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Archive for March 10th, 2009

bolanosmall“Two new novels by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño have reportedly been found in Spain among papers he left behind after his death. The previously unseen manuscripts were entitled Diorama and The Troubles of the Real Police Officer, reported La Vanguardia.

“The newspaper said the documents also included what is believed to be a sixth section of Bolaño’s epic five-part novel 2666. . . .

“It follows the discovery of another novel, entitled The Third Reich, which was shown to publishers at the Frankfurt book fair in October. . . .

“The writer, who spent the last part of his life in the Costa Brava region of Spain, died at the age of 50 in 2003.

“Uncompromising in his style and critical of authors who sold out to the market, he did not publish a novel until he was 43. He supported himself by, among other things, working as a security guard at a campsite and selling cheap jewellery to tourists visiting the Costa Brava. . . .

“Bolaño published his first novel in 1993 and posthumously grew in popularity after 2666 was translated into English and was one of the New York Times‘s top 10 books of 2008. His novel The Savage Detectives appeared on the same list the previous year.” (more @ The Guardian)

Related

UpdateChilean Bolano Posthumously Wins Book Critics Circle Award

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cheers“For nearly 35 years, or almost half of his life, [Eddie] Doyle has been the smiling face behind the bar at Cheers – the Beacon Hill pub that inspired the TV show with the same name in the early 1980s. As one of Boston’s last fabled bartenders, he served drinks and advice for five decades. . . .

“But a few weeks ago he was told by Tom Kershaw, owner of the Cheers bar, that the recession had hit his industry and he was being laid off.  . . . As word spread of his layoff, many people, such as former Boston mayor Raymond Flynn, said that the city has lost an institution.

“‘He’s as important as George Washington to this city; he’s that well known,’ said Flynn. ‘The Cheers bar was internationally famous, but before it was internationally famous I think Eddie really brought them that notoriety and that attention. They say it’s a bar where everybody knows your name but it’s really a bar where everybody knows Eddie Doyle.'” (more @ Boston Globe)

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306abboxlibraryBrooklyn, New York perfume merchant CB I Hate Perfume has just introduced “In the Library,” “a perfume inspired by the proprietor Christopher Brosius’s love of books and his inability to pass a secondhand bookshop without stopping in.

“According to the shop’s description, the perfume is supposed to evoke a first-edition English novel via ‘Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth, and a hint of wood polish.'” (more @ The Book Bench)

[Makes me want to curl up with a good book . . . or a woman who smells like a good book!]

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bukowskiCharles Bukowski died 15 years ago yesterday. During the early 1970s, I lived briefly in Denver, Colorado, where I imagined myself part of a “next wave” of beat writers working their way west from New York, via Denver, to Venice Beach in California. I panhandled on Colfax Avenue; I shoplifted groceries; I drank too much; I read my own poetry in bars for spare change; and from time to time, when I wasn’t imagining myself as Jack Kerouac, I imagined myself as Bukowski: I even wrote several poems in which I tried not just to channel his voice but to swallow the poet whole. One of my “Bukowski poems” is “published” here – about a woman who shrieked and stormed from the room during a reading I gave of a poem that mentioned a female body part. Following my poem are Bukowski’s “rules for writing.”

a conversation w/charles bukowski at the international house, denver

florence is wearing red lipstick,
sits with tired legs crossed,
handbag on lap.

“read a dirty poem!”

i hear bukowski
his mad eyes staring at me
through the window

i am introduced &
take my seat by the desk,
head hidden by the globe.

“read a dirty poem!”

bukowski has entered
unseen,
sits on my lap

“this is a filthy,
i mean,
erotic poem!”

he won’t let me speak

i become incensed,
roll my eyes &
tongue around the room.

florence returns my tongue,
pushes the globe aside
to see my face.
she asks me to read.

CUNT I SAY! CUNT! CUNT! CUNT!
THE CUNT IS HOLY: THE EYE OF GOD!

florence shows red teeth &
leaves through the window
with the globe.

bukowski smiles &
picks up my eyes.

(September, 1974)


so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

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kissingercartoon“The Kissinger image [left] (by David Levine) is one of 320 illustrations – by 142 of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary artists – that The New York Times itself originally commissioned for its Op-Ed Pages, but then got cold feet about running, and eventually paid more than $1 million in ‘kill fees’ to hide from public view (sometimes for as long as 38 years).

“What didn’t the Times want you to see?

“Can you imagine illustrations so ‘blasphemous,’ so ‘politically embarrassing,’ so sexually ‘over the line’ that The New York Times gladly paid a fortune just to protect your delicate eyes from being exposed to them?

“You’ll find hundreds of such allegedly ‘not-fit-to-print’ illustrations – together with the bizarre and often ludicrous reasons for suppressing them – in a sly and deliciously funny new book called All The Art That’s Fit to Print (And Some That Wasn’t), by Jerelle Kraus, former Art Editor of the Times Op-Ed and Editorial Pages, who reluctantly quit her ‘dream job’ at the Times after 13 years in order to publish it. . . .

“Unfortunately, if you’re looking for more information about this book — don’t expect to consult a review in The New York Times. You won’t find one. For years the Times tried to discourage Ms Kraus from publishing this book, but now that it’s out, the Times is spitefully refusing even to acknowledge its existence, let alone actually review it. Since the Times‘ Book Section is a bible of the publishing world, not being noticed in its pages can often destroy a book’s chances of attracting a large audience.

“Which may be the the Times’s purpose — a publicity blackout might make the book quietly disappear.” (more @ AlterNet)

[Then there’s the New York Post, which had no problem running the Obama-as-stimulus-writing-monkey cartoon just last month. Seems to me both papers need to redraw their standards.]

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