Author Archive

Types of novel: Cult, or coterie, novels

Friday, February 27th, 2009

April and Frank's trip to Paris

Kate Winslet won an Oscar for The Reader, but Richard Yates fans everywhere thought to themselves, I’m just going to pretend she won this for her portrayal of an American housewife instead of an illiterate fräulein.

So, the movie wasn’t exactly fantastic. You, and every other literature major undergrad, film critic over the age of 45 (new yorker review cough cough) were willing to forgive the movie for it’s, shall we say, defects. Obviously you could look past the “limitations of the medium” because Yates finally got the recognition he deserved!  This is obviously a year of triumph for underdogs. Obama is president, Kate Winslet WINS an Oscar, Richard Yates’ magnum opus is turned into a film and nominated for three Academy Awards. Woo, hoo!

This recognition is not without its drawbacks, and clearly you wouldn’t be a Yates fan if you didn’t get all hot and bothered by life’s bittersweet moments. In the aftermath of a booze soaked celebration you awake a little less certain about the cultural capital of your precious dog-eared copy of Revolutionary Road.

It’s not long before your shadowy unease grows to proportions of nightmarish beast. Shortly after you mom visits you for the weekend and steals your beloved 12th edition paperback, the horrific truth dawns on you; the cult classic value of your blue chip investment has plummeted, you are now culturally bankrupt.

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Nice Hat

Friday, January 16th, 2009
profile picture without evidence of flash that you took this yourself

profile picture without evidence of flash that you took this yourself

and I saw the best minds of my generation
living in lofts
thinking they were the best minds of their generation
while the world hacked up tax breaks and jet fighters

-Death Lasts
Shake
by Joshua Beckman

Joshua Beckman has a wikipedia page.
Joshua Beckman has a page on poets.org.

Joshua Beckman is a great mind and a great poet. As early as 2004 you could google his name and ‘rock star poet’ would surface as a result.

Over the past ten years he’s published six books of poetry. His seventh, “Take It” is due sometime this year from Wave Books.

The first thing I read by him was his tiny, tiny book (amazon cites it at 6.1 x 4 x 0.5 inches and 3.8 ounces, I would say it is the size of about half a sandwich) “Your Time Has Come” put out by Verse Press.

This holiday season I Secret Santa’d myself and picked up “Shake” and “Something I Expected to Be Different.”

Start your New Year right and pledge to read a poem a day until you’ve mowed down his entire collection of works.

Education for Indie Heathens

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

On this site, in a recent post which garnered 200+ comments, someone quoted Ezra Pound; the source, Pound’s instructional text A B C of Reading.

Lego my Ezra

Lego my Ezra

In the book’s introduction Pound writes, “For those who might like to learn. The book is not addressed to those who have arrived at full knowledge of the subject without knowing the facts.” He goes on to describe A B C as a text-book ” ‘for pleasure as well as profit’ by those no longer in school; by those who have not been to school; or by those who in their college days suffered those things which most of my own generation suffered.”

Obviously Pound had HTML’s audience in mind.

After the jump is a passage that hasn’t aged a day since its 1934 publication.

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