jenks

thread death
Well ILD did not have so much of that, but it was something I picked up in a charity shop and knew nothing about so the mixture of criticism, biography and bullshit was both surprising and unique to me at the time. There were elements I really hated but at the time I thought it WAS arguably a new way of writing which has to be worth something, and fair enough some of it was good as well.

I suppose there is a limit to how far two people who have each only read one of a pair can get in terms of saying how similar they are to each other... I don't usually let that sort of thing stop me, but in this case I intend to demonstrate a newfound maturity and instead of continuing to speculate wildly I nominate @catalog or maybe @jenks to whizz through both books and answer with a simple yay or nay.
I think what you’re talking about was something touched upon upthread - youngsters trying to write about ‘now’ in a ‘now’ kind of way - Lerner, Tao Lin were two I mentioned but I also suggested it ever was so - Afternoon Men by Powell, Waugh, Hope Mireles all doing in the twenties (Lawrence Durrell’s Black Book also springs to mind)
When ILD came out there was something about it’s promotion that really put my back up - it seemed smugly proud of its trick and I felt sorry for Dick Hebdidge whom I read in the 80s and 90s. If I ever clear my TBR pile I’ll check these two out.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
With ILD I had somehow completely missed out on it altogether, both book and tv series. I'd heard no hype, in fact literally nothing at all. It was nothing and then a name on a book on a shelf and even then it was just one among many that I hoovered up when on a book run to London (I really miss charity shopping trips in London since covid, it's actually drastically affecting my reading - something so great about going to loads of shops stuffed with random books that you can grab for 50p and which can take you in all kinds of directions, now all my book purchases are online and premeditated). But it was the form - the way it was a mixture of different types of books all together - more than the content that made it unusual for me and which @shakahislop's description of the other book above recalled, though the bizarre story about playing this game with Dick as a sort of unknowing participant was also quite unusual. And yeah I think it was cruel, especially when at the end she tries to paint him as a kind of villain cos he sends her a rather callous note - but seeing as she (if the book is to be believed) spent years of her life embroiling him in a sort of imaginary love story without his consent, then I find that view a bit of a stretch.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
speak of the devil:

“I wanted to write about seeing Chris Kraus in so many fashion photoshoots lately and wanting to be like her, but I remembered that when I stayed with her in Winnipeg this summer, I’d heard about the Helmut Lang ads and asked her how the shoot went. “This isn’t what I wanted, Natasha,” she said, laughing.”

Excerpt From: Natasha Stagg. “Sleeveless.” iBooks.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
I copied a few choice extracts. Actually the last section of the book, where its mostly autobiography, is pretty good.

“Music festivals are pretty awful. I’ve been to a few with press passes. For this one, I got a guest pass. I can’t imagine actually paying for a ticket. People with general admission have to wait in long lines to get in or to go inside any of the sponsored tents. They’re not allowed in certain secluded areas that have shorter lines for bathrooms and better cocktails to buy.”


“Do you feel like an imposter?” my therapist asked me. “I’m aware of the syndrome,” I said. I often wonder if she hates me. On the (business class) red-eye over here, I had a dream that she finally told me she did, and all the reasons why.”


“On Monday, I took a red eye from Newark to Reykjavik to Edinburgh, and then a cab to Glasgow to stay at a friend’s apartment during a nine-hour layover. ”


“I was standing in front of a bar in the Lower East Side one night when she [Chloë Sevigny] walked up to me, flanked by Kim Gordon and Lizzi Bougatsos. I smiled, thinking we were friends now. She hissed, “You threw me under the bus,” then turned to enter the bar next door before I could stutter my response. The women on either side of her laughed at my pained expression and followed her. I told our mutual friend about it, who happened to be in the bar I then entered. “You’ll learn from this,” she said.”
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
speak of the devil:

“I wanted to write about seeing Chris Kraus in so many fashion photoshoots lately and wanting to be like her, but I remembered that when I stayed with her in Winnipeg this summer, I’d heard about the Helmut Lang ads and asked her how the shoot went. “This isn’t what I wanted, Natasha,” she said, laughing.”

Excerpt From: Natasha Stagg. “Sleeveless.” iBooks.

We can all sympathise with that though I'm sure, one minute you're just walking down the street or buying some toilet paper in Lidl and then you realise that you've just accidentally made an advert for Helmut Lang. It's quite annoying I have to say, especially the way that the money piles up.

Or alternatively.

