at least 9 (I can think of 9 off the top of my head + looking through books I have with me), probably not more than 15. the majority of it is poetry, for sure, but the few that aren’t poetry are fun to remember. actually they’re all fun to remember. this is a good question.
all of bataille’s fiction i’ve read multiple times (pretty sure I’ve read story of the eye at least 6 times, the impossible at least 4), dennis cooper’s george miles cycle + my loose thread i’ve read twice (period i’ve read 3x times), god jr i’ve read 4x times, robbe-grillet’s photobooks with david hamilton i’ve read twice, house of leaves i’ve read twice (lol), and i’ve read a number of poetry books multiple times each. also have read J. Eric Miller’s Animal Rights & Pornography, Jesus Ignacio Aldapuerta’s THE EYES, Ettore Sottsass’s METAPHORS, Thomas Ligotti’s Teatro Grottesco, a couple film books & a handful of comic books at least 2x.
Hey Mike, in terms of the Robbe-Grillet/Hamilton collabs — I’m unfamiliar with those, just looked on Amazon and saw SISTERS and DREAMS OF A YOUNG GIRL — are those the ones you’re talking about, are there others, too?
yeah, those are the only two. The text inside is text that’s also in Topology of a Phantom City, but sort of arranged as poetry instead of prose. Hamilton’s pervy & I’m a fag anyway but my penchant for soft-focus images and the sunlight of the early 70s finds me considering them ‘dreamy’ instead of ‘exploitative’ or whatever. he also did a similar collaboration with irina ionesco called TEMPLE AUX MIROIRS which doesn’t have an english translation, but it’s just text from Recollections of the Golden Triangle so it’s easy to figure out. Both Hamilton & especially Ionesco are photographers I really dig, and I love A.R.-G. of course, so for me these texts are essential.
I’m actually really into what Bruce Morrison groups as the “intertextual texts” of Robbe-Grillet, which is basically Topology and Recollections, but both texts are assemblages from collaborations he did with artists (Hamilton, Ironesco, Rauschenberg, Johns, & Magritte of course)
Three – two of them weren’t read the second time until several years had passed from the first read – one of those was for school.
I feel overwhelmed. There are too many books staring at me already. Libraries both excite me like porn and fill me with panic. If they never threw me out, I could go into the 5 floor used book store and never come out, all the while rolling in indecisive turmoil. Books are as bad as a Chinese restaurant menu – what do you want? 23, 57, 189? !!! I don’t know, but I know it gives me anxiety when I feel like I am missing out on something better than what I’ve chosen. The Saviour of the Chinese restaurant is that a lot of the stuff tastes the same. Not the case with books. In the past, when I didn’t like a book or it didn’t immediately click, I would struggle with it until I finished it. But then I realized that I was depriving myself of all the other good ones I could have happily buzzed through during my agony. To answer the question – maybe it should be more – maybe it’s already too many.
Probably about 50 or so individual books read more than once. Authors that I have read again: Herman Melville (Moby Dick multiple times, more than five times); William Gibson (various); Jeff Noon (various); Steve Erickson (various); William S. Burroughs (various, with Naked Lunch five times); William T. Vollmann (various, with The Atlas three times); Danilo Kis (A Tomb for Boris Davidovich three times); Anne Carson (various, with The Autobiography of Red about ten times).
STORIES IN THE WORST WAY, FICCIONES, THE DOUBLE HOOK, NEUROMANCER, CRUSOE, MOBY DICK, LIFE OF PI, TINTIN AND THE SECRETS OF LITERATURE, DEAD SOULS, CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, COLLECTED PANCAKE, FRANNY AND ZOOEY, THE FIRST 40 PAGES OF ULYSESSES, DAMN, I DON’T KNOW, SOME OTHERS, SOME OF THESE WERE BY ACCIDENT, EVERY DOUGLAS COUPLAND NOVEL ZZZZIPPP HAS EVER READ FEELS LIKE ZZZZIPP IS READING IT FOR THE SECOND TIME. THIS IS THE MOST EARNEST COLLECTION.
Hmm..not many. Hemingway short stories (I think 64). Oh Baby, Chinquee. The Road. DFW essay book (the first one, Supposedly Fun…), Wild Sheep Chase, some poker guides, Macho Nachos, what about online? I read a lot of Damian Dressick and Meg Pokrass and Amelia Gray over and over. Oh, Diane Williams, fer sure. Also I keep reading Trout Fishing in America, prob twice a year. And Chekhov recently. Shit, I don’t know.
Probably 30 or 40. At least 10 Faulkners read twice, and many of them 3 times. Couple of Cormac McCarthy. Lots of John Hawkes. “Crime and Punishment” 3 times (different translations, so may not count). “The Good Soldier” a lot. “Under the Volcano” ditto. Just unpacked a bunch of books after moving, and these are on the reread list: “Winesburg, Ohio,” “The Obscene Bird of Night,” “Naked Lunch,” some others I can remember. I figure why keep the effing things if you’re not going to read them again. They’re heavy. They get dusty. I live in NYC, so why give space to dead things?