Lydia Davis writers about her life

Telegrams of the Soul

When someone says, “Flash fiction is popular because of the internet, kid’s attention span these days…” why don’t you kick them right in the balls? Why don’t you sweep the leg for me?

Peter Altenberg lived from 1859-1919. Adolf Loos, the famed modernist architect, made the cross for his grave.


You like blurbs? Check these fucking blurbs. You wish. This isn’t your mom’s pal or former teacher or little Internet buddy in an indie/alt scene circle-jerk let’s get drunk at AWP and wear skinny, colored eyeglasses type of blurb, you fuckers. This is Kafka going, “In his small stories his whole life is confirmed” and oh, Thomas Mann going, “If it be permitted to speak of ‘love at first sound,’ then that’s what I experienced in my first encounter with this poet of prose.”

Kafka just blurbed your ass. Get it?

Altenberg quit everything. Law school, medical school, book-selling. His own name. He got a doctor’s note, he did, a doctor’s note excusing him from life. A golden ticket. He spent the rest of his days in bars, coffee bars and good old regular bars. He liked drinking and whores, just like anyone with time on their hands.

He wrote about it, this life, in fits of brevity.

You should probably start here and then just learn to read German afterwards.


Author Spotlight & Random / 3 Comments
January 17th, 2013 / 7:05 pm