June 5, 2010 :: elegy in essay form I found out this morning via Jim Behrle's facebook and then his twitter that David Markson has passed away. "David Markson has died." Behrle doesn't blither. Quick search on the web, and I've got nothing, but this makes sense to me. Markson, a giant of postmodernism-- if you're true to the word-- maintained closer friendships than he courted publicity. His life and work are intertwined, and his memory will live on in those he touched as well as in his works of art. Perhaps I find my method of discovery at his passing ironic considering Markson himself would have never found out about anything the way I did. He would tell me, visiting the poetry and literary non-fiction stacks of Strand Bookstore, how he still used a typewriter to write, wrote things down on notecards when planning his novels, only took calls on his landline and didn't feel he had any need for a cell phone or computer. It wasn't that he was against tec…
I made the mistake this semester of taking three classes and auditing one. Even though I didn't have to do the coursework for the one I audited, just the reading/participation, it was still too much. I didn't have time to do things that I normally like to do, that are important to me--let alone things that I do generally because I do them. Such as.... writing about the books I read.
HERE are all the books I read from February-April during this semester, excluding re-reads, with brief snippets of thoughts after them...
FEBRUARY Caligula by Albert Camus The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
For my drama class, we read these two plays the same week. I preferred the Dürrenmatt because the characters were more interesting to me, particularly Claire, the cruel/eccentric/wealthy woman who returns to her hometown for revenge. Caligula was interesting to me in terms of it as an existential retelling of an old story, but the characters blended more easily.
here is a poem that i've always loved from Denis Johnson, who's recently passed.
Here in the electric dusk your naked lover
tips the glass high and the ice cubes fall against her teeth.
It’s beautiful Susan, her hair sticky with gin,
Our Lady of Wet Glass-Rings on the Album Cover,
streaming with hatred in the heat
as the record falls and the snake-band chords begin
to break like terrible news from the Rolling Stones,
and such a last light—full of spheres and zones.
you’re just an erotic hallucination,
just so much feverishly produced kazoo music,
are you serious?—this large oven impersonating night,
this exhaustion mutilated to resemble passion,
the bogus moon of tenderness and magic
you hold out to each prisoner like a cup of light?