arms, legs, books 

All that matters out here is wind. It gives distance.

So do arms, on rock, hunting for seams and pockets hidden to eyes, sometimes touch unused to tactile seeking.

The sun is playing hide & seek out here too, leaving us damp in the trees, reading overpriced used books and craving the dry that will bring enough friction.

Avoiding email like the plague.

Don DeLillo's The Body Artist is empty, in three voices, distant, marked by absence, and short. It is less profound and full of meaning--as the critics praise--than devoid of it, but self-consciously so in an awkward way. Of course it is about language, but so is all DeLillo, if not all of literature. It is also about a suicide, a conversation, a woman performance artist, time and a timeless man. Its punctuality is at times as frustrating as it is searching, and I like that, for although it is never late, it is perhaps ahead of its time. Best read in one sitting, but better re-read.

HST requires some re-reading too.

Generation of Swine is HST's '80s book, the collected columns for the San Francisco Examiner. Reading it today reveals precisely accurate predictions on George Bush (corrupt, dodgy, even a side reference to Halliburton), the failure of incisive journalism in regards to Iran/Contra, and an unfortunately unerring analysis of the self-destruction of the Democrat party. It starts slow, although once Thompson gets into his swing with uncannily accurate betting statistics on political futures, his sentences can't be stopped by a pack of bloodthirsty wild boars--or Pat Buchanan. What better way to enumerate the politics of the '80s ?

A must read to reposition George the Second's apparent destiny. And doublespeak: HST often tells the opposite tale, in a thinly-veiled cynicism that cuts like a bullwhip, to undermine the enemy (or subject its laws to such extravagance that it becomes monstrous, yet somehow all-too-normal in the logic he spells out). Many of these columns are wrapped in political allegory and metaphor (such as his story of trapping and feathering a red fox--which he has to point out is allegory, to avoid an investigation of animal harassment; yet even this story is difficult to verify--did he really receive complaints? Or was the animal story true all along as well as a metaphor? HST always did seem to act out his stories rather than just fictionalize pure imagination).

Next: original edition of Abbie Hoffman's Woodstock Nation, "A Talk-Rock Book."

Whereas drugs appeared to work for HST, they didn't for Abbie. 

posted. Fri - July 8, 2005 @ 09:17 AM           |