all of it.
why do i like denis johnson?
when he is on form he can capture the ennui of modern living of people who are saddled with problems which i see as recognisable: junkies, trash, grief, etc. like in jesus' son ,angel and name of the world.
other times he veers into the experimental which can succeed and fail with 'hangman' and 'already dead' - though i personally enjoyed the surreal black comedy of 'already dead' - people who read it on my recommendation mention what you've had - problem areas with johnson - re: total abandonment of structure mid-way through, no development and lack of editing.
but i think that is the failure of hangman and at times - jesus' son. i really enjoyed 'already dead' - it had this strange amped up/buster keaton sense of comedy running through it like a cocained quasi tragedy.
but then again maybe that is why i enjoy the johnson writing - he is, at times, able to capture america, as it is and as it wants to be. does that make sense?
― griffin doome, Wednesday, 24 December 2003 20:45 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Thursday, 25 December 2003 00:08 (sixteen years ago) link
― lauren (laurenp), Thursday, 25 December 2003 00:13 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Thursday, 25 December 2003 00:15 (sixteen years ago) link
I am supremely bummed that I slacked on each part of this theater trilogy over the past three years since they all opened in San Francisco.
― anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Friday, 26 December 2003 16:11 (sixteen years ago) link
― cºzen (Cozen), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 19:16 (fifteen years ago) link
Train Dreams, which I just finished ten minutes ago, is wild and beautiful and unlike anything I've ever read.
In spite of its compelling and strange wildness and beauty It's still possible to take a step back and wonder "how is this being done?" In 116 widely spaced pages, how is it even possible that I can know Robert Grainier inside out and know the lives of people he came into contact with and think about geography and civilisation and progress and how to strip a tree and build a railway and bury a man and touch the unknowable spiritual darknesses of all of the many people in the novel. It's truly incredible. It has the strangest most exact ending. I'm so happy that I read this!
― Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 02:38 (four years ago) link
just heard "emergency" on the new yorker short story podcast. read by tobias wolf. kind of incredible, i know one or two other stories but i will be reading more denis johnson now.
― doing my Objectives, handling some intense stuff (LocalGarda), Sunday, 26 July 2015 15:54 (four years ago) link
checked this guy out due to Jed's post above and yeah Train Dreams is really good
― sleeve, Sunday, 26 July 2015 16:32 (four years ago) link
I just finished Tree of Smoke and thought it was pretty fantastic
― sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Sunday, 26 July 2015 16:36 (four years ago) link
― doing my Objectives, handling some intense stuff (LocalGarda), Sunday, 26 July 2015 16:37 (four years ago) link
― Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Friday, 26 May 2017 07:50 (two years ago) link
ahh, shit - really liked this guy's writing
― heck i've even been an 'oyster pirate' (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 26 May 2017 09:21 (two years ago) link
one of my favourites, poetry and his short fiction. jesus' son is a book you can keep coming back to.
― Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Friday, 26 May 2017 10:07 (two years ago) link
Good stories of taking a workshop with him:
I was lucky to be in Denis Johnson's workshop at the Michener Center two years ago. He was an unorthodox and beloved teacher. Some memories:— Kelly Luce (@lucekel) May 26, 2017
― to pimp a barfly (Eazy), Saturday, 27 May 2017 18:44 (two years ago) link
friend posted his poem a monk's insomnia on fb, and the "but it's terror..." lines had me breathless:
The monastery is quiet. Seconaldrifts down upon it from the moon.I can see the lightsof the city I came from,can remember how a boy sets outlike something thrown from the furnaceof a star. In the conflagration of memorymy people sit on green benches in the park,terrified, evil, broken by love—to sit with them inside that invisible fireof hours day after day while the shadow of the milkbillboard crawled across the streetseemed impossible, but howwas it different from here,where they have one day they play overand over as if they thinkit is our favorite, and we stayfor our natural lives,a phrase that conjures up the sun’sdark ash adrift after ten billion yearsof unconsolable burning? Brother Thomas’schoolgirl obsession with the cheapdoings of TV starlets breakseverybody’s heart, and the yellow sapof one particular race of cactus growstragic for the fascination in whichit imprisons Brother Toby—I can’t witnesshis slavering and relating how it can be changedinto some unprecedented kind of plastic—and the monastery refusesto say where it is taking us. At nightwe hear the trainers from the basedown there, and see them blotting out the stars,and I stand on the hill and listen, bone-white with desire.It was love that sent me on the journey,love that called me home. But it’s terrorof being just one person—one chance, one set of days—that keeps me absolutely still and makes me listenintently to those young men above usflying in their airplanes in the dark.
― Fizzles, Saturday, 27 May 2017 18:47 (two years ago) link
ty for posting ^a great poet
― schlump, Sunday, 28 May 2017 00:53 (two years ago) link
is TOS worth the read?
― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 28 May 2017 00:56 (two years ago) link
i haven't ever read the whole thing but everything i know's great-
I want to say thatforgiveness keeps on
dividing, that hopegives issue to hope,
and more, but of course Iam saying what is
said when in this darkhallway one encounters
you, and paws andassaults you—love
affairs, fast lies—and yousay it back and we
blunder deeper, as wouldany pair of loosed
marionettess, any coupleof cadavers cut lately
from the scaffold,in the secluded hallways
of whatever isholding us up now.
― schlump, Sunday, 28 May 2017 01:07 (two years ago) link
that's beautiful, thx
― flopson, Sunday, 28 May 2017 01:09 (two years ago) link
I like Tree of Smoke a lot. It isn't a particularly arduous read, so yeah I'd say it was worth it. RIP.
― albvivertine, Sunday, 28 May 2017 01:43 (two years ago) link
https://www.92y.org/event/a-memorial-for-denis-johnsonoctober 2 - With Arthur Bradford, Kevin Corrigan, Billy Crudup, Michael Cunningham, Michael Cryer, Michael Dickman, Neal Huff, Emily McDonnell, Sam Messer, Deirdre O’Connell, Will Patton, Michael Shannon, J. Ryan Stradal and others
― Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Thursday, 14 September 2017 21:44 (two years ago) link
got a bunch of his short novels out from the library, looking forward to em (if i ever get a chance to read this semester)
― flopson, Thursday, 14 September 2017 23:24 (two years ago) link
the rehab story in "Largesse Of The Sea Maiden" has totally destroyed me. amazing.
― sleeve, Wednesday, 25 December 2019 13:49 (one month ago) link