stone reader (1 Viewer)


Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
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there was a documentary film out in 2002 called Stone Reader. it tells the story of a film maker who reads a book called The Stones of Summer by Dow Mossman, written in 1972. the book was very well received by the NYTimes Book Review. the film maker, Mark Moscowitz develops a minor obsession for the book and tries to find more books by Mossman, only to find he had never published anything else and had fallen off the literary map.

Moscowitz goes on a hunt to find Mossman and when he does track him down, he finds Mossman living in his recently dead mother's house, a retired welder now working as a newspaper bagger. the house is filled with books and notepaper and pictures of racing dogs. Mossman himself is a frenetic eccentric, talking in wild tangents. upon the release of his book, he suffered a nervous breakdown of sorts and dropped out.

anyway, how does this relate to Bukowski.

I read the book and loved it. it's nothing like Bukowski's work. it's full of dense prose, symbols and recurring themes. and it's about 600 pages long. but I loved it. then I found out about the film, rented it and loved that also.
so I had to buy the film. I went on the interweb and found a limited edition 3 disc version available through Moskowitz's website. I bought it. it's full of bonus features and easter eggs and facsimile letters, etc.

anyway, I'm watching the 3rd disc and there's some bonus footage of Moscowitz's interview with Mossman. then, out of the blue, in the middle of one of his tangents, Mossman comes out with this:

I told you the last book I've been reading was Factotum, which I read 10 years ago. I picked it up 2 days ago and it blew me away. I mean, it's like he breaks proletariat reality and puts it back together in his own way. It's the most original thing I ever read. And it's clear- only a poet can do that. He's made a complete break and put it back together in the first line and you got a whole new world. There's working class novels behind that but they're not even related to that. It's just an entirely new snap of imagination, you know what I mean? I forgot that that was that pure a thing. I look for something like that. I look for totally original. I mean, who wouldn't, you know? Well, I mean, that's just uh, I don't know, masterpiece is way short a word for that.

now, why should we care what a once forgotten novelist thinks about Bukowski. I don't know, maybe we shouldn't care. I just thought that someone who writes more like Malcolm Lowry and James Joyce and who loves Shakespeare could love Factotum so much was pretty cool. I had to rewind it to make sure he said Factotum, because he only says the title once and never mentions Bukowski by name. but there it was.

anyway, I highly recommend the film if you love books. which I'm sure you do.
fair warning, the book is one of those that splits readers. one half "holy fuck this is a masterpiece," the other half "holy fuck how can you read this overwritten pretentious shit."

so, don't come lookin' for me with knives out. dig?


but I can almost universally recommend the documentary.
it's all good man! if I don't like it, I won't finish it. They can't all be as concise as Bukowski!!CRB

Hey, just outta' curiosity, is Mossman from New York?CRB
The reason I asked is becuase there was/is a guy named TAM Mossman that was an editor for Prentice-Hall for meny years during the 70's. Just the weirdness of those first names made me wonder if they're related. CRB

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