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Showing posts from April, 2011

Sketch Fragment 1

Step outside into the crisp bright morning with a case of Coors and a garden hose. 

"No thanks, I would not like to make a donation."  Kiddy crooks with their scam candy bars.

Squinting into the sand-laden gusts of a swirling Santa Ana, I consider that I won't technically be watering the abundant wildflowers in neon-bloom later today, but I might be soon urinating on them lots of clear beer piss.  Wonder if wildflowers, out in the jeep track Mojave middle of nowhere, can get drunk off a case of second-hand Coors?

Approach a woman pushing a double-wide baby stroller on the way to my car.  Fuck.  Her big eyes bloodshot, the whites popping out from the crusted filth of her face.  Another homeless head case.  How about trying Goodwill, Lady, it's called the Salvation Army, isn't it?  Her smile's forlorn; afro unkempt, even with a comb stuck in it (and who knows what else she's got stashed in that hedge).  She's got a khaki coat on, denim shorts and pink …

Some opening observations on Émile Zola, and his novel, Lourdes

Émile Zola hasn't been discussed much in my reading circles of friends, and I think it's time I helped correct that oversight.



I do recall Zola's name coming up frequently during a group read of Frank Norris' now dated, The Octopus: A Story of California, in late 2009, with its obvious naturalistic influence and homage paid to Zola, but besides that experience, I know very little about Zola's work, but am intrigued to know more by the little I've gleaned lately.  So, oh you dear single-digits-of-readers-of-mine, please do share your insights and reading experiences you've had with this writer (leave me a comment, in other words), a writer whom for the first half of the twentieth century was largely forgotten/ignored/not taken seriously, by the English speaking world.



I recently began reading Lourdes (1894), the first novel in Zola's lesser known Les Trois Villes sequence, (lesser known next to the twenty novels comprising his famous Les Rougon-Macquart…

On the Novels of E. L. Doctorow, and On Finding His Little Known Play Drinks Before Dinner

E.L. Doctorow doesn't need an introduction.  But I'd like to give him one anyway.  Because I love him, as my LibraryThing pal, slickdpdx, recently remarked of me, "in a beer commercial way".  So, skip the first five paragraphs if you'd rather commence straight to what little I've got to say about the play if you're not interested in E. L. Doctorow's novels.

For the last half century, E. L. Doctorow has crafted iconic novel after iconic novel.  He's won and/or been nominated for every award worth mentioning, except the Pulitzer, and thank heavens he's never been undeservedly cursed by that awful accolade and seen the ensuing quality of his output, post-Pulitzer, shrivel up like a frozen scrotum.  He's been dissected and discussed in universities worldwide.  More impressively, he's actually been read worldwide, and not just by members in society of the academic intelligentsia variety (persnickety professor-types, if you'll humour th…