Wednesday, February 24, 2016

three times the snake appeared before me

  • Hilltop. Jacques is a friend of mine.
  • Year of reading short science fiction.
  • Bernhard, for those of you who do.
  • Melville's Pierre.
  • Electric mud.
  • New Eno in April.
  • I am halfway through J.G.Ballard's High Rise. Friends have urged me to try Ballard, this novel in particular, I'm told it's the best way in. Although I have yet to make the required choice between Team I Love Him and Team I Hate Him, I understand why he is black licorice to so many. Tell me - does he write this bad on purpose? Are paragraphs of seemingly unrelated sentences bad British on purpose? The smack me with the obvious - the building has upper, middle, and lower sections, get it? The lower class' main character is named Wilder, the upper class' main character is named Royal, get it? - on purpose? Cause I can understand if it's deliberate, and would like to think it is - and would credit him for it - though I've a feeling it isn't. 
  • I may just choose not to pick a team. Revolution, yo.

spirit animal

Beth Bachmann

three times the snake appeared before me & like a gun said follow when you hear fire keep your body close to the ground the snake said point blank I am here for your protection I don’t have a trigger but I have a tongue to your neck to your ear to your temple follow me down the barrel three shots to steady ready the gray-­eyed snake spit warming its body along the crack you can’t go back from where you are unarmed handle the snake the way you handle a gun at your belt with a glove spirit guide the gun away from the body follow each bone as it moves up & down the back


  1. New Eno Album coming. New Eno Album coming. Reason to live. New Eno Album coming. (I have other reasons, but this is icing on the cake). Tickets to Peter Gabriel at the Hollywood Bowl in July. Daughter visiting in June. Going to Burning Man in August. But also, New Eno Album coming. Life is good.

    1. This is the second time in three months you've indicated life is better and you're happy! This.... makes me happy.

      Post some of your art at your blogsoleum! Or not! Up to you.

  2. “High-Rise,” eh? Prompted by the fact that there’s a trailer circulating for a new film version, by any chance?

    As it is, I’m sporadically making my way through his “Complete Stories,” because the library had a copy. From my prior (& slightly limited) exposure to his work, I say that there are some authors you read more for the ideas, not the prosemanship. J.G. Ballard might as well be Exhibit A in that category.

    And yes, there might be a “British thing” at work. While there’s plenty of top-notch modern English authors, there seems to be a type whose prose tends to plodding, almost clinically dry, prone to mistaking excessive description for “incident,” & whathaveyou.

    1. Heh, I had no idea about the movie nor am I usually anyplace I'd see a trailer. '

      I've friends who press him upon me, others who despise his work. The friends who press have been insistent of late - they think my fascination with the increasingly clusterfuckful world would appreciate Ballard's POV on dystopia and both recommended High Rise as his and her favorite.

      What puzzles and, for now, intrigues me is that the bad writing fits the tropes and topics of the novel, that the novel is as flawed in writing as the high rise is flawed in construction. It will require, I suppose, reading a second novel at least. I'll see about that.

      Though I'm only halfway through. Though I find myself thinking about it when not reading it. Curious to see how I end up.

  3. And as far as cultish contempo authors are concerned, a reader could easily do a lot worse. Michel Houellebecq, for example....