Indexing: Nathanael West, Geoff Dyer, Gary Lutz, and more

Jason Diamond
I’ve spent he last few year trying to come up with clever new excuses as to why I haven’t read Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, even thought I count The Day of the Locust among my personal top ten favorite books ever.  That’s all going to change, and I’ve been reading the latest edition (2009, New Directions) of Miss Lonelyhearts/The Day of the Locust with the Jonathan Lethem introduction.

Picked up the latest issue of Tin House.  I buy every issue, but this one has a Gary Lutz story.  I ran faster to the store to pick it up.

Tobias Carroll
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of criticism — and with books from Erik Davis (Nomad Codes, which I’ll likely review here in the coming weeks), Ann Powers (Weird Like Us), and Chris Kraus (Where Art Belongs) in my “read next” stack, I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Earlier this week, I took in Alex Ross’s Listen to This. Most of its components previously appeared in the New Yorker, and while it’s a bit less cohesive than its predecessor (the excellent The Rest Is Noise), it’s the difference between a fantastic album and a good singles collection — quality work either way. The essays on Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, John Luther Adams, and Marian Anderson are particularly fantastic — moving and comprehensive, and leaving me with the impetus to purchase abundant music post-haste. Now I’m about a third of the way into Geoff Dyer’s Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, which impresses with its both its breadth and its, well, humanism.