W. Kandinsky: "There are no 'musts' in art." T.S. Eliot: "There is no freedom in art." Dostoievski character, after the ancient Middle East epigram: "Everything is permitted." (R-rated weblog. Since one has been advised there is no Literature anymore, or even literature, only writing, one proceeds on the premise that this weblog qualifies as not-meaningless, since it is, or appears to be, a form of "writing." Image: Banksy.)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
We're killing time waiting to go see Gone Baby Gone at the H. Square theater and so I thought I'd post a couple of sentences from G. Sorrentino's Little Casino, a novel I read yesterday: "He had, as a matter of fact, not even thought of her for eleven years, and here he was, in a saloon's phone booth, calling her up. People are, for the most part, utterly absurd. This is proven over and over again . . . . She [not the woman called, just some unnamed character] became very nervous about secondhand cigar smoke, and was appalled to learn, from her daily newspaper's Health and You section, that most ciigar smoke has a carcinogenic half-life of 40,000 years, the same as refined sugar . . . . She was doubtful that the United States Army was a violent organization, but shocked to learn that a survey of non-commissioned officers named one of television news's most vivacioius, wholesome, and courageously hard-hitting personalities 'a piece of ass' . . . . Still, she was somewhat surprised to be apprised of the probability that poor and powerless people, especially of dark skin, are sometimes treated with rudeness, force, and even brutality by police officers, not one of whom cares about the very high levels of LDL cholesterol in crisp chicken skin." There, that's killed some time. I was just sitting on the couch reading some awful David Ignatow poems and thinking that I may have to strike him from the Books list on my web log Profile. Sorrentino is sometimes hilarious but sometimes makes the fatal mistake of just being "silly" and it grates. Nonetheless I have the feeling I'm going to buy another of his novels after the movie tonight. What's truly fascinating about Little Casino is the postscript to each chapter, written in a different typeface (sans serif) than the chapter proper, a new "post-avant" twist that I found highly absorbing. I didn't like the typeface of the chapters proper, it was too small and the letters to inconsequentially thin looking, and I found myself impatient to get through the chapters because what I really wanted to read was the postscript commentary, which is or was usually a spoof on academic scholia. Solitary laughter over an inanimate object, a book. How rewarding and how absurd.
Posted by Richard McNally at 6:22 PM
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