i.e., without knowledge of any post-1935 historical events, social-cultural transformations, or technological developments. Please read guidelines (word count limit, language, etc.) at the URL above. Deadline: 5 pm EST on March 31.

The stories will be judged by editors Matthew Battles and Joshua Glenn, and HiLobrow’s Magister Ludi, Patrick Cates. The author of the winning story will receive a HiLobrow t-shirt, and her story will be illustrated and published on HiLobrow; we'll also record the story for the next episode of "Parallel Universe: Pazzo," our monthly Radum-Age science fiction podcast. A few honorable mentions will be awarded; those stories will also be published on HiLobrow.

Joshua Glenn's "10 Best Apocalypse Novels of Pre-Golden Age SF" post for io9 is recommended reading:

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Glengarry Glen Keeler

There is, fortunately, a simple rule that can be taught with which the plotbuilder may test out the worthiness of his product. It's a very simple rule. It's a rule that will definitely determine if your plot (or novel) can be sold. It is:
Has the plot (or novel)—
(A) Interest?
(B) Convincingness?
(C) Novelty?

—Harry Stephen Keeler, "How to Write Booklength Myster Stories" (from the Writer's 1931 Year Book and Market Guide), Keeler News No. 74 (courtesy Richard Polt and Doug Anderson)




—David Mamet, memo to writers of CBS's The Unit

(via Matt Singer)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring cleaning

"What can be the possible motive for metaphor?" —Magic Molly


Monday, March 22, 2010

When worlds collide, part 646

Grognardia and P.G. Wodehouse.

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TNCOM, #11: Raccoon

Sometimes a stupid child would tie a firecracker to a crayfish or a frog just once, and light the fuse. Or give a piece of sugar to a raccoon, which in its odd fastidiousness would wash that sugar in a brook till there was nothing left. —Renata Adler, Speedboat

The only animal which has remained lingering in my memory is the raccoon. I watched it for a long time as it sat beside a little stream with a serious expression on its face, washing the same piece of apple over and over again, as if it hoped that all this washing, which went far beyond any reasonable thoroughness, would help it to escape the unreal world in which it had arrived, so to speak, through no fault of its own. —W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz

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Oh OK!

"Launch my Lady Gaga station!"


Sunday, March 21, 2010

TNCOM, #10

He established that, while it might be rare for a man to be driven insane, little was required to tip the balance. All that was needed was a slight shift, and nothing would be as it formerly was. In these deliberations, Casanova likened a lucid mind to a glass, which does not break of its own accord. Yet how easily it is shattered. One wrong move is all that it takes. —W.G. Sebald, "All'estero," in Vertigo

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

What we talk about when we talk about Star Wars

Star Wars is the only one of the series that simply tells a story rather than telling a story about Star Wars. —Grognardia

— vs. —

(Star Wars novel timeline)


Thursday, March 18, 2010


[M]y handwriting looks like a ball of string a kitten has played with. —Donald E. Westlake, Thieves Dozen

(Levi's post has many more from this book.)

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Notebook

Of course, the funny thing is that my sister Skyler is really the wordsmith in the family. She's always sending off short stories to magazines you've never heard of, with titles like "The Poughkeepsie Quarterly" or "The Review of Boring Stories Where Nothing Ever Happens." OK, I made that last one up, but I've flipped through a copy or two over at Skyler's house, and wow, at least you can swat flies with it. Everybody sitting around drinking coffee, getting depressed and you can't even tell who's talking half the time. Would it kill them to run a little Nicholas Sparks now and then? —Marie's Blog

(via Mike)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Buggin' out!

Have you read this yet?

What about this one?

These are invisible books conceived and designed by Jules Montague—titles from "an imagined academic history concerned with the study of invertebrates and other animals as they relate to architecture and psychology." Amazing! Buffalonian Montague (best known for The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America) has an exhibit going up in Brooklyn this weekend.

(Via Jenny and Journey)

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oddly elegant last line

Coastal flood and high wind warnings were in effect for the Jersey Shore.—"450,000 Without Power in Northeast," NYT


Not me (alas!)

