Corpsey

bandz ahoy
The thing is, being a horrible and/or miserable person seems like a prerequisite for being a great writer, doesn't it? (I'm sure I'll be bombarded with counter-examples now, for which I thank Yaweh.)
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
The thing is, being a horrible and/or miserable person seems like a prerequisite for being a great writer, doesn't it? (I'm sure I'll be bombarded with counter-examples now, for which I thank Yaweh.)

I doubt there'll be that many tbh, but Baldwin is a good one to start with (based on videos of him speaking and nothing else, of course)
 

benjybars

village elder.
Can't stop reading Wodehouse so far this year.

I've read most of them before anyway, but I seem incapable of reading anything else at the moment. Read about five in the last fortnight.

Downloading them all for free from the amazing Project Gutenburg.

https://www.gutenberg.org/
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I doubt there'll be that many tbh, but Baldwin is a good one to start with (based on videos of him speaking and nothing else, of course)

Chekhov was a remarkably selfless man, a doctor who tended to peasants in the countryside and so on. I suppose a lot of authors (and artists in general) are more or less averagely fucked up, its just that most of us are never subjected to scrutiny.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
And what a performance from Jane Fonda in that film.

For those who mentioned Gomorrah upthread, I can recommend Anabel Hernandez's 'Narcoland', about the duplicity of the Mexican state in claiming to be engaging in a 'war on drugs', when it was in fact actively supporting the Sinaloa Cartel against all the others. Deserves a follow up book looking at the US government's hypocrisy as regards its 'war' on the cartels, which Hernandez touches on but doesn't have opportunity to explore in detail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j3YEp8rc9A obviously this scene popped into my head more than a few times while reading the book...
 
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HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Preparation for the next life by Atticus Lish

Set in new York, but could you easily be a lower circle of london. About to pick it up again...
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
#nowreading

''COSMOPOLIS'' by Don DeLillo. Really enjoying it. I mean, it's all completely absurd and full of people having conversations that sound like Don DeLillo dialogue, but I am detecting an undercurrent of deadpan humour which is hopefully intentional and makes the philosophical musings of the banker-wanker and his cronies as unconsciously self-satirical. Also, DeLillo is just a fantastic writer, describing the quotidian background hum of our everyday lives in ways that make it seem both alien and (newly) wholly familiar.

What do I mean by this wanky description? For example he describes a seagull as ''rippling'' in the air, which is something you don't think of birds doing in the air - but they do in fact ripple in the air and so what seems strange actually returns you to a reality that you forgot existed. I'm starting to see one of the "functions" of literature (forgive me if I already wrote this upthread) is to make us see reality more clearly by showing it in an imaginative light that is at once alienating and intimate. Like Mailer does when he describes Ali on the ropes as a grasshopper hanging on to a stem of grass in a thunderstorm - something nobody would generally think of but which when you think of it conjures up a very vivid picture of Ali on the ropes.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
"And he hated and mocked him for his gynecoid upper body with its swag of dangling mammaries under the sheer white shirt."
 

bruno

est malade
claudio bertoni, antología
bertoni is a chilean (erotic) poet/photographer who observes as life and women pass him by. dipping in lightly but like what i have read so far, alternately pathetic, charming and funny but not miserable.

claudio naranjo, character and neurosis
found this in connection with the ibogaine thread, his soothing voice led me to the book at hand which explains the eneagram system. much more structured and reasonable that i was led to believe (claudio being on the fringe along with john lilly, etc.) but i am only at the beginning and may tire of this.

somerset maugham, the razor's edge
this was a great read and my first maugham. it starts off clumsily/lightly and gradually gains depth and insight as the characters and themes are fleshed out. at times the story seems contrived (sort of the point at the author himself stresses this is a story, albeit 'true') and the dialogue doesn't always convince (larry's ramble at the end) but maugham pulls off the trick with style.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I finished Cosmopolis. To my surprise, I more or less loved it. Hints of Ballard and Joyce throughout it. It would be difficult to easily summarise what I thought it was about, even if I knew what I thought it was about, but I thought it was at least PARTLY about the 'in-built obsolescence' of technology, the problem (for the author) of the same phenomenon afflicting language, the authenticity of actions in a world comprehended through cliche-ridden language... and so on. I've bought Libra, DeLillo's book about Lee Harvey Oswald, which is certainly chunkier and I will read later this year, I hope.

Now I'm reading Philip Roth's Patrimony, a (more or less) non-fiction account of his father's death and preceding life. It's funny, warm, eloquent, and - due to personal issues I've been confronted with this week - its qualities are a consolation in the face of the harshness and senselessness of life, as laughter generally seems to be.*

*Obviously the harshness/senselessness of life I've been confronted with are relatively benign, I'm hardly Primo Levi.**

** I am nearly the guy from Portnoy's Complaint. Minus the Jewishness, and the sex.
 
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woops

is not like other people
Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl

Elfride Jelinek Les Exclus

Christopher Isherwood The Berlin of Sally Bowles

Nothing that interesting really.

Reread Bukowski's Pulp, that was good
 

blacktulip

Pregnant with mandrakes
Great writer indeed, not sure entirely what I think about him as a person. His relationship with James Baldwin is interesting.

The first few chapters of Of a Fire on the Moon (I never read the whole thing for some reason) are phenomenal. It was out of print when I read it though, had to order a copy from some far-flung library. Executioner's Song I started too, but it's about 1200 pages or something silly. Good while I stayed with it though.

The Executioner's Song is amazing.
 

luka

Well-known member
I'm reading who paid the piper by Frances stonor Saunders. I read that blackwater book the other day too. I want an updated version. The fall of Erik prince.
 
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