elimae’s Reading List in Archives

Randomly stumbled on an old list of Recommended Reading from the elimae archives, including lists of recommendation by Deron Bauman, Brian Evenson, Michael Kimball, Norman Lock, Dawn Raffel, B. Renner, M Sarki, and several excellent others. The lists form a pretty wonderful net of texts many of which I have loved, and many others I’ve never heard of or have meant to read. I added I think 5 things to my Amazon wishlist off of it. Worth exploring.

A preponderance of Cormac McCarthy reemphasizes the fact that if you haven’t read BLOOD MERIDIAN and SUTTREE by now, well, fuck, get to work.

Deron Baumann, oddly, refers to BLOOD MERIDIAN though specifically only wants pages 5-165, which is about as far as I got the first time I tried to read it. It’s a dense mother. But now that I’ve read it twice and change, and still not quite having absorbed a lot, I have to say, the images near the end with the child in the desert hiding from the Judge as he passes back and forth into the sand are one of the images that has haunted me most in all my reading ever.

Other names that appear on the lists rather frequently: Gordon Lish, Samuel Beckett, Amos Tutuola, Italo Calvino, Diane Williams. Though there is also a lot of hidden nuggetry and apocrypha.

This is a good puzzle, in a way, I love these kinds of lists. I want more.

So, not sure what to read next? You probably can’t go wrong with most of what’s on here.

Old elimae is like scrolls: if you’ve never dug from the early years, jeez. Go.

I Am Stupid When It Comes To Politics – Ignore Me

A few days ago, Shane Jones threatened to write an essay about the ‘politics’ of online writer’s blogs and the online lit scene in  a recent post on his blog. For the record, Shane Jones does not link to my own personal blog, but I link to him from my own personal blog. Co-Editor of The Cupboard, Adam Peterson, links to my own personal blog but I do not link to his personal blog. Darby Larson links to my personal blog, but I have not linked to his personal blog. Jereme has linked to my blog, but I have not linked to his. I have linked to Sam Pink’s blog, but he has not linked to me. Fuck Sam Pink.

In good news, I have linked to Matthew Simmons, and he has linked to me. I have linked to Kendra Grant Malone and she has linked to me. Congratulations, everyone.

Nowadays, there’s just so much out there! So many blogs to read! The internet is so busy! Look here and here for proof. Wow! And it’s so hard to copy and paste a web address and add it to your list of links on the side of your minima-black-themed blog. Who reads all of them anyhow? What’s the use? Eventually you just get overwhelmed. Laziness interecedes. Some people just type stupid shit and publish it. Sometimes it’s not even worth your time to click on or link to certain people. And sometimes you just want to show that asshole Blake Butler that you’re more picky than he is (Blake Butler links to EVERYONE!!!). Why not try to limit your scene? Save some time? Tao Lin is famous for this: he links to twelve people and is very picky as to who he links to based on some ‘life-affirming’ philosophy, I think. I could be wrong though. I recall a post he wrote about it. You’d have to dig it up. Google it or something.

But, really, who can we count on to back us up? Does this matter? Does linking to people matter?

Probably not. This is a lame post. I forgot what I really meant to type here. Politics and something. I don’t know. I am drunk.

I don’t think that I should link to Mark Sarvas. He won’t back me up. And I haven’t read Harry, Revised, nor do I plan to, but man, that guy must get a lot of hits…if only he could send some of that my way. Although, maybe he isn’t cool enough, and besides, his readers might not understand my waste-paper-throwing-game. Or maybe I’m not cool enough.

I’m bored with everyone. I want to read new things. I want to find new blogs and literary sites that I can read. What am I doing wrong? Why is my blogroll so lame?

Give me some links.

‘This book is a catalog of the life project’

I am in a bad writing phase or something. I haven’t been writing very much recently. Instead of writing, I’m reading a lot of things: student papers, composition textbooks, books to review, and then some stuff to make me feel better. Everyone has that shelf or two of books that they read to feel better, I guess. I’m rereading Ben Marcus. Slowly. I just finished Notable American Women a few days ago. Now I’ll start The Age Of Wire And String. I pulled the book off my shelf to look at it and a few pieces of paper fell out.