I love facts like this: "With more than 300 million hits to his blog, he may be the most popular living writer in the world."

Also: "With two million copies in print, it is the best-selling book of the last 20 years."

Who is it??


Rainy day connections #12 & 35

Remember Joe Hagan's great piece on Benji Hughes in last year's Believer music issue? (Yes.) You can read the whole thing online, and it has downloadable tracks!

Remember Priscilla Ahn, who covered "Julia" and who I occasionally embed videos of here? (By occasionally I mean a lot and by here I also mean here.)

Did you know that the song "Masters of China" on her album A Good Day is by Benji Hughes? (I didn't until tonight! I haven't left the house all day.)

Priscilla Ahn » Benji Hughes from The Voice Project on Vimeo.

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Room after room

My latest Astral Weeks column looks at a new anthology called Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy Volume 3, edited by Kevin Brockmeier, with stories by Stephen King, Ryan Boudinot, and others. A taste:

Several pieces have fun with form. Lisa Goldstein's "Reader's Guide" takes that most condescending literary apparatus, the book-club guide, and turns it inside out until it becomes a thing of Borgesian wonder. "How does Mary Bainbridge, the author of 'Winter Swan,' let us know that Donny is unhappy?" runs the first question, followed by the stumper: "Is it significant that the novel takes place in winter?" Soon enough, a narrator materializes behind these questions, just as one does in Padgett Powell's recent novel "The Interrogative Mood," and the insipidity of the format gives way to a vision of a vast Library of Story: "I think that the shelves are infinite, or at least I've never reached the end of them, row upon row of bookcases, room after room opening out one after the other."
(Winter Swan has been checked in at the Invisible Library.)

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Friday, March 12, 2010

"Take This Job and Write It"

From the upcoming New York Times Book Review, Jennifer Schuessler on work novels:

With the arrival of postwar prosperity, the literature of working-class struggle gave way to the literature of middle-­class disillusion. In novels like Sloan Wilson’s “Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” and Richard Yates’s “Revolutionary Road,” work isn’t a tool of social redemption but a graveyard of individual dreams — often, as in the case of Yates’s Frank Wheeler, the dream of being an artist. It’s a theme the literary novel hasn’t been able to shake. Blue-collar misery has continued to inspire powerful fiction, whether Raymond Carver’s stories about laconically depressed waitresses and mechanics or Russell Banks’s portraits of violently self-destructive millworkers and snowplow drivers. But these days, it seems, the really unhappy people are working in offices.

Take, for example, the characters in Joshua Ferris’s dark satire “Then We Came to the End” (2007), set in a Chicago advertising agency caught in the throes of layoffs and water-cooler paranoia, and Ed Park’s “Personal Days” (2008), which unfolds in a similarly depopulating Manhattan cubicle farm. In reality, these satires of late-capitalist office life have less to say about actual work than about the bureaucratic rituals and distractions surrounding it: the joke PowerPoint presentations, the endless forwarding of stupid YouTube videos, the proliferation of Orwellian corporate jargon. In this vision, a job may provide a kind of grim life-boat camaraderie, along with a paycheck, but the work itself is meaningless unto mendacious: a metaphor for the lies and illusions that underlie our economy, if not our civilization. In Ferris’s novel, the agency’s big last-minute assignment — to create a humorous campaign for a shadowy breast-cancer awareness group — is itself a joke. In Park’s novel, the company’s actual business isn’t worth specifying at all.

