Friday, May 24, 2013
This Podcast Will Change Your Life, Episode Sixty-Four - Roiling and Contentious, starring the Rob Roberge.
Great conversation with the Rob Roberge we are. Kafka. The Great Gatsby. Panties. The Cost of Living. It's all here. So please do hit it. It just might change your life.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Fact fiction fact fiction place fact fiction fact fiction family fact fiction West Virginia fact fiction story fact fiction love fact fiction fact fiction longing fact fiction fact fiction birth fact fiction fact fiction God fact fiction fact fiction dirt and stones. We don't know if the Scott McClanahan knows where the facts end and the fictions start. We don't know what's true and what's false. We don't know what is story or memoir. And Scott McClanahan may not know himself. But it doesn't matter. Scott McClanhan is in every story he tells, moving from tale to tale, and Crapalachia is just another tale in his ongoing effort to record a life. Still, it may bother you that fact isn't always fact and fiction isn't always fiction. To which Scott might reply, that everything is fact. Everything is fiction. And everything is not. We tell stories to entertain. We tell stories to heal and illuminate the things we hold dear that otherwise have no form or shape. We tell stories because we have to, and those stories change as we do, growing and morphing and becoming fact. So is Crapalachia truth? It is as true as anything else is, because what McClanahan knows is that truth is what we need it to be. He also knows that as long as there is a sliver of truth in a story, that story will speak to us. And so with that we offer you this. The Scott who claims to have written this piece of biography, and do note that it is a biography of place, not person, writes of digging up stones and dirt, putting them in plastic bags, and handing them out as he worked his way around the world. Why did he do this? So that the whole world would become the place he knows. All of it the same biography, all of it fact, and all of it fiction. He said it was magic dirt, and we believed him. We still have our bag. We keep it for luck. We keep it so that some of Scott may rub off on our own storytelling. And we keep it so we can be in the same place he is. That magic dirt is part of the story, his, and ours. It changed our life, and Crapalachia may very well change yours.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
"The emotion ends up just bleeding from the page." Lucky Man gets some Goodreads love. And likes it. A lot.
Very much in fact. So thank you to the David S. Atkinson for that, and drinks on us, for sure, when next we meet. Now, how about some excerpt? Cool.
"I dug this book. I dug the characters, the interrelation both between them and their internal problems, and the way that this was manifested in the structure of the book. There are some absolutely stunning moments, at least partially from how Tanzer lets the characters sometimes relate what happens deadpan so that the emotion ends up just bleeding from the page."
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Travel read more travel more read and Watering Heaven by Peter Tieryas Liu. A question we might ask is what do we think we know about someone based on a photo or image when we do not know the person behind it? Further, what if when looking at said image we also garner some biographical information, but no more than the cursory details we gain when encountering anyone's bio? As opposed to say actually encountering said person? How much of that which we think we know is influenced by our own projections? What we feel about ourselves? What we wish we were, and were not? Or the frames we may possess about authors, gender, nationality, culture, and types of employment? Finally, how much does any of this drive not just our reading of said image, but the actual text of said author's work? We say this, because to encounter Peter Tieryas Liu on paper or online, merely as photo or bio, is to encounter a handsome man, a married man, and published author, someone who looks happy, and works at cool places like LucasArts. He's someone we might want to be, even as we recognize that we are a version of him ourselves, albeit a less handsome version doing slightly less cool things. Yet we read into it, the bio and image, the projections, and wonder; and in that way we become one of his characters ourselves. Because there are also his words, arrayed across the twenty stories in Watering Heaven, and it is these stories where our projections run into a sort of dissonance. The characters in these stories are us, filled with a longing for places and women they cannot make whole, if they can find them at all. Further they are in conflict with their appearance and culture; and they uniformly seem worn down by work, if not life itself. Drinking excessively, sleepless and chasing demons. What to make of all this then, and what to make of the fable-like quality of these stories? The focus on image and appearance as captured through characters who work with images and appearances themselves, both theirs and others. And what of the clash of the modern and traditional? We can write all of this off as fiction, but we wonder about the author's state of mind as we compare his words to what we thought we knew. We also Wonder though what else is to come from the terribly fervent mind of this terribly attractive author who can so easily move from the Great Wall of China to Koreatown karaoke bars in a single leap. And yes, that was a superhero reference, but it seems apt given the mythical qualities of the stories themselves. Stories that just might change your life, if only for a moment at that.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Fisk. Smolarek. Thomas. Anderson. Duffer. Peterson. Brand. And Tanzer. We are Daddy Cool release party. Saturday. June 8th. The Book Cellar.
And quite geeked we are. So please do join us. Bring your kids. Share this with your friends. Buy books. And change lives. Cool?