I might have shown this to a couple of people, so sorry if this is old news.

On the papers is an index. I made an index of all the terms Marcus defines in the book and listed the page number of the definition. I made this index one summer a few years ago. I enjoyed making it. It made me feel busy and involved in something. I don’t know if it is worthwhile. I don’t even know if this makes sense.

But some of the terms you can actually look up as you read – DROWNING METHOD, for example, shows up in the text on page 10, but it isn’t defined until page 94.

That was a good summer.

Okay, here it is after the jump (and I understand if you make fun of me):

Continue reading “‘This book is a catalog of the life project’”

MEAN MONDAY: Aggressive Suitor

Got a special email last night from some dude, titled ‘Yeah, you.’ Uh oh.

Here’s what it had to say:

What’s up with your dead dick website? The motherfucker is cut-off on the left. Were you cum drunk when you designed it? Anyway dildo breath, here it is with your fake ass tough talk; What the piss is the pay for publication in your magazine? Most lit mags list it, why should I need to contact you about it? List it, Goddamn it! Do it NOW!! I write stories that make Hemingway, Fitzgerald and others of their ilk look like candy asses, suckling at their momma’s tit. I don’t have time to be coddling dirt dumb editors who can’t even layout a guidelines page – wake the fuck up!!

Christopher Roberts

I was able to find one online piece of work by Christopher Roberts, who writes stories that make Hemingway, Fitzgerald and others of their ilk look like candy asses, which is an an essay criticizing the closed-mindedness of the New Yorker (ironically at 3:AM Magazine). Bone crushing.

I’m not sure which way I offended Mr. Roberts, as I haven’t been able to link him to any of the journals I criticized the design of during Mean Week.

I did find him stickin’ it to the man from the inside on some writer’s publicity group called writers.net. Here’s his profile:

Chris Roberts
Agent: Writers net sucks
Brooklyn, New York, United States

Email: croberts7@nyc.rr.com

I live to run Writers net out of business – it’s run by a bunch of blowjobs.

Interests: Serial Killing.

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: No

Salivatory.

Anyway, to answer your question, dude, you must not have paid close enough attention to the ‘guidelines’ on our site (I assume you are talking about No Colony, though I’m not quite sure how websites can be ‘cut off on the left,’ does your monitor load backwards?) but let me point you to this thing right here on the front page:

BUY YOURSELF IN: Are you lonely? $400 installs text of your choice in our gaping loins. Leave the money on the dresser. May or may not include disease.

We accept cash, credit, money orders, New Yorker subscriptions, and some forms of primitive coin or manual stimulation.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m on my way back to quivering in the vast throes of impending serial-killer-narrative innovation.

Good luck!

Dennis Cooper presents: The day love co-signs 10 poems from the so-called New York School

You can click anywhere on any of this text to get taken to DC’s blog, which has poems by and photos of Ted Berrigan, Ashbery, Edwin Denby, Alice Notley, Frank O’Hara, &c. Here’s a hot sample for you-

 

[Sonnet] You jerk you didn’t call me up

by Bernadette Mayer

You jerk you didn’t call me up
I haven’t seen you in so long
You probably have a fucking tan
& besides that instead of making love tonight
You’re drinking your parents to the airport
I’m through with you bourgeois boys
All you ever do is go back to ancestral comforts
Only money can get—even Catullus was rich but

Nowadays you guys settle for a couch
By a soporific color cable t.v. set
Instead of any arc of love, no wonder
The G.I. Joe team blows it every other time

Wake up! It’s the middle of the night
You can either make love or die at the hands of
the Cobra Commander

_________________

To make love, turn to page 121.
To die, turn to page 172.

John Gardner followup which is also sort of a Writing Workshops followup

(via Small Beer’s Gavin J. Grant at the Bookslut blog)

Sci-fi fantasy person Jeffrey Ford answers three questions at How to Write Stories About Writers:

About studying with John Gardner:

We didn’t bother with the Moral Fiction bullshit when he was teaching me, he was trying to show me how to edit and talking to me about irony and suspense and the things that make a good plot. I have somewhere a sheet of paper on which he wrote out for me the rules of the comma. He told me his theory of teaching writing, he said, “I can’t make you a writer, but I can show you some of the pitfalls and problems you’re going to face in writing and how to get around them. This is stuff that if you stuck with it you would probably learn, yourself, but I could save you five or ten years.

