Call me Mr. Mello / I live on fruit and Jell-o -- Rick Moore, 1974
Last weekend I suggested that I might be mellowing -- I was able to watch a Godard movie without wanting to trash its pretensions. This seems to indicate a trend that finds me listening to The Beach Boys rather than wanting to trash their sophomoric geekiness. Is this the start of that long amber twilight in which I will forgive my enemies and love my fellow man in all his insufferable idiocy, no longer stridently displaying my misanthrope credentials? Probably not.
Waiting for My Man
Tuesday Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon's first novel since Mason & Dixon (1997) hits the shelves. It's going to be a tangled, long strange trip I've no doubt, but the question on any Pynchon-reader's mind has to be: has he pulled it off? I'm dubious, but elated all the same. I have the feeling, judging by the '90s publications of the man from Oyster Bay, that the fine madness that inhabited and inspired the scribe of Gravity's Rainbow (1973) vanished like the guy who tried to make Smile, like the guy who founded Pink Floyd, like the guy who put The Hawks through their paces in Europe '66, like... In other words, another case of Mr. Mello, of becoming a more accessible crank, the kind that will amuse us, but won't really take us around the bend. In any case, I'll be reading it soon enough and I'm bound to post comments as I go . . . Why not? It's either that or read Richard Powers I guess . . .
Of Cranks and Hacks
My pondering of American letters (something I tried to avoid doing for the better part of my existence, yet for some reason -- I suppose it has to do with that poor homeless waif of a book of mine -- I have been a-ponderin' it here and there in the last ½ decade) has produced the following staggering insight of heartbreaking clarity: American writers are either cranks or hacks. Cranks are almost all the good ones you can name (Melville, Whitman, Dickinson, James, Pound, Stevens, Faulkner,West, Pynchon . . .), the Hacks are pretty much everybody else -- I don't mean, everybody except the handful I just named, but everybody who isn't a crank, which is to say everyone who produces their standard issue fiction with astonishing regularity (I think you know the kind I mean) and reaps the benefits of being talked up by talk show hosts sweet'r'n molasses.
Images from Home
In re-formatting this page -- it's a beta blog now, whatever that means -- I thought it might be cool to have a pic that would change as the mood strikes. So, stay tuned for ongoing image changes from my personal cache of scanned pics.
It struck me as fun to add some more images to the blog -- so why not albums at 10 year intervals? In choosing to add images of albums, a few things occurred to me: the reason I feel a satisfaction in posting album covers as markers of time passing is that album covers stay the same. Unlike book jackets. It would be a real hunt to find original artwork for a book, as it looked when it was released. But albums in that sense have covers "for all time." This creates that immediate recognition which is part of the "time capsule" idea. The other thing: I don't know what to call the music I listen to, so I labelled it "musical" -- pop, rock, folk, country, glam, prog, alternative, new wave, punk, goth, art, college, r&b . . . all such labels designate some elements of it, but not all, not even for a single artist.
Books I Own, Unread
Since I like to drop into Book Trader frequently, it's easy to pick-up books on the spur of the moment and then never get around to reading them. This is a list of "recent" acquisitions, some used, some not; the point of any list like this, of course, is to wittle 'em down, even as others get added.