Good News; Bad News

9780143105138_p0_v2_s1200x630Despite a recent significant hiatus in my reading, I am about half-way through The Aeneid and enjoying it far more than even the greatest Science Fiction novel. However, I am reading the Fagles edition and definitely feel it is too modern and popularized for my taste. I did study classical literature at university and developed a preference  for the more classical translations. Thus I naturally lean towards Richard Lattimore than John Fagles.

Of course this is squishy ground since I do stoop to reading any translation. If I were a purist (or elitist) I suppose I would read The Aeneid in Latin as Virgil intended; however, both my Latin and Greek suck (despite a concentrated one quarter cram course in both languages).

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I Can Give You Anything But Love

indiana-garyGary Indiana had an unusual career, as a writer, filmmaker, visual artist, actor and playwright. He briefly studied at UC Berkeley but dropped out to help a friend make pornographic films. After soaking up the sunshine noir and punk scene of 1970s Los Angeles, he moved to New York City and settled into a cheap East Village apartment — the same one he lives in today. Since 1987, Indiana has published novels, nonfiction, plays, short stories — all with an unmistakable, sardonic voice embedded in the text, and all experimenting with the traditions of form.

The title of his latest memoir, I Can Give You Anything but Love is “really about disconnection between sexual desire and love, in my life,” Indiana says. A graphic and funny memoir, it finds the author reinventing yet another genre — this time using his own personal narrative. He becomes the connective tissue that binds together a diaspora of subcultures: the beatnik-era experimental writing and happenings of downtown New York, the 1960s co-opted counterculture gone awry, the punk movement that followed, and the art and intellectual circles of the Reagan ’80s, when the AIDs crisis was wiping out a generation of young gay men like him.

(revised from the introduction to an interview with Indiana by J.C. Gabel in the L. A. Times.)

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Twenty Contemporary Authors

images-1.jpgSeveral months back I realized that there are quite a few relatively contemporary authors that are not on everyone’s reading list. One clue to this phenomenon was that the best-seller and must read lists being published around the internet and even on ink & paper publications seemed to contain the same dozen or so authors month after month with only a few new authors touted, often because their first novels either came out of some prestigious creative writing school or because they followed the rules of popular fiction espoused by the more established and possibly less imaginative best-selling authors.

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