Each week, Vol. 1 editors band together as one to discuss their week among literature and the written word. This is the place to hear about all the best that they’ve thumbed through, bookmarked, lauded, and consumed in the last seven days. This is where “praise” hits the blogosphere bong and becomes “high praise”. This, dear reader, is Indexing.
My nonfiction kick continues: Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built In Hell segues to Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet. In the world of theory, I’m delving into Zadie Smith’s essay collection Changing My Mind; I’ve also just finished Bryan Charles’s There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From. I’ll have a review of Charles’s memoir appearing here later this month. With memoirs in mind, I checked out Neil Genzlinger’s piece that ran in the Times book review last weekend. I can’t say I was too fond of it, and learned that there’s no better way to overcome a reader’s own skepticism regarding memoirs than by making declarations such as, “Sorry to be so harsh, but this flood just has to be stopped. We don’t have that many trees left.” Suffice it to say, my take on things is a lot closer to Roxane Gay’s, here expressed via a piece on HTML Giant.
I also finished Jaime Hernandez’s Locas II: Maggie, Hopey, & Ray, which — much like its predecessor — is a mammoth and incredibly rewarding work, one of the best things in any medium I’ve encountered in the last few years, and a source of near-constant inspiration. And my latest read falls into none of these categories; rather, it’s a work of dystopian YA fiction recommended by several wise folks I know: Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go. But for now, the dulcet tones of Bedhead call me back to some writing, as there’s a piece I need to complete for Slice‘s Fake AWP. Yes indeed.
If you don’t have a significant other whom you love very, very much, I strongly caution you against reading Andre Aciman in February. It will make you depressed. Currently reading: Eight White Nights, which came out last month, I think. Dude is such a good writer, and quite the sentimentalist without being cloying or boring or cliche. Read this book if you think winter in New York is a romantic, powdery, ethereal wonderland rather than the filthy frozen slush-pit it actually is.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s Vieux Carre review, go read New York Magazine’s “A Weirder Tennessee”, offering a nice overview of our man’s later oeuvre. The Daily Beast also offers a sound account of a second Williams revival (one of many surrounding his ongoing centennial), The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.
I was also entranced by Will Oldham interviewing R. Kelly for Interview, if only for Kelly answering the question “When do you like to record?” with “Fifty o’clock.” Also has a lot of interesting looks at his life as a child street performer. Interview’s been on something of a roll of late between this and their look at self-professed “equal opportunity objectifier” Tom Ford.
For actual book learning, I’m delving into Moneymakers: The Wicked Lives and Surprising Adventures of Three Notorious Counterfeiters by supreme Lapham’s Quarterly alum Ben Tarnoff. You can read an insightful, charming interview about the book, the headspace from which writing is born, and San Francisco circa 1856 here at YrDoingaGreatJob.