it gave up its best schticks ("was he having an authentic experience of art??") ("but you're a fluent speaker") way too early
it enlisted the madrid train bombings for emotional heft
the ending, at the poetry reading, was unearned given that the narrator is an insufferable butthead throughout -- like whatever we are meant to draw from the stuff about the translating/creating that's going on is suddenly not being played for laughs unlike his praxis/existence before, but it seems if anything more banal, trite, an obvious set of shibboleths. it occurs to me as i write that maybe the novel was playing a smarter game than i thought, that whatever's happening at the end should be taken in the same mood as i.e. his projections about women and his getting lost, but then it's just a dumb nihilistic novel instead of a dumb novel featuring unearned redemption
― ♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 31 August 2014 08:01 (five years ago) link
i did read the linked bit of the lichtenberg figures, the other night, while i was waiting in an airport terminal: those i liked, i guess
― ♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Sunday, 31 August 2014 08:02 (five years ago) link
I tried hard to imagine my poems or any poems as machines that could make things happen, changing the government, or the economy or even their language, the body or its sensorium, but I could not imagine this, could not even imagine imagining it. And yet when I imagined the total victory of those other things over poetry, when I imagined, with a sinking feeling, a world without even the terrible excuses for poems that kept faith with the virtual possibilities of the medium, without the sort of absurd ritual I'd participated in that evening then I intuited an inestimable loss, a loss not of artworks but of art, and therefore infinite, the total triumph of the actual, and I realized that, in such a world, I would swallow a bottle of white pills.
― Treeship, Monday, 5 January 2015 02:48 (five years ago) link
i thought the first 30 or 40 pages of this were really good, but as soon as it got into the lovesick girl stuff i just tuned out. boring & typical. gonna read 10:04 next, hoping for something better
― flappy bird, Thursday, 29 October 2015 18:15 (four years ago) link
New Lerner short story here. If you liked 10:04 you'll like this, but it's kind of the same old schtick.
― Zelda Zonk, Friday, 3 June 2016 08:53 (three years ago) link
read abt half of 10:04 on a plane yesterday and one of my first reactions while reading was i bet treeship likes or would like this
― johnny crunch, Thursday, 28 July 2016 13:07 (three years ago) link
the new novel -- the topeka school -- is excellent until the last section, when it devolves into moral pedantry. the failure is more pronounced given how good the climax was -- and how complex the characters were. it shouldn't all resolve into a bite size/social media ready comment about masculinity
― treeship., Friday, 10 January 2020 21:22 (one month ago) link
I have only been peripherally aware of this dude, but seeing Topeka School on best of 2019 lists piqued my interest. Where should I start?
― jaymc, Friday, 10 January 2020 21:31 (one month ago) link
Leaving the atocha station and then the short monograph, the hatred of poetry, which follows up on themes from the novel about negative capability
― treeship., Friday, 10 January 2020 21:38 (one month ago) link
If you like those then the topeka school next.
His poems are kind of cool too. I like the first collection best—the lichtenberg figures.
I liked 10:04 better than either Atocha or Topeka, haven't read the poems.
― Guayaquil (eephus!), Sunday, 12 January 2020 18:54 (one month ago) link