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Old 10-18-2006, 10:50 AM
JRT (Offline)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 650
Thanks: 31
Thanks 29

Jillian: Sorry for the joking around, but you got my point, which, of course, is just a matter of personal preference. May I be so bold, however, to suggest that you not use "Mélange," so your readers—presumably ones who know a little about half-pints and hand guns—do not need to stop reading and run for the dictionary.

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." Faulkner (about Hemingway)
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" Hemingway (about Faulkner)

No, on Amy Hempel? Here’s a News Release from Bennington College:

Bennington’s Graduate Writing program core faculty member Amy Hempel has inspired a virtual standing ovation from critics, authors, and readers alike with her new book The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, published by Scribners.

The New York Times Book Review begins, “This could be a very short review. Read this book.” It doesn’t end there. O, The Oprah Magazine writes, “There are writers who pull you along in deep, satisfying drafts of narrative and human color; then there are writers who, sentence by sentence, cause you to stop breathing. Hempel leads the latter group.” Publisher’s Weekly defines “Hempel’s genius, whether in first or third person, is to make her characters’ feelings completely integral to the scenes they inhabit; her terse descriptions become elegantly telegraphic—and telepathic—reportage, with not a word wasted and not a single fact embellished."

Novelist Chuck Palahniuk, who admitted to spending $75 on a copy of her first edition hard cover, observes, “Each story is so tight, so boiled to bare facts, that all you can do is lie on the floor, face down, and praise it.” The New York Times concludes, “You read her stories and wonder, ‘Why are they so wonderful?’ The answer comes to you at the very end of this volume, in a line toward the close of “Offertory.” “Because a human being made this.”

Infernal Joe? Here’s an excerpt from the “The Horrible Happy Life Of Joe Coleman,” a brief article by Steve Appleford, LA City Beat:

Coleman has been called an “outsider” artist, a folk artist, a primitive, a post-post-modernist, a master, a menace. The paintings are easy to read and, for many, nightmares difficult to forget. The subject is often violence and dementia, serial killers and cultural antiheroes, from Charles Manson to Hank Williams to Harry Houdini. They are rich with color and careful draftsmanship, showing touches of figurative Renaissance painting wrapped in the pop-pulp horror of EC Comics. And they are like American folk art in their fixation with details – dense with information, every available space crowded, nothing wasted.

Fear is very much on the minds of Americans in the post-9/11 world, but Coleman’s work is a brutal reminder that fear has always been with us. Now it is functioning like a talisman or an encyclopedia. When a man’s work has comprised unspeakable acts – paintings of autopsies, biting the heads off live mice, strapping explosives to his chest and blowing himself up in public (in a strange pre-figuration of Palestinian suicide bombings that would start years later) – it gives the unspeakable a dark language.

Now thanks for giving me the opportunity for another plug, and these plugs are an attempted gift for you based upon what I've seen you write. How about Benjamin Weissman? Here’s a brief description from Consortium:

"Headless is fearless, fun, and sometimes filthy . . . an alphabet soup of delight in language. Eat up."—Alice Sebold

"Brilliant. Wildly inventive, profane, and hilarious."—Bret Easton Ellis

The author of the acclaimed cult classic Dear Dead Person ("refreshing, nauseating, hilarious"—Kirkus) returns with this long-awaited collection of brilliantly written and outrageously imaginative short stories.

Benjamin Weissman is the author of Dear Dead Person (High Risk/Serpent’s Tail, 1995). He is a contributing editor to Bomb Magazine and writes regularly for the contemporary art magazines Parkett and Artforum. A painter and a professor at Art Center College of Design and Otis College of the Arts, he now lives in Los Angeles.


P.S. Weissman's "Dear Dead Person" collection and Hempel's "Collected Stories" are must reads, just as Peckinpah's "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" is a must see, no matter what the critics said about that masterpiece from the master.

P.P.S. Now, guess who's my favorite author? The unborn daughter of Amy Hempell and the mixed clone of Benjamin Weissman and Sam Peckinpah.

Sorry for ranting! These people excite me! Oh, wait a minute, how about Harry Crews?

Last edited by JRT; 10-18-2006 at 04:14 PM..
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