Sunday, February 26, 2012
Seaver's book is in two parts. His life as an magazine/literary editor and his first sighting of Samuel Beckett as well as with the wild man of alt-lit Alex Trocchi - his partner in crime at the time. Its a very heady and beautiful portrait of Paris in the late 1950's and it has that romantic tinge that makes one want to re-live or re-imagine his life in the Left Bank.
The second part deals with his life at Grove Press - the revolutionary and super cool publishing house controlled by the late great Barney Rosset. Here we have the relationship between the two guys plus people like Maurice Girodias, who is a great character in life and literature. For those who consider themselves book nerds or anyone who is interested in the cultural history of publishing - Seaver's book is extremely important. This is what one may call a keeper.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Dear Mr. Hemon,
I've gone to bed with you every night for months (first there was The Lazarus Project, then The Question of Bruno, now Nowhere Man) and subsequently, I suffer from the delusion, shared by people in love, that I will never find anyone else who makes me feel the way that you do -- no one whose prose satisfies me the way that your prose satisfies me. I have felt this way before, and when it ends, as it must, there are always a few unsuccessful liaisons (very nice books, but) before I find some new author to be faithful to, for at least as long as their novels last. I am sure that you will make other readers very happy, and I am only jealous of their ignorance of you, the pleasure of opening you for the first time.
At least, there is comfort in the knowledge that I can return to you, in a few years, when I am older and perhaps wiser. Rereading your body of work with my new hypothetical wisdom, I may grow to feel that my previous affection was merely childish infatuation compared to the depth of feeling that suffuses me in this hypothetical future. Still, in the midst of a passionate one-sided literary affair, I find it hard to imagine it ending. To clumsily paraphrase you, you are like everybody else because there is no one like you.