Was It Good for You?
The year in books
The year in books, sure, we can wrap it up just like that, all lickety-split and Chaucer's-your-uncle, right? Readah, please.
Remember, though, the Harry Ransom Center's exhaustive and illuminating "From Out That Shadow" exhibition (presented in conjunction with the University of Virginia but built mostly from the HRC's vast holdings) documenting the life and works and death of that genre genius and social reprobate Edgar Allan Poe; recall literary fabulist Margaret Atwood headlining (as they say in the biz) the Texas Book Festival in support of her post-apocalyptic thriller The Year of the Flood: A Novel (Nan A. Talese); access memory of a new Thomas Pynchon opus (Inherent Vice: A Novel) with a plot carousing its quirky characters through a Seventies version of Raymond Chandlerland, the ubiquitous and seemingly eternal Kirkus Reviews going belly up among other gasping concerns in the economy's fetid fish tank, former Austinite Michael Schaub editing his first issue of Bookslut.com, the garish travesty of celluloid adaptation visited upon Alan Moore's acclaimed Watchmen, the milieu of Charles Dickens brought vividly to local stages via improvisations by Parallelogramophonograph, and e-books finally coming into their own with the Kindle and other user-friendly devices.
Also, despite that much of the year was spent in intense training under the mentorship of a voodoo houngan and in the informative company of several aged herbalists, the bio-mystical machinations undertaken after those studies proved insufficient to restore vitality to even the most potentially viable corpse, and so our plans, our grand scheme toward organic reanimation, has failed, and thus David Foster Wallace is still dead and will likely remain so and, as far as modern letters go, oh, how that continues to totally, relentlessly suck.