brothercyst: November 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

PLEASING: Today I saw There Will Be Blood.

This reminds me a lot of that sex story I wrote for $500. Even the random use of second person. I should do that again. That money paid for a flight to France. Related: Alicia Erian is great.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The warmth outside the window this week feels eerie. The soundtrack for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is so lovely it changes your brain a little. VN's "Perfection" and "The Vane Sisters" get better with each reading. Live Free or Die Hard is modestly entertaining but an insult to the aesthetic of the Die Hard series. This year's Best New Voices contributors, who just read at KGB, are very good, particularly Jedidiah Berry and Oriane Delfosse. Day job=numbness. Cold is good, and riding the subway on cold days can be pleasant.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

a review of a concert my dad produced at the national gallery of art; i went home for this last weekend.

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here are three strangelets. the main character in strangelets is named Brian but some sections focus on other people or things.






Monday, November 12, 2007

.




There is your life as you know it and also as others know it, perhaps incorrectly, but to which some importance must be attached. It is difficult to realize that you are observed from a number of points and the sum of them has validity.

—James Salter, Burning the Days




Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Winter Was Hard" in Short Fiction

I wrote like four sentences last night and I can't even remember what they were. I was writing for an hour and produced half a paragraph. Alarming.

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Copies of "Short Fiction" magazine came from the UK; it has a story of mine called "Winter Was Hard" in it. The magazine looks good, much better than most literary magazines. There is a weird illustration accompanying the story. I scanned some pages. Click for big.

Helen O. introduces the story:



Title page:


Illustration:


First page:

Monday, November 05, 2007

people sobbing in public; Quiet Girl

It's disconcerting to see someone overcome with emotion in a public place. A week or two ago I was walking to work through Times Square and an elderly man walked past me with his face all screwed up in tears, just openly crying. The first thing I thought of was how several years ago in New Haven, near the corner of Park and Chapel, I walked past a restaurant and saw a young Indian guy crouched on the ground outside sobbing. There was nobody else nearby and the guy's face was in his knees so he didn't see me. The image always upsets me. The fact that the guy was just sitting on the street... there's something really unpleasant about the idea of being blindsided by emotional catastrophe so suddenly that you don't even have the time or opportunity to completely isolate yourself and deal with it.

This morning when I went into the subway station I thought about both those incidents again because there was a middle-aged guy in a suit sitting on the stairs and sobbing. A cop came over to him and gently said, "Are you okay?... What's the matter?... What happened?" I didn't hear his answer, if there was one (and if I had heard it, I doubt I would write it here anyway). I'd rather not know.

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Here's a Washington Post review of The Quiet Girl, which I reviewed last week and thought was fucking awesome. Regarding the protagonist:

Kasper is erudite, self-confident, enchanting and vegetarian. The scenes where he finagles his way past security guards, secretaries and other gatekeepers -- particularly women -- are breathtaking in their audacity and humor.

Indeed. This is seriously the most I've enjoyed any novel in a very long time and I can't recommend it strongly enough.

(Update: a Bookslut reviewer hated it.)