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January 01, 2012


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As I said, I am really impressed with how much content--film, lit, music--you are able to consume. I say this while sitting on my ass watching the Cowboys-Giants game. Okay, admittedly, I'll be finishing The Phantom Carriage tonight. That's something. I think.


I read the first serialization of "The Third Reich" in The Paris Review, and liked it, but, for some reason, never followed up with the rest. I'll pick up the book at some point, though I'll probably have to start from the beginning again. I like Bolaño a lot. I recently read "Distant Star", and thought it was one of his best.

I never seem to get through long books during the holidays, so I restricted my holiday reading to short works that I could finish in a day or two. I got "Paintings in Proust" as a gift, which I've been eagerly leafing through. It's an art book that includes reproductions of all the paintings mentioned in "In Search of Lost Time". And I read two novels. One was "Cosmopolis", in anticipation of David Cronenberg's upcoming adaptation. It's a better novel than the reviews suggested when it came out, though not exactly top-tier DeLillo. The other was Brian Moore's "Catholics". I actually picked that one up because Zadie Smith said somewhere that it was the most enthusiastic book recommendation she ever received from David Foster Wallace. (It's also a novel she regularly teaches in her creative writing class.) I'm not entirely sure why Foster Wallace and Smith were so taken with it, but it's an interesting little book about doubt and faith. I'm generally not a huge fan of Brian Moore, though.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

Thanks for getting me to reread The Death of the Author, Glenn; your remarks are very apt. I've been asked to write an obit of Gilbert for Film Comment, so I'm still on an Adair rereading jag. If you want to go further and order stuff from abroad, I'd recommend in particular his "Evadne Mount" trilogy (which comprise his last three novels)--a wonderful series of Agatha Christie pastiches that build on some of the playful conceits of The Death of the Author, and then some. They somehow manage to combine GA's taste for mainstream entertainment with his avant-garde impulses, to riotous effect.

Lou Lumenick

You did the notes for "High, Wide and Handsome''?


Thanks to your obit, I picked up a copy of Adair's FLICKERS and have been savoring every page. It's light years ahead of most film writing.

Also: how cool is Melville Press? I just picked up their BARTLEBY edition and am thinking about taking the plunge on the entire novella series. Adair's DEATH is next on my list, for sure.

Noam Sane

I finished the Monk book before Christmas; a wonderful read. It does peter out toward the end - much like Monk himself. How much can you say about a guy who gets up in the morning, dresses in a suit and tie, and then lays in bed for the rest of the day? But up to that point, it's as alive as the music itself.

It is copiously footnoted, though your point about occasional editorialization is well taken.

I found it to be a well-told tale not just of Monk, but of the golden age of modern jazz in all its glory.

David Ehrenstein

I used to be a friend of Gilbert's. he even cited me in "Flickers." Sad, strange man. He was blind the last year of his life.

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