Jealousie and Le Mis-en-Scène

7e56b9f0-9ab0-0132-a2c4-0e6808eb79bfOne of my favorite and most admired novels is Jealousie by Alain Robbe-Grillet. I first met Robbe-Grillet on a back-shelf at Papa Bach: the cover of the Grove paperback of Le Voyeur showing a beautiful naked woman surreptitiously through a bedroom window. I read Le Voyeur and La Maison de Rendez-vous at that time as if they were some new kind of literary magic that I didn’t understand but which I was certain contained hidden treasure.

It wasn’t until I read Jealousie that I began to understand what I eventually learned was the nouveau roman. Jealousie was the key to the magic.

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Ever Been In Rehab?

24e07088-c872-4086-b202-b28af6d27b8eAre you addicted to something or someone? J.T.S.Brown? Oxycontin? Chocolate Fudge Cake? Michelle Williams? Barnyard Smells? Do you have an addictive personality (like the man who walked into the All-You-Can-Eat restaurant and said, “I’ll take two”)? Do addictions amplify our lives or do we engage in our addictions to hide from living?

Have you ever been to rehab?

The newest issue of Tin House Magazine (Volume 18, Number 3) addresses some of these questions with excellent writing on the subject. I urge you to find a copy (or get a subscription) to expand your awareness of the world of rehab and addiction in a very literary manner.

Get addicted to Tin House Magazine.

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Fat City

images.jpgLeave out the magic realism and switch from Albany, New York, to Stockton, California, and you might think you were reading William Kennedy. Leonard Gardener’s Fat City, despite the comparison to another excellent American author, is on it’s own a very good book.

If you know California, Stockton is not Sacramento; not San Francisco; not even San Jose. It is, however, an important hub for the commerce of California as a part of the major San Francisco economic zone. But Stockton has had its share of tough times. Wikipedia provides a depressing list of recent ills:

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