We can all sympathise with that though I'm sure, you're just thinking about how much you admire someone cool and rich and famous - but then you remember that you stayed with them in summer and they told you that they weren't happy and that you were better than them.
 

you

Well-known member
I increasingly find contemporary American literature to be quite closed and ungenerous by comparison, as if it presumes to be speaking to another American with a very similar experience, a New Yorker, with two arts degrees, no fixed income, a battered Rick Owens leather, enthusiasm for Foucault and vegan fusion restaurants.... The gnomic nods to "class" and coolness etc. It dates, I do feel Tao Lin, Ben Lerner, Tony Tulathimutte are very 00s..... like watching Sex and the City, it's so faded it's foreign <insert L.P. Hartley quote>. Maybe if I'd been to New York I'd feel different.

It'd be interesting to know how successful these books are in translation, how they fare in different markets, those beyond the English speaking international liberal post-grad elite.

That said, Sleeveless has been on my radar, and she's editor of Afterall, an excellent publication for energetic people 'into', 'art', 'politics', and 'critique'. [edit: wow, Sex and the City is referenced on p.11.]

Enjoying Peter Handke's Repetition now.
 
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catalog

Well-known member
Well ILD did not have so much of that, but it was something I picked up in a charity shop and knew nothing about so the mixture of criticism, biography and bullshit was both surprising and unique to me at the time. There were elements I really hated but at the time I thought it WAS arguably a new way of writing which has to be worth something, and fair enough some of it was good as well.

I suppose there is a limit to how far two people who have each only read one of a pair can get in terms of saying how similar they are to each other... I don't usually let that sort of thing stop me, but in this case I intend to demonstrate a newfound maturity and instead of continuing to speculate wildly I nominate @catalog or maybe @jenks to whizz through both books and answer with a simple yay or nay.
We'll I'm honoured to be asked but I've too many books on just now and from the extracts posted by shaka, I'm not sure how interested I am in this book.

That said, I do quite fancy the new tao lin, leave society. Shaka, maybe you could have a go with that and let us know what you think? I did really like lin's book about Terence mckenna.

I am getting a bit bogged down in the kobek book as I reach the end. The detail is too much. He's at the point where he's the guy in the cellar, with charts all over the wall, hand drawn arrows tracing the connections and chronologies and I'm trying to keep up, but it's putting me to sleep.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
The reason I mentioned you Cat was cos we talked about I Love Dick and so I knew that you would only need to read one book to answer the question.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I recently read McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage, which I'd got for Christmas but hadn't got around to looking at yet. I love the way it's put together, with the idiosyncratic text formatting and striking images, and I can see how it was very prophetic in 1967. However, I wonder if the 'global village' phase sort of came and went with the early internet around the turn of the century? Seems to me that, these days, we're more like a group of tribes who don't just disagree with each other but inhabit entirely separate realities.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
I increasingly find contemporary American literature to be quite closed and ungenerous by comparison, as if it presumes to be speaking to another American with a very similar experience, a New Yorker, with two arts degrees, no fixed income, a battered Rick Owens leather, enthusiasm for Foucault and vegan fusion restaurants.... The gnomic nods to "class" and coolness etc. It dates, I do feel Tao Lin, Ben Lerner, Tony Tulathimutte are very 00s..... like watching Sex and the City, it's so faded it's foreign <insert L.P. Hartley quote>. Maybe if I'd been to New York I'd feel different.

It'd be interesting to know how successful these books are in translation, how they fare in different markets, those beyond the English speaking international liberal post-grad elite.

That said, Sleeveless has been on my radar, and she's editor of Afterall, an excellent publication for energetic people 'into', 'art', 'politics', and 'critique'. [edit: wow, Sex and the City is referenced on p.11.]

Enjoying Peter Handke's Repetition now.
yeah exactly, that's a good description of an aspect of Sleeveless and a couple of others i've read recently. it feels like something for and about quite a narrow group of people. I mean I live in new york and even in the same neighborhoods as these people, but it's not really about New York, it's about a very particular group. that's not really a problem though literature-wise, i mean it's not much of a critique, it just means that there's a bit of a barrier for me personally to get something out of it. although, i have to say, there is also a bit of a fascination for me with how unhappy these people seem to be, and i guess i'm also pretty fascinated and to be honest slightly repulsed by the way these guys see sex. that is a broader thing about some americans, the transactionality of sex, the way that it almost sounds like they're collecting something, the casualness of it i guess. my problem not theirs of course. in Sleeveless there are these fairly vague references to all of that.

