I looked around as if the desert were supposed to be there. Why was she so calm? “We used to be so close,” I said. I held your book. I thought of my novel sitting among its mountains in a drawer. (I must have told you in a bar, I remember we went to bars, I remember you once used my knee as a napkin for your mouth, I remember I thought I was clever and I remember I had not even read Moby Dick but already knew that a whale of mine would elate into birds, soaring and re-rising and through the sun pouring, maddening a man. I thought I was flirting. I didn’t know what you would take.)
Archive for the Journals Category
Crumb: I don’t see myself as part of a tradition but apparently I am. Henry Miller kept coming to France during the thirties. He first came in 1929. There’s a letter that he wrote — when he was leaving America again to go live in France — that completely denigrates American culture. He says there’s no culture in America, that it’s nothing but tall buildings and wheat fields. Whatever America produces is worthless. And, I’m thinking, Jesus, the guy lived through one of the richest periods in American culture. He was a young man in twenties and he went out to dance halls, he enjoyed what there was to see and do in New York. But he didn’t think it was of any value, he completely revered European culture, which, I guess, if I’d been around then, I probably would have too.
The Paris Review, Summer 2010
Miami is a Technicolor city, especially in neighborhoods like Liberty City and Little Haiti, where the architecture unfolds like a graphic novel of black culture and history, painted in murals on storefronts and awnings and under overpasses. Buildings of almost every color are splashed with visages of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and now Barack Obama. You recognize a barbershop because a barbershop scene is painted on the storefront. Chitterlings, oxtail, wigs—everything inside is advertised without, and through a language painted in fits of color, in every breed of typeface, the city advertises a tough, bright psyche.
– Paul Reyes, “Opportunity Knocks”
Sometime Missoulian and author of Personal Record and The Pig and I Rachel Toor reviews one of my favorite books of 2008, William Davies King’s Collections of Nothing, in the new issue of Ploughshares (now in stock).
If you care to peruse our fine selection of literary journals, you may come across the following in these new arrivals:
In Harvard Review (#36) a story by Sarah A. Strickland (“A Dark Turn”) that TOTALLY KICKS ASS. I had not heard of Strickland, but I believe she is vastly talented, and this story is worth reading. Harvard Review — I’ve said this before — is — at just $10! — a tremendous value.
In Fence #21 (Spring/Summer 2009) a poem (p. 136) by Missoula’s own (at least for this season) Steffen Brown.
In the new Brick (Summer 2009) an illustration by Missoula artist Andy Smetanka (p. 167) Also in Brick, an interview with the late Donald Westlake.
Adam Gopnik writes about John Updike.
Naomi Klein on being mad as hell.
Matt Taibbi on the ridiculous Thomas Friedman.
Arresting sentence of the week:
Tanya Slaughter looks at me with I don’t give a shit eyes, gets off her bike.
– Nicola Keegan, Swimming, a novel (forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf, July 2009)
Anyone else got an arresting sentence to report?
In the previous post we had Unferth, Stoker, and Pollock: the best law firm anyone could ever ask for. Now let’s turn to some recommendations that emphasize affordability (under $20).
It’s tough to imagine a better comic review of the Bush years than David Rees‘s Get Your War On: The Definitive Account of the War on Terror, 2001-2008 (Soft Skull Press; $15.95). Introduction by Matt Taibbi! I hope someone gets this for me. I want it so very much. It is so good, so funny, so addictive, you could even give it to your conservative Bible Belt father-in-law, just to test his mettle.
Next up is The Best American Essays 2008, ed. by Adam Gopnik (Houghton; $14.00). I am not crazy about the drab cover this year, but it’s still a great collection. You can give these things away like popcorn. Get some colorful wrapping paper, though, to compensate for that cover.
Next, have you ever thought about giving someone one or more of the many fine literary journals produced here in the states? I direct your attention to the Fall 2008 N+1 ($11.95), now on sale. Essays, poems, commentary, reviews. These journals tend to be high in content and low in price, so you get excellent value. Add a subscription to sweeten the deal — the gift keeps on giving. Yesss. There’s a journal for every interest. We carry several.
OK, next: more faves of 2008 (Pearson, Taibbi, etc.) and a look at Susie Bright’s X: The Erotic Treasury.
Note: we are pleased to announce that Shakespeare & Co. gift certificates may now be purchased online.