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Buy the books on Amazon, and watch videos of some readings.   Please.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

Took a quick day to re-read this favorite of my adolescence, in these viral days. Still just as good. Great movie too.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Re-reading Waiting for Godot after all these years, in the midst of finishing up Deirdre Bair's biography of Beckett, I'm struck by the simplicity and insistence of the text. Generations now have tried to apply some sort of symbolic system on the play: it's about slavery, it's about the existence of God, it's about communism. Beckett himself always rejected all these sorts of filters, arguing, as a poet might, that it's about the words. Concentrate on the words and exclude ideology, and the weirdness of the words and characters and situation create their own system.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg

A little of the film SUNSET BOULEVARD, a little Damon Runyon, a little MISS LONELYHEARTS: a stunning book about Hollywood, and the American rags to riches process.

The music took the old sweet melodies and twisted them like hairpins.

It was right in the groove that Hollywood had been geared for, slick, swift and clever. What Kit calls the Golden Rut.

...if he don't like the fifty bucks, he can crap in his hat, pull it over his head and call it curls.

'He ran around behind the bleachers so he should beat the camera,' Mrs. Glickstein explained.

from Schulberg's Afterword, about the uproar the book caused in the industry, BS's father to Louis Mayer: "For Christ's sake, Louie, he's the only novelist who ever came from Hollywood. Where the hell are you going to deport him, Catalina Island?"