Heyyy—I'll take it!™

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Now THAT'S a first sentence!™

If you were to look for the little island of Tanah Msa on the map, you would find it right on he equator, a bit to the west of Sumatra; but if on board the ship Kandong Bandoeng you were to ask Captain J. van Toch what is this Tanah Masa before which he has just dropped anchor, he would curse for a while, and then tell you that it is the dirtiest hole in all the Straits, even worse than Tanah Bala and at least as damned as Pini, or Banjak; that the only—I beg your pardon—man who lives there—not counting, of course, those lousy Bataks—is a drunken commercial agent, a cross between a Cuban and a Portuguese, and a bigger thief, heathen, and swine than a pure Cuban and a pure white man put together; and if there is anything damned in this world, then it is the damned life on this damned Tanah Masa, sir. —Karel Capek, War With the Newts

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Disambiguations™ for March 12, 2010

I. Least promising title of folder on my desktop: "Unfinished semifictional scraps"

II. Great idea for an essay over at The Millions: "On Epigraphs."

(I haven't read it yet...does that matter? I can just post stuff here to read later.)

III. Via The Second Pass, some love for Buffalo and Talking Leaves bookstore, and some thoughts on where the East Coast ends and the Midwest begins:

Upstate New York is tricky. The better I’ve gotten to know the western NY region, the more I think that it really is better thought of as the eastern edge of the Midwest. Buffalo absolutely has many of the attributes (and problems) of the Great Lakes cities I know well, like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and my own Milwaukee. People “seem” Midwestern in a way that I rarely sense on the east or west coasts (though I occasionally feel the Midwest vibe in Denver, which maybe has some Midwest attributes as well)

As I move east toward Syracuse and the Finger Lakes however, things feel a little less clear. These places are still far from the east coast, yet they don’t read Midwestern in the way Buffalo does. When I’m in Ithaca I feel pretty firmly out of the Midwest.

My east coast colleague, Adena, and I sometimes puzzle over NY state geography. A new store appears in an unfamiliar town. She sells Albany, I go as far east (theoretically anyway) as Binghamton, so we’ll call each other and say “is this yours or mine?” The line in New York and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh! also Midwest!) is fuzzy.
IV. Levi: "Surely the Germans have come up with a word for lying about your plans to blog?"

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Suit your own self"

David Foster Wallace annotates endpage of DeLillo's Players.

(Via New Yorker's Book Bench)

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Too much sugar

This could be a Lydia Davis story in another universe (from James Maliszewski's Grognardia):

MANY ELVES (Roll 1D20 three times):
1. Have never known another of their kind.
2. Have hair of white or silver.
3. Become intoxicated if they consume too much sugar.
4. Have shadows that seem "alive."
5. Sleep standing up -- and only for an hour or two each day.
6. Claim to have visited other worlds.
7. Call all non-elves "ephemerals."
8. Periodically spend all their funds on worthless baubles that they soon tire of and give away.
9. Devote themselves to a single weapon and will never even touch, let alone wield, another.
10. Can determine if a person is a magic-user simply by sight.
11. Consider silver more valuable than gold.
12. Find the concepts of aging and death endlessly fascinating.
13. Believe politeness is a form of dishonesty.
14. Disappear on the night of a full moon.
15. Refuse to accept magical healing or any other clerical spells.
16. Engage in conversations with beings others cannot see.
17. Are superb mapmakers.
18. View dwarves with strange interest.
19. Will not allow non-elves to watch them eat.
20. Refuse to sign their name to any document.

UPDATE: Sarah has found an important corollary.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010


"He reminds us by what he is doing every day that New York is place where you can choose to be bored but don't have to be": L.A. Times on Every Person in New York artist Jason Polan (who drew me!).

Magic Molly on weather: "It’s crucial not to count your chickens when the temperature hits 60º in early March. There is always one last snow storm."

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The New Yorker's Book Bench rounds up some literary news

On the usual topics—you know: Finnegans Wake, Tony Judt, D&D...

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Words I will never say?

“Launch my Lady Gaga station” —NYT



8. They have invented an entirely new form of boredom, like the worst moments of being in the boy scouts at one's preparatory school. —Anthony Powell, Venusberg

(Via Levi)

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Sunday, March 07, 2010


—It's as smooth as oil.
—I don't know why, but I hate all comparisons involving oil.

