Friday, August 12, 2005

"We drank up the dregs of the sixties."

Two literary links reelin' in the years :

Smoking Dope With Thomas Pynchon: A Sixties Memoir by Andrew Gordon (link from Bookslut)

and

Homeless and High by Denis Johnson

5 comments:

Tom said...

I can't comment on the suggestions you've made here, but I'd like to wax on the book you gave me when last we met. I practically flew through "Watch" by Danvers, until the last chapter or so. I wouldn't say it was science fiction or at least most of it wasn't hard sci-fi, but I did enjoy the book a lot. Thanks again.

I'm now into Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" and here again, a sci-fi writer has taken to writing a softer version. Reading Gibson's like reading poetry, for me. His richly descriptive and metaphorical style is hard to read, honestly, but so rewarding at times. I recall vaguely reading a line in one of his other books, it was at the start of a new chapter. I read it, and re-read it several times, absolutely enraptured in the visuals it evoked in me. Literature should be full of moments like those.

So last night, I was listening to music on my new Grados, some Cocteau Twins from a decade back. Their music is so ethereal and lush and atmospheric, Elizabeth Frasier's vocals are simply another layer of the musical landscape, and almost impossible to decipher. So I get online to a lyric search, and read along with the songs as I'm listening. Sort of removed some of the magic of the experience for me, I'm sorry to say. One should enjoy such media in the form it is presented, and maybe not search for the actual meaning - let whatever it means to YOU at the time suffice.

DarkoV said...

Re.: Andrew Gordon's piece. The detailed memories he lists intertwined with historic events and specific and real people, all reeled back form years spent in haze, purple or otherwise, brings a grin to the lips. Jiving! But a read-happy jive it is. The 60's were a loveable mess, which is hard to believe considering all of the bloodshed, assassinations, and out-of-mind confusion that seemed so prevalent. Had he shared a joint with Pynchon? Not as important as the thought that he had.

Whisky Prajer said...

Tom - You, and anyone else, are free to comment on anything read or seen not touched on by my postings! The final chapter of Dennis Danvers' The Watch kind of lost me. Until then, I was completely with him. This might sound a bit odd on the face of it (and odder still for me to admit to enjoying this trait), but Danvers is a first-rate romance writer. In The Watch he manages the incredible feat of drawing a reader into not just an interpersonal romance, but into a romance of ideas as well, specifically: what might Kropotkin's anarchy look like if the man himself were transported to present-day USA? The bulk of the book was so compelling, I wanted it to keep steaming along to the thunderous conclusion it deserved. Having it end so abruptly was probably one reason why I was so disappointed with the last couple of chapters.

As for Gibson, I gave Pattern Recognition, but quickly cooled on it. I might give it another go, because he seemed to be building a Neal Stephenson (and Thomas Pynchon - heh) sort of concept going that I kind of liked. I used to be wildly enthusiastic about his writing - he was good to me in my 20s, and I enjoyed his ever expanding sense of dislocation, particularly as he etched it in Neuromancer (still can't make heads or tails out of its conclusion). You've probably already read this in the pages of Wired, but I thought I should post it just in case.

DV - Gordon is the cheerful antithesis of DJ, I thought. I missed out on the 60s, but rather liked the two (in some ways equally goofy and paranoid) points of view.

Tom said...

In fact, I had read that piece by WG in Wired. I think it was in the issue featuring the Gorillaz on the cover. Rip, Remix, Burn. I have reread the interview of the Gorillaz by Neil Gaiman several times(I've read a few of NG's books). I'm not familiar with their music, but I am looking forward to riffing off their ideas. And, whataya know, I happen to have a few drum machines and a keyboard lying around. I just need to figure out how to make some funk... maybe trip-hop!

Not sure if I'm making sense right now... I've been working overtime for the past 2 hours. Time to leave and start my week of vacation.

Rudolph Crandall said...

Very interesting.