Sunday, June 20, 2010
exercises in genius
Peach Icee at the pool, tomato and cucumber sandwich from yesterday, Father's Day cake shaped like a frosty mug.
Jonathan Safran Foer's "Here We Aren't, So Quickly" in The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" Fiction Issue
Scott Johnson, Americans
Interview with Etgar Keret in Tin House, Issue 44 ("Summer Reading")
Etgar Keret, "Fatso" from The Nimrod Flipout
All of the above are exercises in genius, happened upon through the fine art of just hanging around. Except for the Father's day ice cream cake; its genius was presented to me by the ones I love.
I think JSF might be the smartest writer going; each thing he touches is full up with peculiar grace, without concession to whatever people around him are doing. It almost feels mentally damaged, like the kid in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but actively damaged by a world to harsh to know what to do with something this delicate. The Scott Johnson LP is duly praised in the New York Times; its first track, a cage match between fractured text and fractured music, artfully and brutally wrought. Also in that same piece, reviewer Steve Smith lays down some stuff about Kyle Bobby Dunn (who emailed me yesterday in weird coincidence) that I am picking up. Tin House is one of those lit mags I pick up at the bookstore and leaf through hoping something will stick and this time its Israeli short story writer Etgar Keret, of whom I've never heard before today. His stuff is miniature hilarity gold, 3-page absurdities that bore holes through you. I've read exactly one short story and a page of an interview and I'm hooked.
Happy Father's Day, all!