Reading Myself to Sleep
What's currently cluttering Brenner's bedroom, bookwise.
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
5:48PM, Tue. May 13, 2008
Somewhere nearby, possibly beyond the two filing cabinets and a pile of dirty laundry, lies the corpse of modern literature – mainstream and genre fiction, essays, magazines, graphic novels, Xeroxed zines, nonfiction tomes on every imaginable subject – and, before it fell to whatever angle of repose framed it in death, the side of my bed is where that body of works was rather hastily disemboweled.
At least, this is what the (bearded, vaguely sour-smelling) forensics detectives tell me, extrapolating backwards from what evidence is available.
What have we got, among the ichor this week? Michael Chabon's Yiddish Policemen's Union, perhaps too recently mentioned in this blog (but, fuck it, the novel's strange and gorgeous and employs similes sweeter than a Filipino donut dipped in honey), of which a scant 25 pages are left before the gumshoe-and-gefilte-fish narrative's fully devoured. There's Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, which we're halfway through (and have been halfway through for approximately eight months) and are extremely happy about, especially as T.P.'s previous effort, Vineland, really was a (relatively) lame-ass cartoon of a book (as a lot of the critics had warned), whereas Mason & Dixon returns to the glorious overloads of brilliance and complexity of V. and Gravity's Rainbow and will serve as an appetizer for the daunting feast called Against the Day (which hasn't even made it bedside, yet, but remains on the top shelf of the livingroom's largest bookcase).
David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is lurking beneath the night-table again, having been returned to bedside status after we learned that that guy from the American version of "The Office" is making a movie out of some of those Interviews.
Right, so there's also the latest issue of Cabinet magazine, featuring a theme of "sloth," which starts the second year of the subscription gifted to me by sweetheart Katherine – a rather Bookish Person (to put it mildly) in her own right – and which we've only skimmed through, so far, as there's that Chabon pulling so fiercely at our attentions lately. Not to mention the zine called Blurt #2 by Lewis Houston, Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart, A. L. Kennedy's Day, a couple volumes of Naruto, a recent Wired magazine, an issue of Saveur from sometime last year, several One Story chapbooks, and Jonathan Barker's No-Nonsense Guide to Terrorism, part of a series of such Guides from Verso.
There's also – ah, hold on, the Internet is ringing. Lemme take this call and I'll BRB.