Fiction Workshops Examined

I don’t know what the secret of success is for writers, but I doubt it has anything to do with writing workshops. To be blunt (and it is Mean Week), it seems like you’re just paying strangers to take mild interest in your work. This might even be the case with an MFA in writing—who knows; I work full-time at an office and publish mere ‘flash’ online, so that tells you how much I know.

I google imaged “fiction workshop” and have written about some photos I’ve found.

I. NOT ENOUGH CHAIRS

Maybe they’re gearing us up for a life of the ‘starving artist,’ or maybe it’s some Hindu thing. All I know is, any more pressure on that women’s coccyx and she’s gonna accidentally CTRL-A and hit backspace. There goes two weeks of writing lady. Life is unfair, you should hit the save button more often.

II. IN A HURRY TO LEAVE

The guy’s already zipped up this bag. Shawl women in the middle is looking at for the nearest fire escape. Ms. Happy on the right can’t believe it’s already :57. They are thinking “I’m down 300 dollars and my ego is still a wet fish flopping over the barren plateau of my non-existent career.” Either that, or we got some major bladder issues.

III. UNHAPPY BLACK PEOPLE

If art is indeed a microcosm of society, then, as usual, the black people are pissed—and for good reason. I imagine they just got through reading five stories about boyfriends and living in apartments and trouble with granny or a weekend in Cape Cod that turned out colder than one thought. Tiesha (let’s call her that) works two jobs at KFC and Carl’s Jr., and she’s not in the fucking mood to hear white bitches moan about a blowjob gone bad.

IV. JUDGMENTAL BODY LANGUAGE

If you are a writer, deep down inside you think this: “My stories are better than this asswhipe over here. What kind of self-involved baby writes in the first-person anyways?” Graciousness is a myth; we are all resentful at attention directed at someone else; like every time Blake gets into another journal (which is every other day), I say ‘fuck him, I hope he cuts his cornea with the table of contents.’

V. WOMAN LIKE TO BE OUTSIDE

I’m not one for creating gender stereotypes, but seriously, women think fiction is better outside for some reason. It must have been E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India that started this fascination with abandoning one’s domestic prison and going outside into the sand swept wind. Of course, take away their sunglasses, suntan lotion, sunhats, and folding chairs and they’d be fucked. They’d come back into the foyer looking like Bukowski’s nose, or worse, Joan Didion’s face. (Be nice now, it’s mean week.)

The Jeopardy! I’m Watching

Friends, here is the first of what I hope will be many and several “field reports” on the current state of Jeopardy! from my friend Danielle, who is the most incisive Jeopardy! watcher I know. Her socio-critical critique of Alex, the contestants, and everything else about the show is so dead-on and so consistenly furious, the only question you’re really ever left with is “why is she still watching something she hates this much?” The answer is simple: because Jeopardy! is one of the greatest television shows of all time. Danielle’s preferred forum for Jeopardy! studies is a live, collaborative environment resulting in a spontaneous, non-documented performance (that is to say: we sit on her couch, we watch Jeopardy! together and make fun of it, while trying to time our insults such that we can still keep pace with the game). Therefore, we are very lucky to have this record of her work.

“The Jeopardy! I’m Watching…”

…is like this bizarre, Lynchian masterpiece. Someone behind the scenes here was like “Hey how can I create some kind of embedded storyline that involves mining three nauseatingly awkward characters for all the pathos they’ve got” and his coworker was like “Well, we’ve got those contestants…” and the first guy said “Hey what if they had like a REALLY bad therapist?” and the coworker was all “I think I might have just the guy for the part…”and the past week or two have been like this long, dragged-out pilot episode of New Jeopardy! I mean, someone put these people out of their misery! Through some miracle they’ve managed to make it through the saddest life ever long enough to finally be on jeopardy, which is like at the very top of their list of stupendously compromised hopes and dreams, and then as soon as that first commercial break is over…POW! Sayonara LOSER! But the characters are like real weirdos. Not quite like Dennis Hopper wearing a gas mask weirdos, but not quite not like that kind either.

D.