Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Passionfruit Eyelid

So I've got to admit, I was at least in part wrong in my earlier logic when I mentioned having found my sister reading TWILIGHT and taking it and throwing it in the trash. As much as I think that kind of 'book' can be damaging to a brain, in my sister's case it has opened her up already from a person who hardly ever read to one who has so far this year (as she excitedly reported to me) read 27 books. Sure, a good number of those related to TWILIGHT, but already she's moved on from there. She's read Miranda July and J. Safran Foer and Monica Drake's Clowngirl (which I gave her for Christmas assuming she would never touch it), and she recently asked if I would lend her one of Tao's books, and some other things.

Shit, at this rate, by the end of the year she'll be up in some Thomas Bernhard and Christian Bok. No doubt, believe dat.

So is reading crap fiction good? I guess if it leads to further reading, which can often be the case. Though if it never goes anywhere else, then I'd say just keep watching the TV.

I wonder if William Gay ever lays in bed steaming about how TWILIGHT blew up and fucked his own TWILIGHT title right in the b-hole. Such a fantastic book, that, though.

Oh, new William Gay soon...




Trying to feel better today than yesterday though it's not really working.

Trying today to get back on track working on the 'less manic' novel that I started late last year and abandoned, as I started to get bored. Taking a break turned out to be the best thing I could have done, as now coming back to it several months later I have whole new perspective and set of ideas for it.

I am confining myself (as much as possible) in this project to keep within a certain level of the realms of reality, to not fall into my previous methods, and instead write a solid, but unique, narrative (with digressions) novel. It's a nice challenge for me, a step outside the box by stepping back closer to the box.

Sometimes shaking up your world can be achieved by becoming more normal, especially when you've already written several hundred thousand words about destroying babies.





I am involved as a teaching volunteer at Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. A most wonderful program in the works, check it out...





NCAA tournament starts tonight, and for the first time since high school my boy Rick Pitino is poised to stomp it to the ground. Let's have at it.





I think I am going to reread Beckett's trilogy now...

25 comments:

somethingsomethingelse said...

would rather have to read twilight every day for the rest of your life and every time you sit down to write sentences from twilight come out

or never be able to read or write another word again except for tax forms and the phone book?

BLAKE BUTLER said...

definitively the second option. at least then i wouldn't be wasting mine and everybody's time

jereme said...

gateway drug

rethink marijuana too

BLAKE BUTLER said...

totally no way bro

somethingsomethingelse said...

wow you are one fast comment replier

sam pink said...

are you talking about "no how on"?

BLAKE BUTLER said...

"internet life"

sam, which now?

jereme said...

yes i was only kidding. i haven't smoked in like 7 months.

since i went to the er.

i really meant 'constantly re-evaluate everything'

whatever

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i have not read 'nohow on' dang, i need to read it now. i was talking about malone dies, molloy, and the unnameable

Brad Green said...

I am confining myself (as much as possible) in this project to keep within a certain level of the realms of reality, to not fall into my old patterns, and instead write a solid, but unique, narrative (with digressions) novel. It's a nice challenge for me, a step outside the box by stepping back closer to the box.

Sometimes shaking up your world can be achieved by becoming more normal, especially when you've already written several hundred thousand words about destroying babies.


I'm really looking forward to that Blake. I think your talent will really shine there. I can't wait to read it.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

thanks brad. we'll see if it doesn't turn psycho

Matt Bell said...

You know, I read like a crazy person as a kid, but the highest "literature" I ever read was probably Steven King, until I was 18 or so. (Well, besides Lord of the Rings and Narnia and that sort.) But I've got to think all of those D&D-style books and shit still influenced my later tastes and style, my preference for narrative in fiction, my ability to accept non-realistic fiction as a more exciting place for characters to be, etc. Twilight seems to be total trash, but I'm in the gateway reading camp-- I think a person who reads and reads and reads will eventually get bored with the limits of that sort of thing, and jump to something newer and better-- For me, I rolled out of fantasy the year after high school into Vonnegut (another gateway drug) and Hunter S. Thompson and Palahniuk. And Palahniuk led me to Denis Johnson, and then I was off.

But I couldn't have read Vonnegut when I was six. It wouldn't have worked for me, I don't think. So thank god there were enough books about dragons and wizards and werewolf nazi double spies to keep me reading until I was ready for it.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i definitely feel you there matt. i came from dragonlance and dungeon master's guides as well. i wonder if there is a more definitive way to push people to stretch further into words, or if its just a matter of inclination? probably the latter, though i always wonder

sam pink said...

i am reading endgame

sam pink said...

i just read equus and i don't think i liked it.

John Dermot Woods said...

Blake,

I like what you're saying about the novel you're working on. I've been doing a similar thing - working on a "sober" book on the train every morning. Trying to locate threat and darkness in a new place - break my habits. Looking forward to what you come up with.

Oh, and f' Pitino. After what he and the rest of the Big East did to the Hoyas this season, I don't think I'll even be able to watch any of the tournament this year.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

pink for prez

damn, john, did you really just say f pitino? i really don't want to hate you... ;)

Darby said...

i am about to read mal, mol, and unname, it is next on my shelf of to-read but want to finish something else first i will probably start reading it this weekend it will be a weekend of sunlight.

ken baumann said...

My reading history is similar to Matt's: I was big on fantasy and sci-fi (LotR, Wheel of Time, 2001-3001 Space Odysseys) up to middle school, then A Confederacy of Dunces really got me going/changed me, led to Vonnegut, and then to Camus, etc.

davidpeak said...

I've seen William Gay's name on the internet twice in the past few days. That's two more times than ever before. Can't tell you how happy that makes me.

You should write a Southern Gothic novel about violence and stuff.

Kathryn said...

i read twilight. perty good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Blake,

My daughter loves Twilight and I have no problem with it. She is in 5th grade and knows what she's getting. She can compare it to Moby Dick, Grimm's Fairy Tales and The Secret Garden. I prefer this crap to watching TV. Young girls love it for the gentle sexuality rather and few would deem it well written. I read trashy magazines on planes. It has the same rubbernecking fascination.

clarkknowles said...

I read a lot of crap as a kid. Seriously. And I loved it. I did discover the difference, however, at a young age, between good sci-fi and dreck. But, I doubt there was ever a golden age of literature, when everyone enjoyed the highest of the high art. I'm sure Tolstoy was always complaining about someone read some crap. So, I read crap. But then I passed through some door, like a lot of people here said. And I couldn't look back. I still like a good mystery or sci-fi story now and again, but there is too much great literature out there to cheat myself out of it. I say the more people reading, the better. Just my opinion. Now, excuse me, I must return to my Proust.

clarkknowles said...

Oh, and the 52 stories thing is awesome. Congrats on getting more of your work out there. You said in an earlier post that you were lazy. Good God, man. You have two books out in the world (or the second will be soon) and several books to send out and a collection of essays... you read in subways... your short work is EVERYWHERE!... you run several websites... at least one literary magazine... and I think you must work somewhere, though all I ever hear you talk about it writing... I'm tired just thinking about it. I wish I had half your drive. Thanks for being a power of example.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

thanks clark, i appreciate the +++. i think i never feel like i do enough no matter how much i do. and since awp, i really havent done shit it seems. missed seeing you out there. hopefully nex yrear

monster headache approaching.