Dear Ms.

January 6th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve always liked the Terry Southern piece “Dear Ms.,” which can be found in the collection Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings of Terry Southern (2001, Grove Press), edited by his son Nile and Josh Alan Friedman. I’m hoping to circumvent any laws prohibiting its posting by not sharing it in its entirety, but the excerpt is enough for anyone to get the picture. I made my brother read this once, and he said, “I don’t see what the point of this is except to piss women off.” Personally, I like the precise italics.

The Magic Christian is one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read, sly yet infantile; there’s something in Southern’s deadpan I’d never try to duplicate. Is it as funny to be a smart man playing the philistine now that the philistines are winning? Or are they always?

Anyway, enjoy! » Read the rest of this entry «

Postcard Remix #1

January 6th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Cornelia Street Cafe, West Village

Shilling and Two Cents, not in that order

January 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

  • “Heavenly Father, be not with our sins against us, but with us against our sins. And when Your thoughts rise in our soul, let it be each time to show us not the extent of our errors, but that of Your pardon, nor how we go astray, but how You shall save us.” Can any Kierkegaard readers identify the source and perhaps standard English translation of this quote (which I have rendered from the French)? It is one of the most beautiful things I have recently read.
  • The Southern Review rejects a Châteaureynaud short story with the longest and second nicest editor letter this translator has ever received, in what is unarguably the most perfect penmanship. They will be getting another submission, those lucky folks!
  • Last year’s translation masterpiece by yours truly, Dr. Frédéric Saldmann’s Wash Your Hands!, has been available online and in stores for a month now. I’m sure it topped your holiday list.

by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann

by Dr. Frédéric Saldmann

Postcard Remix #2

January 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Promo postcard for L'Association's revue Lapin

The Future is Inauguration

January 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

At Slate, William Saletan says: “In the transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, we’re going to see a big shift in the politics of biotechnology. The conservative preoccupation with technological frontiers will be replaced, for the time being, by a progressive preoccupation with distributive justice.” People who know me will be sick of hearing this, but as William Gibson says, “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”

Postcard Remix #3

January 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Promo postcard for Benjamin Parzybok's Couch by Andi Watson

With apologies to Andi Watson, Benjamin Parzybok, and Small Beer Press.

The List

January 15th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

This is probably the fifth year I’ve kept track of all the books I’ve read, though only the first I’ve made it public. It seems this year I averaged about one book every two weeks—half my goal—and some of these are short books. Kinda sad, really. Of course, this doesn’t count books I re-read, books I read ¾ of and abandoned, or essay and story collections I dipped into once, twice, or repeatedly, but failed to finish cover to cover. Nothing’s here unless I read, for better or for worse, every word. That means excluding many fine books I wanted to pore over more closely, and at greater length, prolonging the pleasure so to speak, and collections where, for one reason or another, I left a few stories unread. Similarly, however, if I began reading a story collection the previous year, but didn’t finish it until this year, it appears here. Sort of cheating, I know.

I should make a separate list for stories, but that would involve more bookhandling than I care to deal with for a blog entry, since I kept no running record. Still, when I look back on this list and try to pick out what’ll stay with me… it’s been a year more for stories than novels. This list also excludes all reading done for work, not pleasure, and most graphic novels. In the early part of the year I went through these so quickly that I didn’t keep track.

Titles are listed more or less in chronological order of completion, rather than when I started them, though I omit all dates, which might otherwise go a long way toward explaining sudden long lapses in reading… nothing for February or June, and a big slowdown through summer. I enjoyed myself, and deliberately refrained from any rating system. The most embarrassing titles are those I just read to go to sleep… I’ll let you guess which ones. Enjoy!

» Read the rest of this entry «

Postcard Remix #4: Guest Post

January 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Lou Marchetti, 1959

Lou Marchetti, 1959

A guest postcard mysteriously signed “Sport.”

Obama Card Game!

January 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Charlito, of Indie Spinner Rack fame, and co-publisher of what is to date my only published comics work, has produced a handsome handmade card game from the natural effervescence of his irrepressible creative spirit and sheer infectious joy at our soon-to-be President. I am egregiously late about notifying the masses of it, but when I saw notice posted on my friend GB Tran’s blog, I thought Duh, why not be a copycat. I’m still in time for inauguration. Please go buy it. Feed Charlito.

www.obamacardgame.com

www.obamacardgame.com

I’ll Be Reading Again

January 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Saturday 1/31 at 4pm at Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow St, NYC btwn. Stanton & Rivington. I’ll be reading with Jon McMillan (he has a story out now in the New England Review!) and Micaela Morrissette (a senior editor at Conjunctions who won a Pushcart and a best american fantasy award this past year). Scott Geiger was instrumental in setting me up for this reading up with his New School buddies Jim and Jason, who run the Enclave reading series; huge thanks to all three. Apparently, Micaela Morrissette named her hedgehog after Scott’s first published story, “The Pursuit of Artemisia Guile” in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 16 (July 2005). If you watch this site, further info and reader bios should eventually get posted there.

Come one and all!

Where am I?

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