Ann Quin and...

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...English 'experimental' writing as in B.S. Johnson and so forth, of a certain period up to the mid-70s.

(Only read the latter's Christine Malry's Own Double Entry a year ago. Thought it was a nice contrast to Hubert Selby's Waiting Period, a more recent read, reminding me how I didn't go on and explore more of Johnson and his sort)

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 31 May 2008 22:44 (twelve years ago) link

Only read one Selby, but I would never have thought to compare the too--perhaps because that one Selby and all its tedious Beat-writer-bullshit made me want to commit violence on the book, whereas BS Johnson hasn't had that effect yet.

James Morrison, Sunday, 1 June 2008 07:16 (twelve years ago) link

I wasn't comparing them as much as merely stating that hey, both bks are about psychos w/lots of monologuing. Both have big differences...

Not read that much 'beat' writing; Selby strikes me on a line with Joycean streams of consciousness type + actual sharp as knives edge to the realism (?) I think he's great, whatever it is that he does.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 1 June 2008 19:55 (twelve years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Alan Burns, anyone?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 21:27 (eleven years ago) link

i still need to read all the ann quin books. the only thing stopping me is that i have to order them online in order to find copies and i've never bought a book online in my life. i can do it!

scott seward, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 21:30 (eleven years ago) link

"i''ve never bought a book online in my life"

amazing!

i want to know which Selby book made James Morrison get all violent.

thomp, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 21:51 (eleven years ago) link

I've never bought a bk online, either - only libraries and 2nd hand bkshops/charity shops...

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 22:00 (eleven years ago) link

hubert selby is sooooooo much better than any beat writer who ever lived. sad that james didn't like him. The Room still might be the most harrowing book i've ever read. or the book that filled me with the most dread. beat writers just fill me with yawns.

scott seward, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 22:25 (eleven years ago) link

It was 'Last Exit to Brooklyn'. Sorry, guys! Actually, on the beats, I see there's a book by William Burroughs which consists of his diaries of his dreams. A beat writer's dream diary is almost the Platonic ideal of my idea of the worst book in the world. Though having said that, I _have_ enjoyed SOME Burroughs.

James Morrison, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 00:44 (eleven years ago) link

i liked junkie. i can barely read anything else by him though.

maybe read some other selby and see how how you feel. his short story collection? waiting period? requiem for a dream? i swear you will find something other than bad beat bullshit in that lot.

scott seward, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 01:18 (eleven years ago) link

Maybe I'll go for the short stories. You people do seem to know what you're talking about.

James Morrison, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 07:33 (eleven years ago) link

I abandoned Last Exit halfway. But I didn't find it that beatish. I just got annoyed nothing was as good as the bit I'd opened at random in the shop.

WHATTA YAMEAN THE SAUCES NO GOOD? THATS WHAT I SAID, THE SAUCES NO GOOD. WHATS THE MATTER, YA DONT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH? ITS NO GOOD. NO GOOD. NO GOOD. WHATTA YAKNOW ABOUT SAUCE? MEEEE, WHATTA I KNOW? I KNOW IT STINKS. NOT ENOUGH GARLIC. ITS GOT THE SAME GARLIC. JUST LIKE ALWAYS. THE SAME 8 CLOVES OF GARLIC AND YA SAY NOT ENOUGH GARLIC. YUR A FUCKIN DUMMY. ITS GOOD SAUCE. DONT TELL ME ITS NO GOOD. WHOSE A FUCKIN DUMMY? EH? WHO? I'LL GIVEYA A RAP IN THE MOUT IM A DUMMY. YA CANT EVEN MAKE A SAUCE.

I was interested to note that he credits Gilbert Sorrentino with teaching him to write.

i like burroughs fine but he wrote a LOT of books it would be easy to take cheap shots at, viz.:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/230/522296979_36f0d46fa9.jpg?v=0

thomp, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 17:18 (eleven years ago) link

Can someone give a quick rundown of beat writing? Burroughs is more like a one off surely?

I think Sorrentino provided Selby with encouragement to write - it kind of surprises me that they even knew each other. Also abandoned 'Last Exit...' halfway two years ago but picked up again after reading the short stories ('The Coat' in particular is fantastic). Just finished 'The room' tonight and its quite an achievement, put it that way.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 22:56 (eleven years ago) link

I guess when _I_ moan about the Beats I mean ESPECIALLY Kerouac and Ginsberg, a couple of over-rated hacks, plus SOME of Burroughs, Clelland Holmes (all of whom hung around each other, encouraging their mutual literary wank-fest), and I would have said Selby Jnr, etc.

James Morrison, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 23:09 (eleven years ago) link

no beat ever wrote a book like The Room. not many authors of any kind have. i don't know if i could read it again, but i'm glad i read it once.

scott seward, Thursday, 7 May 2009 00:20 (eleven years ago) link

Thomp's allcaps bit reminds me of a conversation I had in the library the other day:

Some guy: Hello, JLUT?
Me: Hi, ehm, what?
SG: JLUT JLUT?
Me: Uuuuuu
SG: AYJJJLUT LETT?
Me: What?
SG: Do you speak English?
Me: Yes I suppose so
SG: JLUT?? Jlut Jlut jlut?!?
Me: Wai..... TOILET!?
SG: TOILET!
Me: Uh, I dunno where that is, probably out there
SG: :|

(Err, sorry about ruining your thread)

Øystein, Thursday, 7 May 2009 11:15 (eleven years ago) link

that's okay: no one has actually managed to post about british experimental writing from the era in question yet, apart from the thread starter.

thomp, Thursday, 7 May 2009 16:34 (eleven years ago) link

i actually found it quite hard to refrain from posting several pages of amazon customer reviews of 'the cat inside', but i managed to hold myself back.

thomp, Thursday, 7 May 2009 16:35 (eleven years ago) link

sorry, you are right! when i read those ann quin books i'll come back and post on topic stuff about them. i promise.

scott seward, Thursday, 7 May 2009 17:05 (eleven years ago) link

Lolz I just recalled from Oystein's library anecdote that I did get my library to buy a copy of Passages, but I read it in a morning and then forgot all about posting on this thread. Its hard to say much about it now however I enjoyed the desolate mood.

