Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Eat the Document

Sam Frank's great "The Document"—in the current issue of Triple Canopy*—is a must-read for any fan of David Markson, Thomas Bernhard, Saul Bellow, Anthony Powell, Dawn Powell...not to mention

Walter Abish, Kathy Acker, Max Apple, Paul Auster, John Barth, Frederick Barthelme, Ann Beattie, Raymond Carver, Michael Chabon, Andrei Codrescu, Laurie Colwin, Evan Connell, Robert Coover, Coleman Dowell, Deborah Eisenberg, Stanley Elkin, Bret Easton Ellis, Mary Gaitskill, Kenneth Gangemi, William Gass, Donald Goines, Barry Hannah, Jim Harrison, Janet Hobhouse, William Kotzwinkle, Cormac McCarthy, Joseph McElroy, Jay McInerney, Leonard Michaels, Steven Millhauser, Kem Nunn, Tillie Olsen, Grace Paley, Walker Percy, Richard Price, James Purdy, Ishmael Reed, Philip Roth, Gilbert Sorrentino, Richard Stern, James Wilcox, Joy Williams, Tobias Wolff, and Al Young...Waugh, Compton-Burnett, De Vries, Henry Green, Spackman, Colwin, Elkin, Colin MacInnes, Gaddis, Sorrentino... Hobhouse...Paley, Eric Kraft, Beckett...Donald Antrim, Mark Costello, Susan Daitch, Jeffrey Eugenides, A. M. Homes, Jonathan Lethem, Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, Colson Whitehead...Lorrie Moore...

An incredible piece of writing—it is its own thing. And Triple Canopy's presentation is amazing; I haven't found another site that presents articles in such a readable way for the screen. (Make sure you click on the footnote—two videos.) Shouldn't e-tablet companies be hiring 3C as consultants? Or I don't know, maybe they already are...

(March! This month I've already been blown away by Rebecca Taylor's "Virginia Mountain Scream Queen," in the new Believer—now this!)

(It's also a must for Richard Stern–o-philes—basically me and Jason McBride. "Dick" Stern has a nice cameo.)

(I had a few more reflective paragraphs here but I will stop now. Please read Sam's piece. It is one of the best things you'll read this year...and it also seems to me to be the Writing of the Future.)

*and published in the new, "Failure" issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction, guest-edited by Joshua Cohen...whom I mentioned in my recent Jonathan Coe piece for Bookforum:

After several days of enforced and enjoyable reacquaintance with the Coe canon, I went to a party, where I tried to find someone with whom I could rave about Coevian greatness. One writer I met said, "I think I've heard of him . . . Palladio?" Ten minutes later, another narrowed his eyes as he searched for some connection, coming up with the hopeful "He wrote . . . Witz, right?"

Here's an exclusive bonus for readers of this lonely old blog (who BLOGS anymore??): About five minutes after the above episode, who should walk in but...Joshua Cohen himself! Who then regaled me and Alan Gilbert (not the NY Phil. maestro but the critic-poet whose first book of poems, Late in the Antenna Fields, is now out) with an account of distant relatives of his who were also writers.

Bonus #2: The party was for what turned out to be the final issue of Open City, as immortalized here and here.

Bonus #3: As I was about to leave the party, who should stumble in but...Sam Frank!

Aren't you glad you still read The Dizzies (er, Disambiguation)??


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