it's amazing how much this book overlaps with @suspended 's brooklyn culture mafia thread
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
I recently read McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage, which I'd got for Christmas but hadn't got around to looking at yet. I love the way it's put together, with the idiosyncratic text formatting and striking images, and I can see how it was very prophetic in 1967. However, I wonder if the 'global village' phase sort of came and went with the early internet around the turn of the century? Seems to me that, these days, we're more like a group of tribes who don't just disagree with each other but inhabit entirely separate realities.
is this the pornographic knock-off? very highbrow if so
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
reading Leave Society by Tao Lin as suggested by @catalog. So far so good. Nothing happens and there doesn't seem to be any discernible story, which I like. A lot of it is about the health obsessed young man thing that I guess we are all increasingly familiar with, the main character has a mish-mash of ideas about mercury, industrial civilisation, diet and so on. There's a kind of detached approach to international travel which I think I've seen in other things recently, where a particular chapter will take place in eg Barcelona, but that in itself will be of minimal importance.
 

catalog

Well-known member
I'm nearly at the end of the zodiac book now, it turns out kobek published an academic paper about the code that was used.

And I've become interested in a reference earlier on in the book to Richard Shaver, prompted by my friend mentioning his upcoming visit to Mount Shastra in the summer. He's going cos he's interested in Gary Snyder.

Good Sinny piece on Snyder here


Obviously lots of relevances to the nature turn going on all over the shop right now (including tao lin ofc).

But yes, back to Shaver, here's the relevant quote

"Doerr [the guy Kobek pegs as the main suspect for Zodiac] believed that subterranean races of pre-human creatures lived beneath the Earth's surface. For a while, this had been a common belief in Science Fiction circles. In 1932, a man named Richard Shaver heard voices coming up through the ground. He found a willing partner in Ray Palmer, the editor of Amazing Stories, who transformed Shaver's letters into rollicking works of fiction and published the results. Many readers believed these stories to be true, to be accurate representations of life beneath the planet's surface. It boosted circulation and set off a frenzy. Like all fads, the mania died out. But some people still believed. Paul Doerr was one. He seemed ro think that a conduit to the hidden world was California's Mt. Shastra, up near the Oregan border."

You can read the main Shaver/Palmer story, I remember Lemuria, here:


And I don't know if there's a connection, but Burroughs also had a thing about Lemuria, as this sort of Atlantic timeslip place, which was then picked up by Land/CCRU...


I dunno if that's a different Lemuria though. I've not read the Shaver story yet, but I like the idea.

I was in a zoom call yesterday and someone said something along the lines of a protester at a march falling asleep, locked to a railing, and he had a dream that he was melting into the soil through the concrete.
 

catalog

Well-known member
And I've dove back in to I claudius which is now, 200 or so pages in, getting very tasty. There's a bit I just read where Germanicus and Piso are fighting in Syria and there's a reference to a standing army of Romans who go in and do the business. They are called "The Third".
 

version

Well-known member
I'm nearly at the end of the zodiac book now, it turns out kobek published an academic paper about the code that was used.

And I've become interested in a reference earlier on in the book to Richard Shaver, prompted by my friend mentioning his upcoming visit to Mount Shasta in the summer. He's going cos he's interested in Gary Snyder.

Good Sinny piece on Snyder here


Obviously lots of relevances to the nature turn going on all over the shop right now (including tao lin ofc).

But yes, back to Shaver, here's the relevant quote



You can read the main Shaver/Palmer story, I remember Lemuria, here:


And I don't know if there's a connection, but Burroughs also had a thing about Lemuria, as this sort of Atlantic timeslip place, which was then picked up by Land/CCRU...


I dunno if that's a different Lemuria though. I've not read the Shaver story yet, but I like the idea.

I was in a zoom call yesterday and someone said something along the lines of a protester at a march falling asleep, locked to a railing, and he had a dream that he was melting into the soil through the concrete.

Lemuria features quite prominently in Inherent Vice and Shasta Fay Hepworth's obviously named after the mountain.

"He thought about Sortilège’s sunken continent, returning, surfacing this way in the lost heart of L.A., and wondered who’d notice if it did… What good would Lemuria do them? Especially when it turned out to be a place they’d been exiled from too long ago to remember."

"There is no avoiding time, the sea of time, the sea of memory and forgetfulness, the years of promise, gone and unrecoverable, of the land almost allowed to claim its better destiny, only to have that claim jumped by evildoers known all too well, and taken instead and held hostage to the future we must live in now forever. May we trust that this blessed ship is bound for some better shore, some undrowned Lemuria, risen and redeemed, where the American fate, mercifully, failed to transpire."
 
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