Thursday, February 26, 2009

OMG!!! JCVD!!!!

OMG!!! JCVD!!!!

It’d be easier to borrow a tent because I’d prefer not to drive if I don’t have to



That would be ace! She just has to work out how to get her parents’ tent between now and then


He wants to meet her for lunch


She wanted a bird then she wanted a forest with birds flying in the distant vista


Did you find a golden ticket?

I threw mine up

You should get the album image as a tattoo

For brekkie

Hugh was pretty hunky wasn’t he

That sounds terrific. She is an absolute hoot.

I decided to follow Party Barge with Traveling Wilburys

Tell her to hold up, she’s next in the queue!

Friday, February 13, 2009

McGuane Remembers Updike

It’s surprising how quickly a writer’s death provides a seismic reading for anyone who had taken an interest in his work. The news of Updike’s death really startled me; he had written so well and so importantly for so long and until so recently that his absence is hard to contemplate. Something is missing. I had a spell of indignation as I thought of the nonentities who won the Nobel Prize while he was eligible through being alive. Now he’s disqualified! Terrible.

I met Updike a few times and today have been looking back on those encounters, baffling one and all. Harry Crews and I had won awards at the American Academy and found ourselves pressed against the wall of a large room staring across substantial space at a large collegial group of Northeastern writers who seemed to know their way around the place. Crews was content to remain, but I wandered haplessly into no man’s land, where Bernard Malamud felt sorry for me and led me to the group in the middle of the room, where he introduced me all round, and to John Updike, who peered at me and said, “We don’t know who you are.” Well, I got over it and kept reading Updike, admiring his daring, the high finish of his prose, his extraordinary erudition, and, sometimes in the face of some quite nasty critical attention, his undaunted commitment to his work. As a regular and accessible commentator on art and literature, he hasn’t had an equal since Edmund Wilson. It is impossible to imagine a less complacent major writer.

I don’t know if some assonance is suggested by noting that I felt the same sort of blow at the death of Rabbit Angstrom, an unwillingness to let him go. I sent Updike a note to this effect and got a warm reply in which he expressed some mystification that everyone was so attached to Rabbit. My translation suggests he wasn’t comfortable with this august tetralogy towering over the rest of his work. But that’s what happened.

Thomas McGuane, January 28, New Yorker

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rant from H sponsored by Miss Lonelyhearts

Speaking of savagery with the pen, I am finally reading the copy of "Lucky Jim" that you got me. I plan to continue to make up my own book clubs. This will be paired with Martin Amis's "The Information". The other pairings include the Jim Harrison collection I got from you tied with McGuane's "Nobody's Angel". This sub-sect of the club will be entitled "Writer's that Moritz loves who are deeply indebted to Hemingway, who by the way, Moritz can't stand". The next suite will consist of German writers (I always read Russian or Latin writers) that wll involve Kafka's "The Trial" and Thomas Mann's "Death In Venice and other collected stories". This will alternately be known as "Fassbinders Mix-tape". The final book club will consist solely of Melville's "Pierre, Or the Ambiguities". I am going to the coast this weekend, and always carry a Melville novel that I have absolutely no intention of reading.

- H

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

extract from forthcoming novel

"No compunction whatsoever to relieve myself with a claw hammer.
A feeling I was pretty unaccustomed to!"