Zachary German’s web presence was one I once compulsively checked-on for updates, that I consistently enjoyed, intriguing and funny, and now his web presence is gone, mostly, because he wanted it to go away.
Adam Humphreys’s new documentary, Shitty Youth, which shares a name with German’s possibly defunct “radio show”/podcast, portrays German as a willfully difficult or potentially alienating person socially who is very attuned to style and taste, the author of one novel, Eat When You Feel Sad, which got good attention and praise, who has released almost no writing since, in part because much writing, including his own, is not up to his very high standards.
November 5th, 2012 / 5:54 pm
As you may remember, Adam Humphreys, director of Franz Otto Ultimate Highballer and co-designer of these t-shirts, has been working on a documentary about elusive author Zachary German titled Shitty Youth (taken from German’s now-defunct weekly radio show).
I worked with him on the tail end of shooting earlier this summer and have seen some excellent prescreenings of the work.
I received an email from Adam this morning:
Thanks for your continued interest in this project.
Shitty Youth has been something I’ve been pursuing for a while off and on and it is nearing a place where it feels like I am unable to take it any farther and I want to get on with my life.
something something online release near future, more details forthcoming
In the meantime I highly recommend people check out Fi卐hkind, the band, especially the EP “Brooklyn” which was a band I conducted featuring Zachary, Erik Stinson, and you, wherein they can hear Zachary free associating some really brilliant shit.
“College”… is just… wow.
Here’s the logo for the movie [pictured above]. Link to the facebook page if people want to engage: facebook.com/killcops2
Zach German’s books i read in 2010 blog is pretty funny or fun, e.g. “how did i like it: i didn’t like it. i really didn’t feel like i got anything out of it. i guess i learned the names of a lot of people, whose wikipedias i looked at after not recognizing them in the poems. i feel like with killian’s style of poetry it is difficult for me to know whether it is good or bad; like i assume killian is a ‘good’ writer, but i feel even if a ‘bad’ writer wrote some poems in this book’s style i would probably take them the same way, idk. that being said i feel like i would like him if i met him….”
Oh snap, my girl hated Eat When You Feel Sad. Then everyone else did too.
June 3rd, 2010 / 9:39 am
[NOTE: The reviewer discloses several personal acquaintances, and asserts his unequivocal subjectivity.]
A Few Moments of Sleeping and Waking
When I was a kid my parents had a no-censorship policy on my reading material. The only exception they ever made to this rule was when I wanted to read a book that my dad was reading, called American Psycho. This was sometime in the mid ’90s, when the book was out of print. Dad had gotten it from a woman who worked in his office, who herself had found it on a website that specialized in hard-to-find books—probably the first person we ever knew who had used the internet to actually get something. I remember asking him about it, and that my interest was immediately piqued by his no-doubt abridged description. I remember asking to read it, and how, after much deliberation (which was baffling in itself, because I hadn’t meant “can I” so much as “when can I”) he finally told me, not without evident regret, that he would not let me read the book. “It’s not the content itself,” he said, “so much as that I don’t think you have the context to understand the content for what it is.” I must have expressed some outrage—this was unprecedented, after all—and he, concerned I might sneak a peek despite the ban, hid the book so well that we never found it again, even years later, when we emptied that house out and moved.
I started college in the summer of 2000, a few months after the film version of American Psycho debuted at Sundance. Now the book was everywhere. You could just walk into the store and buy a copy—with Christian Bale’s face on the cover, no less. I didn’t go see the movie in theaters, but I went and got the book. And I’ll tell you something—my father was absolutely right. Even at eighteen I didn’t really understand the book for what it was, namely the darkest of satires, mostly because I didn’t know enough about what was being satirized: Wall Street culture, the ‘80s in general, etc. So I took the book absolutely seriously, and treating it in this way made for one of the single most disturbing reading experiences I had ever had before, or have had since.
Zachary German would have been eleven years old the year American Psycho was released in theaters, and though I don’t know whether he saw the film before he read the book, it’s highly likely that a trailer for the film alerted him to the book’s existence in the first place. He would have understood going in, then, that the ultra-violence was a kind of cartoonish excess, and that the whole thing was to be understood (on some level) as a comedy, but he would have probably been still too young to fully grok how (or even that) the pathological cataloging of brand-names was meant as an extension of the central “joke.”
March 24th, 2010 / 3:56 pm
Take our own Ken Baumann. He’s twenty, and already toying with a style, voice, and rhythm all his own–see the newest New York Tyrant for proof. His work is at once strange and familiar, careful and mindful without constraining a sense of freedom which announces the promise of novelty, of a literature which is no longer merely literature. If any of that makes any sense to anyone. What I mean to say is, Ken is a young–very young, college-aged–prose stylist. Perhaps that is a rare feat. Perhaps it is not. But not often does an artist so young fulfill the promise of youth by making it new.
Take Zachary German. He’s twenty-one, I believe, and while he indeed belongs to a certain class of writers, his style, at a very original pace, moves toward a terminal space, a degree-zero. His work has much to say about contemporary art, culture, and values, on both a level of doing and being. In many ways, he walks the talk of a young Camus. He’s twenty-one. How?
I’m nineteen. I strive for an immediate stylism in my work. Whether or not I’m successful I cannot say. READ MORE >