Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Dizzy, Bird and Jack

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Third set at the Onyx Club on 52nd street, two in the morning on a winter’s night in New York, 1947 or maybe ‘48. It’s a little smoky jazz club and to some there, the music is chaotic, bewildering—stuff that sounds nothing like swing, the music of the Thirties or the War. But the hipsters […]

Rip this joint…

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

In 1972, the Rolling Stones, about to begin a larger than life, full-blown rock and roll journey across America, released what became one of their most important records—Exile on Main Street.  A mythic American landscape unreels in the music, like a deafening low-flying crop duster veering from one end of the continent to the other, […]

The Zig of DFW…

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The great Modernists (Joyce, Eliot, Lawrence, Woolf) zigged away from tradition and rewrote the book. Depth over surface. David Lodge, in Consciousness and the Novel, wrote about a literary shift, a zag, that occurred in fiction with the late Modernists (early postmodernists?) to more extended  dialogue, more surface work–something that wouldn’t have happened without the influence […]

Epic preposterousness…

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Infinite Jest.  Most excellent fancy.  It’s like a Terry Gilliam movie directed by Ralph Steadman—psychedelic and distorted and fundamentally humane. “I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.  My posture is consciously congruent to the shape of my hard chair.  This is a cold room in University Administration, wood walled, Remington-hung, double-windowed […]

Innermost flame

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I’ve never finished Ulysses.  In fact, I think that I’ve only reached about fifty some odd pages into it—and the last attempt, I think, was twenty-six years ago.  In my very nice hardcover Random House edition, a reprint of the 1961 edition, I find one of my business cards from a job I left in […]