just finished this:

snapshot of life on the fringes of the scene, cites some quite deep academic/intellectual sources for islamist ideology

that's the 1st book i finished in 6 months
couldn't read anything since i read this:

by james kelman
about 6 months ago - he's brilliant - if you like the way ellroy uses language in white jazz then check kelman :cool:


Well-known member
i'm reading bonjour blanc by ian thompson,an account of his time travelling around haiti
really enjoying it so far,i knew nothing about haiti when i started,loads of interesting stuff
and a book about poker
just finished the men who stare at goats by jon ronson which i read a few pages of on a whim and ended up buying,its pretty interesting,fairly light reading but enjoyable in a breezy newspaper article kind of way


Well-known member
profuse grovelling

luka said:
oh, and rewch, next time i tell you what book i'm reading, try not to tell me how it ends. cheers.
i'm really, really sorry...didn't mean to do a bit carried away with the whole ellroy nostalgia thing & quite selfishly, i admit, revealed what should not have been revealed...SORRY (a lot)


thread death
Read the cool six thousand in about a week on holiday - i ended up dreaming in those clipped 'sentences' - quite seriously one of the best prose stylists around. i have only read that and tabloid - what else would you recommend?
am currently reading richard yates short stories which are just spot-on - i discovered him a couple of years ago when his revolutionary road was re-printed after years languishing in obscurity - a gatsby for the sixties, i just felt hollow after i finished it, when i went to new york the first thing i did was try to track down any more of his stuff - easter parade and another were the only ones i could find but i devoured them in a way i hadn't done with anyone for years - there's other novels out there but i haven't been able to track em down yet.
also reading Lethem's fortress which i am loving, have purposely not read the thread on it yey until i hav e finished it.
also re-reading some ezra pound poetry - love those imagists.


Dumpy's Rusty Nut
jenks said:
also re-reading some ezra pound poetry - love those imagists.
ezra pound for me is the best illustration of the monkeys with typewriters theory. the vast majority of his output was crap - average at best. but by dint of having written so many of the fuckers he managed a few decent phrases more by accident than design.

incredible editing talent though. have you seen what he did to the wasteland?


thread death
i agree about the editing - i think the facsimile version of the wasteland is one of the loveliest artefacts of the modernist movement.
cannot possibly agree about the poetry comment though, so much that is so good - i'll post a few bits in his defence when i get a moment.


Well-known member
ezra pound is one of those people i don't get but i don't want to be dismissive of as i suspect i'm missing something, or i'm too stupid to understand him. a lot of stuff i'll just say RUBBISH in an unapologetic way, but he makes me nervous.

i would reccomned all the ellroy books i've read

the big nowhere/american tabloid/la confidential/white jazz


thread death
And the days are not full enough

And the nights are not full enough

And life slips by like a field mouse

Not shaking the grass. -


Well-known member
oooh, that's nice, i like that. i've only reallytried to read the cantos, and that is hard going. craner loves it though. he might tell us why they're so good.


Well-known member
heronbone sometimes reminded me of the imagist stuff.

re the cantos, footnotes are important otherwise you miss the bits in different languages, the references and the semi-hidden shout-outs to rudolf hess
his editing of wasteland seconded, just chopping and carving the thing up and writing 'bullshit' by the original first stanza. fantastic stuff, he often needed someone to do the same to him

i'm currently reading (or occasionally dipping into as work is a pain in the arse at the mo still am expecting the sack soon hurrah!)

luce irigaray- key writings
if i was more eloquent at internet arguments i might have started a thread about this one. bought (i confess) cos of mark k-p's use of her when talking about 'loveless', which sounded absolutely fascinating. its...hmmm, well, ok, though a bit repititous and shock horror ESSENTIALISING but has some great limpid prose

beckett- malone dies
ha should have weighed in on that thread also...rereading this, i remember it being funnier

esther leslie- hollywood flatlands
this is fucking brilliant, is about the intersections between benjamin, disney, leni riefenstahl, stravinsky, trotsky and as you can see it involves lots of namedropping. nice pictures too

anyway dont want to derail this, do carry on ;)


gabba survivor
back when I used to go to readings I caught up with Ellroy several times. always admired how he's turned his life around and focussed his obsessions into something creative: his mother's murder, drug addiction and petty crime. he saw me stealing the books as I queued up to meet him, he was thrilled and he asked me to hang back to talk afterwards. he really is as intense as the prose. I'm keen for him to finish his American trilogy


manos de piedra
jenks said:
Read the cool six thousand in about a week on holiday - i ended up dreaming in those clipped 'sentences' - quite seriously one of the best prose stylists around. i have only read that and tabloid - what else would you recommend?

my favorite Ellroy book is The Big Nowhere- after that The Black Dahlia. these are all before he really got rolling with his clipped sentence style (starts around LA Confidential/White Jazz)

also- his non-50s books are really good: especially Sucide Hill

Killer on The Road was actually the first Ellroy i ever read- and another one not set in the 50s. life of a serial killer told in first person- it's really brutal. i think he sort of disowns it these days. Charles Manson makes a cameo...


thread death
The Garrett

Come, let us pity those who are better off than we are.
Come, my friend, and remember
that the rich have butlers and no friends,
And we have friends and no butlers.
Come, let us pity the married and the unmarried.

Dawn enters with little feet
like a gilded Pavlova
And I am near my desire.
Nor has life in it aught better
Than this hour of clear coolness
the hour of waking together.

c'mon what's not to love about that second stanza?


thread death
last ezra from me

this is from one of his later cantos - whether you like it or not it's not mankeys and typewriters.
(i got all these out of a little selection edited by thom gunn published by faber - a rwally nice poetry series including keats/ hardy and others all introduced by poets)

from canto lxxxi

"What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
or is it of none?

Pull down thy vanity
Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
A swollen magpie in a fitful sun,
Half black half white
Nor knowst'ou wing from tail
Pull down thy vanity
How mean thy hates
Fostered in falsity,
Pull down thy vanity,
Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,
Pull down thy vanity,
I say pull down.

But to have done instead of not doing
This is not vanity
To have, with decency, knocked
That a Blunt should open
To have gathered from the air a live tradition
or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
this is not vanity.
Here error is all in the not done,
all in the diffidence that faltered . . ."


Well-known member
you'll make me have another crack at him at this rate jenks. one more good bit and i'll pick the book up agian.


thread death
cos it's you, luka:

"These fought, in any case,
and some believing, pro domo, in any case. . .

Some quick to arm,
some for adventure,
some from fear of weakness,
some from fear of censure,
some for love of slaughter, in imagination,
learning later...

some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
Died some, pro patria,
non "dulce" non "et decor". . .

walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men's lies,then unbelieving
came home, home to a lie,
home to many deceits,
home to old lies and new infamy;

usury age-old and age-thick
and liars in public places.

Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
Young blood and high blood,
fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

fortitude as never before

frankness as never before,
disillusions as never told in the old days
hysterias, trench confessions
laughter out of dead bellies."

this is an extract from Hugh selwyn Mauberley, published in 1920