January 6th, 2012 / 8:17 pm

Stacey Levine on Ryan Boudinot: “This one whom some were following was calm and restrained. His work shows so much work. Thousands of bees in his brain. His work makes its own ceiling, then bursts the ceiling again and again. Those calm, compact manners and the close shave. But you sense at any moment the gentlemanly restraint could fall away. At the spelling bee he was the most polite of them all. He is not in love with the normal. But I think he dislikes the abnormal, because, after all, the normal and its trajectory is so much more complicated and interesting.”


  1. BppOperator

      Havent read his writing, but this was pretty great.

  2. Hollander

      Great, now write about Stacey Levine you guys.

  3. joe

      Did Ryan Boudinot recently become the recipient of an untimely death?

  4. Matthew Simmons
  5. Matthew Simmons
  6. Jwegener

      this is sick

  7. Jwegener

      and I’m diggin it

  8. Cvan

      No death, just the continuing recipient of hyperbole.  Enough already.  Some here can try to keep propping this not-so-worthy-as-claimed book up, but it appears that the hype has now eaten the book.

  9. Cvan

      Is Stacey Levine a writer for Portlandia or is there a Seattle counterpart called Pugetonia?  I feel like the paragraph above is the intro and then this Boudinot character (played by Fred Armisen) will come into frame and state, “I’m normal, but not like the rest of you.  I’m radically normal.  My trajectory isn’t even on your radar.” 

  10. Bruno

      Seriously. Can we have the annoying Tournament of Bookshit back? Can there be a late entry for overhyping of mainstream fiction that is already doing just fine in Bookforum and Indie Book Picks or whatever?

      In the first chapter, I got as far as “He’d seen in a magazine that one painting by that one guy _Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X_.” Nice way to shoehorn that in there. Just as the painting is out of reach of the focalizing character’s frame of reference, or would be if not for that providential magazine, I think the sublimity and horror of Francis Bacon are out of range of this author. It’s a cheat, both times.

  11. Cvan

      The Boudinot book is considered dystopian, but somehow the monsterhype seems to point to a blueprint of the future that will bring us walls of marketing blitz for books that suspiciously might not even exist, or perhaps whatever “books” get pre-orders based on the marketing will be green-lit to be written.  It’ll be like Borges’ invented books idea taken over for the sake of promotion rather than inventiveness and appreciation of literature.  

  12. StaceyL

      Dearheart, get out of the Present! The post is goofin on Stein.

  13. Cvan

      Actually I was going to buy the book…and put a bird on it.

  14. deadgod

      I think the “post-apocalyptic” genre is characterized by scarcely-warranted authorial optimism.