Saturday, June 18, 2005

The New York Times Book Review: Two word review

I don't know what I'm eating lately that makes me remember my idiotic dreams, but here's another one.

The other night I dreamt that an editor from the Times Book Review called (clearly it was a dream, since no one calls anyone anymore) to ask if I would be interested in reviewing something for them. I was flattered and excited, even though the book seemed an odd choice for them and me. "How many words would you like?" I asked.

"Two," the editor said.

Thinking it was a joke, I asked again.

"Two. That's all we have room for. Do you want to do it or not?"

Of course, I accepted the assignment on the spot.

Since then, I've been considering the idea of two word reviews and the range of critical response they might contain.
Love it. Good stuff. So what? Pure trash. Near miss. Well said. Piss off.Tepid dreck.

any others...?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I Dream of Java

Originally uploaded by kfoz.
Brando's best friend in NYC was Java, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Once, when I returned to NYC for a memorial, I ran into Java on the street and he rubbed his face up and down both my pant legs, like a letter he was writing for me to take back home.

Lately, I've been having dreams of him. I had one that we met him hiking in the woods, and last night I dreamt that his owner gave him to me to bring back to Brando.

What does it all mean???

More Java

Originally uploaded by kfoz.
Here he is as an adult, in the red bandana. I don't know what he sees in that bitch.

Michael Cunningham on New Orleans

This weekend I'm going to New Orleans to find a house! Beginning in August I'll be teaching at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a conservatory high school with a fantastic creative writing program.

A few weeks ago, when I was interviewing Michael Cunningham for Time Out New York, he revealed that he had lived in New Orleans, a long time ago, before he had settled on what he wanted to do with his life.

"I almost moved to New Orleans, years and years ago," he said. "I"ve always wondered what would have happened if I had. I mean, I was there. I was staying with a friend and just loved it. I thought, why not just stay here? I was still in my 20s and still a little tentative about this whole notion of 'writing.' I thought, given what I know about myself, I might move to New Orleans and write a novel, or I might move to New Orleans and wake up at 75 with a cocktail in my hand, sitting on a veranda realizing 'I guess that was my life.'

"The woman I was staying with was applying to medical school and she didn't have a typewriter. And we actually couldn't find anyone who did have a typewriter. That was when I began to think 'This isn't a good sign.'"

Of course, Cunningham knows that an awful lot of writers have called New Orleans home, but his concern was that he was considering living there at a time when "the jury was still out" as far as his path was concerned. "It's one of those places where 'living there' is in fact what you are doing with your life."

And that, I think, isn't a bad thing at all.