Tuesday, May 12, 2009

apostle of the strung-out

Figure 3-29.–Correct way to take out a kink in wire rope.

kink |kɪŋk|
a sharp twist or curve in something that is otherwise straight : a kink in the road.
• figurative a flaw or obstacle in a plan, operation, etc. : though the system is making some headway, there are still some kinks to iron out.
• a stiffness in the neck, back, etc.; crick : it takes the kinks out of stiff necks.
• figurative a quirk of character or behavior.
• informal a person with unusual sexual preferences.

I am not so much at a loose end as vaguely tied in knots. Nothing that won't ultimately unravel; maybe a kink in a length of string is nearer the mark.

Anyway. I was sitting idly keeping one eye open on the FEEDJIT stats - as one might do or even justify in such a predicament - when I chanced upon a visitor bouncing away from here to alight on Canon 2.0. Said site is essentially a "literary experiment" curated by Jorn Barger, of Robot Wisdom fame, an individual who has been kind enough to link to SibLINGSHOT ON THE BLEACHERS on occasion. Donovan and Patti Smith - dancing barefoot - spring to mind.

So. Interestingly, Jorn possesses some very sound literary tastes. None t
oo meticulously, I found myself dipping into a list he has compiled on a number of authors up on Canon 2.0 when I happened on an entry with regard to Robert Stone. A list for the transiently listless. Stone is a writer I admire but know too little about. I had all but forgotten his name. Born in 1937 in Brooklyn, in addition to his string of successes as a novelist, he worked for a period too as a Vietnam War correspondent in 1971, an experience which culminated in the publication of "Dog Soldiers" three years later.

A solid book, but not quite as strong as his 1967 debut, "A Hall of Mirrors".

Many moons ago, my good friend Gus lent me an old paperback copy. It was a good read. It's style has been compared to that of the Beat Generation, and that is valid enough, but on balance I remember it reminded me more of Glaswegian author, Alexander Trocchi, whose incisive portrayal of heroin addiction
, "Cain's Book", was famously banned in the UK on publication in 1960 after a lengthy showcase obscenity trial. Trochhi had a deeply entrenched habit. And a capacity for controversy on a par with Burroughs or Ginsberg.

Or Hubert Selby, jr.

A champion of outsiders Samuel Beckett and Henry Miller, Trocchi found an outlet amongst the pornographers of Paris in the 1950's, editing the literary magazine, "Merlin", before eventually settling in New York City where he operated a stone scow - a flat-bottomed dredger - on the filth of the Hudson river.

Anyhow. I digress.

I am glad I chanced on the Stone entry. The title for this post comes from a 1997 interview from the Salon, conducted by Dwight Garner.

I claim no credit whatsoever.



Jorn said...

A newly-posted old Stone interview

ib said...

Thanks, Jorn. I have not read "Damascus Gate"; a situation I intend to remedy.

emmett said...

Good stuff. However, I'm sitting about 300 yards from the Hudson as I type this and you must not besmirch her good name...

ib said...

Yes! "Filth" is perhaps a tad incendiary, I know; however, I am assuming that, like our own Clyde, it has been cleaned up a good deal in the last five decades.

Although. I was wandering along the quay here with my son not so long ago when we were treated to the tourist friendly vista of so many litres of raw effluent being pumped into the water immediately below us.

The surface was awash with floating turds trailing toilet paper and sanitary napkins.

One doesn't dare swim; one might just goes "through the motions".

I am sure there are many who would swear it never happened.