The Millions has its Year in Reading feature running right now, with Geoff Dyer the latest to pitch in (with just one massive suggestion). [via The Millions]
Rojak is a regular collection of assorted links as well as a bulletin summarising the week (or thereabouts) on this blog.
Toynbee’s A Dictionary of Proper Names and Notable Matters in the Works of Dante is available to read online. [via A Piece of Monologue]
Jack White is releasing a 3RPM record (yes, 3RPM). [via Pitchfork]
I rather enjoyed this piece on Bob Dylan’s Bob Dylan. [via Consequence of Sound]
A review of the second volume of Susan Sontag’s diaries, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh. [via The Guardian]
Lee Gutkind on John D’Agata and Jim Fingal’s The Lifespan of a Fact. [via Los Angeles Review of Books]
Scott Esposito’s review of Geoff Dyer’s Zona. [via Barnes & Noble]
Also, happy new release week to Penguin’s The Restored Finnegans Wake. I’ve also got a Derek Raymond book from Melville House on the way, which should prove interesting.
Edith Pearlman wins the fiction prize for Binocular Vision (I haven’t read any of the books, but I was rooting for Teju Cole). And I have to say that while it’s great that Geoff Dyer won it, any of those Criticism nominees looked like worthy winners. Full list in the link. [via The Telegraph]
A couple of Geoff Dyer links to kick off your week.
By the end of their journey, Stalker, Writer, and Professor have learned that the Zone “is not a place of hope so much as a place where hope turns in on itself, resigns itself to the way things are.” Not exactly a heart-warming takeaway, but as soon as I finished Dyer’s book, I watched the movie for the first time. I suppose only two questions remain: 1.) Is Stalker, as Dyer contends, “the reason cinema was invented”? And, 2.) How did Dyer’s book affect my experience of watching Tarkovsky’s movie?
The first has Bill Morris over at the Millions discussing (among other book-film relationships) Dyer’s Zona and Tarkovsky’s Stalker. [via The Millions]
The second is an interview on Dyer’s newest book over at Guernica. [via Guernica]
Of course—and this isn’t me being megalomaniacal—this book will now institute a mini spike in Tarkovsky rentals. It’s not going to do him any harm at all! I suppose there’s another point to be made here. There’s always this thing of collapsing the gap between what you’re writing about and the way you’re writing about it: this whole idea, not of the art over here and the commentary over there, but some sort of meeting and merging together. And in a way what happens is that the merging here has taken place, that the film has sort of dissolved into the book.
Geoff Dyer tries to convert you to the school of punctuality. [via YouTube]
On a half-related note, his new book, Zona, is coming out very, very soon.
Instead of telling you what I have read or watched or listened to this week, I’m going to talk quickly about what 2012 in literature holds in store for me in terms of new releases.
I was just doing up my wishlist on the website that I use and here are some forthcoming new releases that I will be looking to acquire in 2012 (in no particular order):
- Sátántangó, László Krasznahorkai
- The Land at the End of the World, António Lobo Antunes
- Almost Never, Daniel Sada
- Varamo, César Aira
- Dublinesque, Enrique Vila-Matas
- Zona, Geoff Dyer
- Monsieur Pain, Roberto Bolaño
- Antwerp, Roberto Bolaño
- Blue Nights, Joan Didion
- Dead Man Upright, Derek Raymond
- The Planets, Sergio Chejfec
- My First Suicide, Jerzy Pilch
Most of these are just new translations of much older works (Dyer, Didion, and Derek Raymond being the exceptions). Some of them were released in the past couple of years in expensive hardcover editions that were too much for this poor student to afford, so these paperback releases are greeted with much welcome. And one of these (Derek Raymond) is simply a re-release with a nice cover, as far as I can tell. Which suits me just fine.
The one I’m probably looking forward to the most is Dublinesque, since Vila-Matas is probably my favourite living writer. (But as they say, here comes a new challenger, and Krasznahorkai is fast climbing the ranks.)
2012 looks like a brilliant year in literature. For me anyway.
This was not one of those years when the Man Booker Prize winner was laughably bad. No, any extreme expression of opinion about “The Sense of an Ending” feels inappropriate. It isn’t terrible, it is just so . . . average. It is averagely compelling (I finished it), involves an average amount of concentration and, if such a thing makes sense, is averagely well written: excellent in its averageness!
Geoff Dyer does not like Julian Barnes’s Man Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending very much! [via The New York Times]