—From Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura

(reblogged from The Dizzies)

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Saturday, March 06, 2010


6. From everything that Toshi Yukawa could later determine, the original file was uploaded to one of those illegal Brigadoon sites that appeared, drew several thousand ecstatic hits, from six continents, then disappeared, traceless, twelve hours later, compressing the whole arc of human history into a single day: rough birth, fledgling colonies, prospering community, land grabs and hoarding, shooting wars, imperial decay, and finally, much gnashing of teeth after the inevitable collapse, which seemed to happen faster each time through the cycle. The kind of site that spelled music t-u-n-z. —Richard Powers, "Modulation," in The Best American Short Stories (2009)

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Friday, March 05, 2010


5. The first sentence of "The End of My Life in New York" is one of the very few sentences that grew up to be a short story, although it took a very long time to do this: for many years it languished on my hard drive, like one of those adult children who live in their parents' basement. —Peter Cameron, in "Writing the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2010"

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Harry Stephen Keeler and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

He seized a mental pencil out of one lobe of his brain and jerked a mental sheet of paper out of a second lobe. —Harry Stephen Keeler


Thursday, March 04, 2010

TNCOM, #3 & 4

3. How strange, it came to me then, are the patterns of human experience! The meaningless life lines that start out singly and so simply from here, from there, draw slowly toward one another over a period of time, until finally they come together, mesh, to form into a design that never could have been guessed at, foretold, by what had gone before. And the completed fabric is the sum of all the threads that have gone into it.
—Cornell Woolrich, The Black Angel (1943)

4. Life, on the larger scale, though full of effects which are the direct results of causes, is apparently plotless. It is too complex. There has never yet appeared in life a causal relationship involving even 80 incidents and 34 strands that can be as unified as one artificially created. And it is this artificial relationship, this purely fictional web-work plot, this bit of life twisted into a pattern mathematically and geometrically true, that fills the gaps in one's spirit which rebels at the looseness of life as it apparently is.
—Harry Stephen Keeler, The Mechanics (and Kinematics) of Web-Work Plot Construction (1928)

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010


2. Ivy and Wendell's building, a narrow brownstone washed down like a bar of soap, was far to the west, between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. —Kirstin Allio, "Clothed, Female Figure" (in The Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories 2010)

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The Hypotheticals

The half-invisible library?


The New Catalogue of Metaphors

A while back, I wrote in the L.A. Times:

What are metaphors for? Before finding fame as the 20th century's greatest compiler and theorist of weird news, not to mention one of its most audacious and influential autodidacts, Charles Fort (1849-1932) was a journalist and pulp-story writer who amassed inventive ways to describe one thing in terms of something else. Among the few to glimpse these scraps was no less a literary titan than Theodore Dreiser, who was Fort's early magazine editor and steadfast champion. Bowled over, Dreiser offered to buy the odd collection from Fort. "They are better than any thesaurus," he raved, "a new help to letters."

And...........this sort of demands to be its own blog, but I was thinking, why not set down, here, in the spirit of Fort, a New Catalogue of Metaphors? By which I also mean simple old great similes.

Let's kick it off with one from Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary:

1. The bench was empty, the square was green and vacant in the early light like one long uninflected vowel.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Turtle diary

"Nesting Sea Turtle Escorted From Private Beach"
The Onion

Monday, March 01, 2010


The Believer Film Issue is out!

Pick it up now! Leyla Ertegun's "Projections" is like nothing you've ever read! Sheila Heti talks to Charlyne Yi...Graham T. Beck tracks down the master of the "Death Touch"...Mark Holcomb on audacious British TV writer Nigel Kneale (Quatermass and the Pit)...Gary Hustwit...Harmony Korine...We've thrown in a DVD of Karpo Godina (who???) shorts!...Also: Hilton Als, Elif "The Possessed" Batuman, Greil Marcus, Jack Pendarvis, comics, Believer Book Prize finalists, and much more!

I like how whenever a new Believer comes out, it counts as a book "by" me (on Goodreads and so forth). I am now the author of over seventy books! Eat your heart out, Harry Stephen Keeler!


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