Monday, April 12, 2010

charmed by the gaze of a snake

Roberto Bolaño, "Prefiguration of Lalo Cura" (in the New Yorker)
Joe Bonomo, Jerry Lee Lewis: Lost and Found (Amazon)
LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening (various tracks from here and here)

This latest trinket from the hell-vault of Roberto Bolaño opens with the following:
It’s hard to believe, but I was born in a neighborhood called Los Empalados: The Impaled. The name glows like the moon. The name opens a way through the dream with its horn, and man follows that path. A quaking path. Invariably harsh. The path that leads into or out of Hell. That’s what it all comes down to. Getting closer to Hell or farther away. Me, for example, I’ve had people killed. I’ve given the best birthday presents. I’ve backed projects of epic proportions. I’ve opened my eyes in the dark. Once, I opened them by slow degrees in total darkness, and all I saw or imagined was that name: Los Empalados, shining like the star of destiny.
And that's not even the real gristle of the story. As with the porn actors and actresses therein, staring at a pregnant belly, I am
Like a little bird charmed by the gaze of a snake.
I should be over my Bolaño phase, but I get that Grove-Press-in-the-Sixties William Burroughs/Georges Bataille/Henry Miller buzz off his work, like I am 19, again discovering Literature, man. This story is salacious and spellbinding, one of his recursive encyclopedias of atrocities misogynistic and not a little filthy for the gentile pages of our literary barometer. The New Yorker receives a temporary stay of execution for its inclusion.

The excellently told saga of Jerry Lee Lewis in Lost and Found is a walk in the park compared. Speaking of walks in parks, the campus is like a park in this spring wonder, and LCD Soundsystem is the sound that's around (esp "Dance Yourself Clean"), and I'm gonna see Philip Glass in lecture and then in concert tonight, both on this very campus.

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