View Literature blogs Literature, novels, author, writing Fiction Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Short and the Quick

Which is nothing short and nowhere near quick. It's called writing, yes that unruly sport. It's been a series of at least 14 hour days -- required, needed, desired. To quote a line in Hoban, "It goes."

I just whipped off two biographies of J.D. Salinger -- those of Hamilton and Alexander. Therein lies the quick because such things, while taking their authors years to complete, never take much time to buzz through. And reading them is like cheap sex in the bushes behind a meatpacking plant. There's something so dirty about them. Based on what I know, Salinger is merely weird in many respects. It appears he had a predilection for younger women with bob cuts and even travelled to California to meet a sitcom actress he developed a crush on. They had to escort him out. And so he writes on the Glass family -- never my favorite works and I tend to side with the Times reviewer who knocked that particular group of works. And recluses today, whether visual artists or writers are always somewhat odd. There's a bit of denial of the world combined with a male machismo that reeks of old-world Modernism in the worst sense. And all along, for his reclusiveness, Sallinger certainly appeared to play the media in order to keep his books going -- the problem is not so much his toying but that he did it so badly. Picasso or Hemingway or Nabokov were much better at the game. One thing the both books didn't really point out is although there are claims he worked in a cell-studio a quarter a mile from the house for hours each day, any time someone went to the door of his house he was there to answer it or in the case of one stalker, watching TV. Well, he was born in 1919 and it won't be long before as Capote said, he makes his death legal. Then we'll know whether he really wrote and if so what it was he wrote. I'm guessing, if it's more of the Glass saga that the world will be entirely disappointed. On the other hand, go read Ring Lardner if you have not. A great writer there (mentioned in Catcher).

I have also read a couple excellent things -- The Bat Tattoo by Hoban, worth a persue and it's stuck with me the past week more than any other thing I've recently read.

And I came across thanks, to the London Times, Angela Carter whose The Bloody Chamber is a virtuoso Baroque work that makes one want to start anew with the descriptions and similes. I'll be excited to read more of her.

I also note how Jeanette Winterson seems to be modelling her style on Carter who died in 1992. Likewise I began reading Everyone's Pretty by Lydia Millet and it seemed so much as though she were referencing Will Self that I had to put it aside. In her case it was more the use of his Fat Controller, albeit with a different name, that bothered me. Oh I'm sure they'll all deny it just as Mr. Ripoff denied stealing Scliar's plot of Max and the Cats. Well I'll continue to shake my head a bit as I return to writing.