Saturday, September 25, 2010

Exley and Richard Yates

In honor of Brock Clarke's Exley and Tao Lin's Richard Yates, I'm changing the title of Fight for Your Long Day to Anais Nin.

Duffy can dream, no?

To me, the Exley is forgiveable because we aren't coming off a blockbuster movie version of A Fan's Notes. Also, Clarke has paid all kinds of dues--advanced grad work, multiple books, and more--and more than anything, based upon a review, at least the father-son relationship that dominates Clarke's outer frame can be directly related to a significant tension in Exley's novel. And Exley is the man (although, yes, from a technical perspective, Yates was the superior novelist), so Clarke should get props for recognizing that fact. The only customer to review it so far (arrives October 5, 2010) gives Exley three stars but insists we read the original first. But, yes, if you're reading this, then it is likely you've done that. Like amazon customer reviewer Mark Levine of Jersey City, New Jersey (aye, my father's hood of origin), I've reread and recommended A Fan's Notes many times. I'm guessing that Clarke has too. Does that make us any less alone in this world?

So back to Richard Yates. Tao, isn't it tacky to name your novel after a brilliant writer who lived largely among basement cockroaches for most of his life? And particularly when the relationship to Yates is tangential to your book?

Of course, if it sells I might change the title of Fight for Your Long Day to the Tao of Lin.

No escape!

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