Need to re-read but who knows when..

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 7 May 2009 19:52 (eleven years ago) link

Post those reviews!

James Morrison, Thursday, 7 May 2009 23:36 (eleven years ago) link

seven months pass...

Just started reading Berg after getting all her books for Christmas (no, I had never read any before asking for every book she wrote, but I'm a Johnson stan [in fact I think I'm now actually allowed to call myself a Johnson scholar, haha], so hey, it's got to be at least interesting to me). Very good so far, though it seems trapped in the Woolfian mode a little - free indirect discourse rather than the full-on stream-of-consciousness and metatextuality that Johnson managed to deliver so well. Also chock-full of Freudian motifs that perhaps (only perhaps) seem overplayed now... but also interesting Sartrean aspects on free will and determinism... Hmm.

emil.y, Tuesday, 5 January 2010 16:11 (ten years ago) link

pleased to see that one of the great british experimental novels is getting reissued this month:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Hear-Voices-Paul-Ableman/dp/0571259049/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262708320&sr=1-1

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 5 January 2010 16:20 (ten years ago) link

I think Sorrentino provided Selby with encouragement to write - it kind of surprises me that they even knew each other.
I think those guys actually grew up together or went to high school together.

nico anemic cinema icon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 17:11 (ten years ago) link

Anyway I bought some of her books when Dalkey Archive first put them out, but never got around to reading them.

nico anemic cinema icon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 17:55 (ten years ago) link

Which is the kind of thing I post so much on this board, there might as well be an emoticon for it.

nico anemic cinema icon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 17:56 (ten years ago) link

Or an acronym, like: ba;dr.

nico anemic cinema icon (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 5 January 2010 17:56 (ten years ago) link

WHATTA YAMEAN THE SAUCES NO GOOD? THATS WHAT I SAID, THE SAUCES NO GOOD. WHATS THE MATTER, YA DONT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH? ITS NO GOOD. NO GOOD. NO GOOD. WHATTA YAKNOW ABOUT SAUCE? MEEEE, WHATTA I KNOW? I KNOW IT STINKS. NOT ENOUGH GARLIC. ITS GOT THE SAME GARLIC. JUST LIKE ALWAYS. THE SAME 8 CLOVES OF GARLIC AND YA SAY NOT ENOUGH GARLIC. YUR A FUCKIN DUMMY. ITS GOOD SAUCE. DONT TELL ME ITS NO GOOD. WHOSE A FUCKIN DUMMY? EH? WHO? I'LL GIVEYA A RAP IN THE MOUT IM A DUMMY. YA CANT EVEN MAKE A SAUCE.

still one of my favourite paragraphs ever written. still haven't finished that book

thomp, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 16:53 (ten years ago) link

I'd like to see the film after seeing an ed. of the book with a shot of it on the cover.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 16 January 2010 11:18 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

Just finished Berg. Pretty great.

errant flynn, Saturday, 16 March 2013 04:12 (seven years ago) link

More on this thread too:

a thread for b.s. johnson, christine brooke-rose, ann quin, alan burns,

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 16 March 2013 09:37 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

This is a nice short appreciation of Berg:

uhttp://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-of-a-lifetime-berg-by-ann-quin-2063012.html

xyzzzz__, Monday, 8 February 2016 22:18 (four years ago) link

thought i remembered he did something similar in the guardian &... who cares about ann quin?

no lime tangier, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 05:02 (four years ago) link

anyone ever seen the movie btw?

no lime tangier, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 05:03 (four years ago) link

I noticed when I was up over Christmas, that it was being shown on STV Glasgow. Didn't see it.

The Robustness of Captchas (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 February 2016 12:18 (four years ago) link

Film sounds like it would be terrible. I've already had to watch the excruciating adaptation of Christie Malry, I don't think I could stand to see Berg slaughtered.

emil.y, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 13:55 (four years ago) link

Seems awfully familiar too, I must have seen it once, but you lose track of crap British made box office duds.

The Robustness of Captchas (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 February 2016 13:58 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

More from Ann Quin in 2018

xyzzzz__, Monday, 3 April 2017 22:07 (three years ago) link

But, um,...

TS Hugo Largo vs. Al Factotum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 00:47 (three years ago) link

Recently tried reading "Tiptricks" but I managed two pages and gave up.

Bill Teeters (Tom D.), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 09:22 (three years ago) link

nine months pass...

And other stories are putting a collection of short stories and fragments by Quin

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:43 (two years ago) link

haven't read the new collection, but it's worth following the ann quin page on facebook. the account, which i think is run by carol burns (alan burns' ex wife), occasionally posts letters and other personal documents

dogs, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 16:35 (two years ago) link

For once I can say the words 'damn I wish I was on Facebook'.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 January 2018 18:42 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Whoa, awesome.

emil.y, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 15:07 (six months ago) link

Yeah, saw that earlier

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 16:25 (six months ago) link


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