Summer reading picks from Joe Milazzo:
Partly out of excitement to have this work restored to print; Coolidge is neither understood nor celebrated enough as a prosodist, or, if you prefer, prose thinker, à la Stein (I know this mostly from his writings on jazz / improvised music); the book itself just long and packed / impacted enough to occupy a season.
Randomly selected excerpt: “Door only to be taken in. Mingles into the corner as it comes. Enough, and green, and by and large, were familiar.”
Have you seen the table of contents? The volume opens with 8 individual poems, all entitled “One Way to Write a Sonnet Is To Number the Lines.” This appeals to me, and aligns with my own formal / lyrical interests.
Randomly selected excerpt: “Night is ugly as all the other shit / I just mentioned”
I picked this up at the open of the year courtesy Dalkey’s annual sale, but have not yet been able to see if the book itself satisfies the expectations (high-ish… is this Madame Bovary without the self-delusion, an early negation of the novel [an imitation of Arthur Schnitzler tangenting itself into anticipations of Tao Lin], or a Modernist self-help manual?) I have for it based on the title.
Randomly selected excerpt: “Of course, his obvious attraction flattered me. But, then again, maybe it didn’t.”
June 5th, 2013 / 11:00 am
Debra Di Blasi’s summer reading recommendations:
The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates, by Frans De Waal (Norton, 2013)
The most recent book by hands-on primatologist de Waal once again successfully argues that the study of primatology is not how apes behave like humans, but how humans behave like apes.
Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, by George Church and Ed Regis (Basic Books, 2012)
Predicts how current and future biological research will lead to transhumanism, genetic regeneration and mutation, and living products that reproduce and redesign themselves. The eugenics potential would make Adolf Hitler proud.
June 4th, 2013 / 11:00 am
SUMMER READS: Starting today and over the course of the next couple weeks, I’ll be posting some summer reading recommendations by various writers.
I asked the writers to recommend a few books for summer reading, or to talk about some books they’re particularly looking forward to delving into this summer.
First up, some great picks from Michael J Seidlinger:
I only recently discovered this guy’s poetry and I am truly kicking myself for it. His poems weave together humor and pop culture references. The book is 328 pages of I-have-no-idea-what-to-expect but if it’s anything like what I’ve read at Typo Magazine and other journals, there’s a lot of good in this three hundred page book.
And that name. Mannnnnnn… now I’m in the mood for a good film noir. Someone recommend me a good film noir.
Seemingly people have more time to read in the summer but, for me, I tend to find that the opposite is true. Therefore you’ve got to love the existence of graphic novels. Much like a movie, the average graphic novel only asks the reader for an hour or two.
With Fingerman’s “Maximum Minimum Wage,” we see through the eyes of Rob Hoffman, a cartoonist working on smut rags to pay the bills, as he, alongside his girlfriend, Sylvia, go about the apathy of their oddly relatable lives. It looks like Fingerman’s series channels other comix writers like Daniel Clowes and Brian Wood. During the heated summer months, I tend to go for narratives that point at the bleakness of modern life with a lot of sarcasm and, as the back cover blurb states, “cringe humor.”
June 3rd, 2013 / 11:00 am
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.