Friday, April 15, 2011

Richard Wright

As I absentmindedly reminded H over the course of several obnoxious emails, I'm researching Richard Wright (1908-1960), America's black Dostoevsky. It's quite fun. I love his work (so grim). For my idea to be anything other than crap, I need to place him in the context of Naturalism, the modernist movement that unflinchingly described bowel movements and root canals with oddly-inspired enthusiasm. The appeal for me then is obvious. The language is superb. Research is amusing too.

Here's a nice bit from Malcolm Cowley: "In their effort to achieve bigness at any cost, the Naturalists were likely to undertake projects that went beyond their physical or imaginative powers, or in which they discovered too late that they weren't
really interested."

More Cowley: "Jack London wrote fifty books in seventeen years. "I have no unfinished stories," London told an interviewer five years before his death. "Invariably I complete everyone I start. If it's good, I sign it and send it out. If it isn't good, I sign it and send it out.""

Wright himself was heavily edited. The work as he intended didn't come out until decades later or long after his death.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cat in the Snow

I let the cat out in the snow after I got up late. If I didn't let her out, she'd whine and that's real annoying to me. Trouble is there was enough snow out there to bury a cat. I made a percolator of coffee and drank it on the couch reading Trout Fishing in America and worrying about the cat. It took me a long time to read it even though there wasn't a whole lot of it left to read. Every now and then I got up and whistled for the cat. She didn't answer so I went back to reading.

When I finished reading Trout Fishing in America I thought about the books I read this year that weren't school books, thinking that this would keep me from worrying about the cat in the snow.

I read Jonathan Lethem who did the blurb for David's Go-Betweens' book. His Chronic City is fantastic. I read Boomerang by Barry Hannah. A blazing blend of non-fiction and fiction.

A sign of a good book is if you're reading it when you head to the john and you keep reading it after the john and this is one of those. Barry getting mistaken for John Ritter in LA compelled me to write about Three's Company and how that served as my foundation for the life my sister was living in LA. I got real sad when John Ritter died. He was for me what Jack Lemmon, I suspect, was for other people. I aborted the piece in the end, but I may return to it when i have a better idea of it.

Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence is essential reading for sons and mothers of sons and to a lesser extent, lovers.

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan cuts loose with sentences of mind-blowing perversity. I often reach for it when I'm having trouble making sentences work they way I want them to. I have a couple groovy titles in progress too and they are Reinhart's Women by Thomas Berger and Never Die by Barry Hannah. Both killer reads.

I worried a lot about the cat being buried in ten inches of snow. I tried leaving the door open a crack in case I didn't hear her miaow but it got too cold.

I went for a walk in my new coat. The walk began with a search party in the backyard that did not yield a cat, not even a miaow. It was a good wet snowy walk in my new coat. I listened to the new Vivian Girls CD that I ordered last night on impulse after I had a few bold whiskies and thought to hell with my bank account. After my walk, I found the cat under the neighbor's boat. She didn't miaow. She even tried to run away from me.

I came home carrying the cat and watched this and nearly cried because I was there.

Now Splendor in the grass is on got to go.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Something I wrote at the bar before my friends showed up

I'm here killing time at Beaver St Brews and Cues, having my first gin and tonic of the year and waiting for the Final Four basketball to start. One of my favorite Pavement albums is Brighten the Corners an irresistible rock album that heralds Spring rather well I'd say and I can see from inside this bar that there's sun going on outside it. Cool. Not only that but I rode my bike here and the weather was ginny. I've opted to listen to my ipod while I wait for my friends to show up. I don't want to say anything else. I had fish for lunch. There I said it. I covered it in chili garlic sauce and baked it in tinfoil for twenty minutes. Then I melted cheese over it and whacked it in a tortilla. Goodbye.