What Are You Reading?

New Grub Street by George Gissing published 1891 always try and get through a classic? once a year usually struggle, but chomped my way through this one, set in London's Publishing land of the late 19th Century with a group of writers facing both success and failure.
Moving ,funny, heartbreaking and feels very contemporary and fresh.

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
In keeping with my usual "nothing or just about everything" philosophy, I'm deep into Archie Hill's A Cage of Shadows, Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (3rd read since about 1985) and Sylvia Plath's The Collected Poems. I'm also musing about a dichotomously comparative essay on Sylvia Plath and our own Henry Charles Bukowski. Sounds absolutely daft, dunnit? You'd be surprised. But probably won't be when I don't get around to actually writing it.
Recently finished:
Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler, part of my every-so-often re-reading of all 7 Marlowe novels. He certainly practiced what he preached, i.e., a consummate stylist. Some great lines/passages as usual.

Disturbing the Peace by Richard Yates, my penultimate book of the 7 Yates novels. I've read that this novel "was dismissed by critics as his weakest book" but this may be my second favorite, after Revolutionary Road. Following the breakdown of an alcoholic was riveting and sad. And the fact that it's based on Yate's actual breakdown made it more poignant/harrowing.

Next up:
Young Hearts Crying by Richard Yates. This is my last of the 7 Yates novels to be read. I almost don't want to start it for that reason...
Just finished "The Story of the Eye" by Georges Bataille...and I have absolutely no idea why this book is deemed important. After a few weeks of exploring "subversive" French literature, reading Salo by De Sade and Journey by Celine this month, I've concluded that it isn't something I'm into. Journey and Salo left me extremely bored and outside of their historical context I'm not sure what has made these books endure like they have. Story of the Eye left me disinterested and outside of its link to Bataille and his other more important philosophical writings I'm not sure what the big deal is. I was ecstatic to find a copy of Pierre Guyotat's out of print "Eden Eden Eden" which chronicles his experience being imprisoned in a literal fucking hole in the ground for something like three months after attempting to abandon the military during the Algerian war. But of course when I received it...it was in French so I guess that's that. Vive Le France!
Is there anyone who can maybe tell me what I'm missing here or what went over my head?
Hi Hooch, with very little prodding, I could agree with you. After reading Road, I was blown away by the quality of the prose. But after Peace, I was blown away by the writing (of course) and the brutal honesty and rawness.

I just also picked up the Twayne's Author series book on Yates for $4 off of ebay in nice shape (sans DJ).
Just finished this. Robert Evans was a heavy hitter in New Hollywood. Tight with Nicholson, Polanski, Beatty... Produced Rosemary's Baby, Godfather, Chinatown... Was head of production at Paramount when he was 30. Had A LOT of wives too. McQueen stole one of them (Ali MacGraw) and then McQueen tried to take custody of their kid. Lawyers got involved and Evans brought in some muscle. There was a phonebook thick dossier of background info on McQueen - when McQueen and his lawyer saw it they turned ashen and left and never bothered Evans again. Would love to know what was in that stack of papers.

He also had a great term for a lot of $$$ - he called it "fuck you money."

evans book.jpg
'A Time of Gifts',..Patrick Leigh Fermor.
In 1934, the 18 year old English/Irish Eaton drop-out, decides to become a 'road scholar'.
He packs his bag and walks from the northern tip of Holland to.....Constantinople.
Rhein upwards (south), then hangs a left and follows the 🎶 Schöne Blue Danube 🎶
across central europe.
A high-nose literary, by Bukowski-standards; he shares Charles' red-nose appreciation for
hops, barley, and fermented grapes,..as well as literature, lace skirts, and black humour.
It's one of those books that is sööö good(!), it forces you to read it slow!

p.s.: the titled was pulled from the poem 'Twelfth Night', by Louis MacNeice
"For now the time of gifts is gone –
O boys that grow, O snows that melt,
O bathos that the years must fill –
Here is dull earth to build upon
Undecorated; we have reached
Twelfth Night or what you will … you will."


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Over 1000 posts
Reading The Rage by Gene Kerrigan & loving it. Read one other of his, The Midnight Choir. It's great as well.