Archive for the books Category

The Stones by Richard Shelton

Posted in books, Short Stories with tags , on June 21, 2010 by John

A great short story Ross made me read.

I love to go out on summer nights and watch the stones grow. I think they grow better here in the desert, where it is warm and dry, than almost anywhere. Or perhaps it is only that the young ones are more active here.

Young stones tend to move about more than their elders consider good for them. Most young stones have a secret desire which their parents had before them but have forgotten ages ago. And because this desire involves water, it is never mentioned. The older stones disapprove of water and say, “Water is a gadfly who never stays in one place long enough to learn anything.” But the young stones try to work themselves into a position, slowly and without their elders noticing it, in which a sizable stream of water during a summer storm might catch them broadside and unknowing, so to speak, push them along over a slope or down an arroyo. In spite of the danger this involves, they want to travel and see something of the world and settle in a new place, far from home, where they can raise their own dynasties, away from the domination of their parents.

And although family ties are very strong among stones, many have succeeded; and they carry scars to prove to their children that they once went on a journey, helter-skelter and high water, and traveled perhaps fifteen feet, an incredible distance. As they grow older, they cease to brag about such clandestine adventures.

It is true that old stones get to be very conservative. They consider all movement either dangerous or downright sinful. They remain comfortably where they are and often get fat. Fatness, as a matter of fact, is a mark of distinction.

And on summer nights, after the young stones are asleep, the elders turn to a serious and frightening subject — the moon. which is always spoken of in whispers. “see how it glows and whips across the sky, always changing its shape,” one says. And another says, “Feel how it pulls at us, urging us to follow.” And a third whispers, “It is a stone gone mad.”

Richard Shelton’s website


Grind Down the Laboring Man

Posted in America, books, New York, poetry, politics with tags , , on March 19, 2010 by Thomas

well i note you
put me back into nonpareil
again monday after raising me
to brevier all right boss
all right grind down
the laboring man there will come
a day of reckoning i don’t have
to do this you know as far
as the  food is concerned that
you have been giving me i lived before
i ever got into your column must close now
as mehitabel the cat is
scratching her claws against
the desk in a meaning sort of way
yours hastily

– Archy the Free-verse Cockroach

“Midnight in Dostoevsky” / More Monsters

Posted in 1993, 2007, 2008, 2009, America, babies, blogs, books, california, children, friends, hearkening back, holding in one's pee-pee, horror, hype, lady-men, melty faces, Mind Control, nostalgia, old news, out-of-body experiences, predictable college photographs, Short Stories, supernatural, WEST COAST on December 3, 2009 by Shiv

By Don Delillo. Another steal from the New Yorker this week. And that makes 3 about/from New York this week. All I have to say, I suppose, is that I live on the West Coast. And I live in a big house. And maybe I don’t blog enough.

While I’m at it, I’d also like to introduce my Portland family to the blog. Beth’s joined us already with a good post on pop. And Brad, the last quarter of NE Monroe will hopefully join soon and I’m sure provide a lot of corn. Muahaaa,

Now, THAT said, do you guys remember Wes’s “Dummy Monster” story from way back when? Well, for those that haven’t heard it, ask someone who has or just believe these ones we (Beth) recently found on the interweb. The information highway has become a farily big place, I’d say. Good thing we have this small space to talk about it. I hope to hear from all of you regarding this matter.

Deep Inside…

Posted in asperger's syndrome, books, God Almighty, Mind Control, NYT linking, out-of-body experiences with tags , , on October 13, 2009 by John

Jung red book

Jung’s Red Book is coming out next week.  It’s already being buzzed about in academea, but how do you get the kids to get excited?  Well you get cool guys like Charlie Kaufman and David Byrne ( & many more) to talk about it and vlog it.  They’re not out yet, but look for them.

About the book though; it’s one of a kind.  It’s Jung’s personal account of his trip into the Inferno.  For sixteen years, durring a ‘mid-life crisis’, he spent his free time tearing down the wall between his concious and subconsious mind.

In it, Jung travels the land of the dead, falls in love with a woman he later realizes is his sister, gets squeezed by a giant serpent and, in one terrifying moment, eats the liver of a little child. (“I swallow with desperate efforts — it is impossible — once again and once again — I almost faint — it is done.”) At one point, even the devil criticizes Jung as hateful.  NYT

Of course there’s much more to it than dragons and a morbid liverwurst.  This is a record of the subconcious of a man that formed a good deal of the contemporary ideas about the subconcious.  The book’s translator, Sonu Shamdasani, who wrestled with the book for ten years called it “the nuclear reactor for all [Jung’s] works.”

The log of  his journies has taken a twisted path itself.  The New York Times has done a great job putting that story to pixels, and you can find it here.  It’s all very exciting, but for now, I don’t have $115.

Banned Books Week

Posted in books, casual sex, classics, public intoxication, reading, safety, ultraviolence with tags on September 30, 2009 by kevin

Whether you knew it or not, we are in the midst of Banned Book Week where we, um, celebrate banned literature. So, might I humbly suggest that you pick up one of these and give it a go. I don’t consider reading Harry Potter an act of participation. I would, however, commend anyone who chooses to give Gossip Girl a whirl. In all seriousness, I think you would enjoy this one quite a bit. Let me know what book you chose if you so decide to partake in this silly week.

Smoking Dope With Pynchon

Posted in books, out-of-body experiences with tags , , on September 26, 2009 by kevin

So I’m reading Pynchon’s new novel – which includes lots of pot – and stumbled upon this. It appears to be fairly legit actually. It is one man’s account of meeting Pynchon in the 60’s (a decade “Tom” is obsessed with, as you might know) and smoking a fat joint. It’s really not that interesting unless you are one of those people who adores the very silly shenanigans surrounding Pynchon’s anonymity. Read if you are are one of those folk…

Dope With Big T.P.


Posted in books, reading, Russia, Short Stories with tags , on September 11, 2009 by kevin

“Zoshchenko’s technique is that of the skaz, the oral tale. The tale is supposed to have a moral, instructional point, to illustrate something; that is the excuse for telling and listening. But the point gets lost on the way: the story teller is caught up in the story itself or simply succombs to the delight of having an audience. It is himself he expresses, and not the moral. Either he loses it completely or arrives at a conclusion as unexpected for him as it is for the audience, or he tacks it on by force majeure, exposing either his own clay feet or the insubstantiality of all conclusions, or both.”

-Sidney Monas

This story isn’t the best example of that, or close to Zoshchenko’s best,  although it is an enjoyable little thing. I chose it mainly becuase it is much easier to transcribe 3 pages of text than it is 40. That and Shiv asked for more stories 😉

Poverty (Zoshchenko, early 1900’s)

Nowadays, brothers, what is the most fashionable word there is, eh?

Nowadays, the most fashionable word that can be is, of course, electrification.

I won’t argue that it isn’t a matter of immense importance to light up Soviet Russia with electricity. Nevertheless, even this matter has its shady side. I am not saying, comrades, that it costs a lot. It costs nothing more expensive than money. That’s not what I’m talking about.

This is what I mean.

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