Haut or Not: A Couplet

Posted by @ 1:48 pm on March 16th, 2009

Tim Jones-Yelvington

I can’t argue with this guy — these books are just too haut. Good to see ‘writer’s writers’ like Diane Williams and Steven Millhauser, powerful ‘famous’ ladies like Moore, Gaitskill (I wish her last name was Hall) and Oates; and of course, our friends Tao Lin, Blake Butler, and Kim Chinquee. (Incidentally, Rachel B. Glaser’s ‘fiction’ piece about Christ, and Christ-like pop figures, in the pictured American Short Fiction is fucking great.) Impressed to see Vol. II (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower) of Proust’s epic — as most people only read Swann’s Way and consider it done (like me). I will get slammed for this I’m sure, but I never really understood the cult behind Jesus’ Son. I have this theory that, like cats, we are either indoor or outdoor readers. Jane Austen would be the epitome of writer of indoor books, and maybe Graham Green or Conrad as writer of outdoor books. I’m an indoor kinda guy, and Denis Johnson feels outdoorsy. And just for the records, my ‘best american fantasy 2’ doesn’t involve the genre, but a shortage at the sperm bank during a sorority convention. I should grow up soon.

Rating: Haut

ryan-bradley

Ryan Bradley

Ryan sent in a tiny jpeg, so bear with me. Notice Eggers’ YSKOV next to Sacrament, the latter which contains an addendum in which a second (more/less?) reliable narrator dispels other angles concerning the former’s journey. This is a great Eggers move, but does it need to cost $18? Ryan said yes, so let’s hope it’s a signed first edition. (Incidental note on What is the What: The brilliant title is an answer to its own question when read two ways.) House of Leaves‘ flashy formatting seemed to dismiss, rather than cultivate, the reader’s experience. DFW’s digressions felt urgent and imperative; Mark Z. Danielewski’s seemed fluffy and too assured. Despite Dixon’s quiet yet pounding I., I’m just not feeling (nor really seeing) this shelf.

Rating: Not.

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