Tuesday, April 8, 2008

POSTHUMOUS pleasure?


Again, I am moving into the posthumous life Edward Dahlberg talked about in 1970 in his windowless apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. There would be the necessary ironic moment of public recognition of Dahlberg with the publication of his confessions in that year but by the time of his death (1977) even the New York Times obituary managed to avoid mentioning his BECAUSE I WAS FLESH.


Not for no reason have I been thinking of Dahlberg as it is now three weeks that a publisher has had a manuscript. True to most publishers I am sure the manuscript is in a pile. The occasion for requesting it a little dim so now it is just one of those things. Too much experience of being in publishers' offices or in book review section offices and noticing the piles and piles and how whim directs the hand to whatever is right in front of a person.


Of course it is hard to face the truth that all of life is whim, accident... thus the elaborate schemes to describe, to falsify...


To forget the whim, the accident is the sitting down to write. At lunch yesterday with the Asst Consul General of Norway the talk turned to blogs and while she admitted that she was too old-fashioned to really be able to read these blogs she still wondered why one would write them?


He---to distance myself from the I who does this--- turned to the blog as a physical reminder of his own powerlessness but of course packaged within the most modern of technologies. I would rather be writing directly here what I will turn to when I finish typing this, but I too am old-fashioned enough to be at work on what is to be a book that is now in AJO, ARIZONA on the edge of the hole that was once the largest open pit copper mine, listening to a man who was just back from Belize, having cashed in his property there in order to return to... both of us it turned out were staying in the Marine Motel---Still for sale when looked recently again at the website--- both of us participating in the absence of any nearby body of water or boats tied to a dock out back of the motel...


Easily distracting me from the other project of reading Yasmina Reza's DAWN, DUSK or NIGHT so that I can chat with her at the beginning of May and to be able to contrast her book with William F. Buckley's little book about Barry Goldwater entitled FLYING HIGH.


Running at the same time into getting ready to read WELCOME TO SHIRLEY so as to find 800 words which will begin: You should know that a piece of white trash is writing this review.


Eagerly I embrace these tasks as they dilute the cloying sentimentality of my situation for did not E.M. Cioran once write that each book is a postponed suicide?


Never forgetting that Edward Dahlberg was very fond of reminding his listener that it takes a long time to understand nothing.


Didn't I know from the very beginning it would be like this?