Skip to main content

somber city?

We're in Chicago--with no periods, semicolons, or colons on this netbook--but we're here, at the Association for Business Communications Conference, hobnobbing with the B-School and Communications crowd, perhaps unlike creative writers, they can discern a career path in the near and far terms, so now I feel like a paragraph from Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Camera, stopping with commas, and then moving on, it's life in windy weather, indeed

but i wanted to drift back to the bit of Saul Bellow quoted by Fred Exley, the "somber city" of Augie's first paragraph if I'm not mistaken, and truth be told, I've read four or five Bellow novels but not that one and yet I think of it a lot, think of reading it, own it in fine trade paper, and have already named a central character in a future novel Auggie in recognition of Bellow's fellow and also the Harvey Keitel cigar-store photographer in Paul Auster and Wayne Wang's Smoke

But back to Chicago--is it a somber city? it certainly is a windy one, so much so that our flight was delayed three hours due to strong gusts and then receiving luggage straight from the plane, outside on the runway became an exercise in survival of the most sensibly dressed, and it helped if you hid behind the other passengers and let their bodies break the wind (so to speak)

Chicago hasn't seemed so somber, it's seemed cold, and we haven't really been very far from the hotel, just one trip to Chinatown, which seemed quite empty, and this could be due to the economy or the cold although there were people inside the restaurants, we were told by the concierge to take a taxi because they don't want guests walking by the government housing on the way to Chinatown, a "for your own safety" kind of thing, so we passed the projects in a taxi minivan (seeing more of those for whatever reason), and we saw some people but neither the buildings nor the citizens looked particularly somber although at the restaurant, Old Sze Chuan, it was more or less, "first to knock, first admitted"

OK, maybe we gather more data and report back later, we're hoping to see University of Chicago later and will report back on the ghosts of Bloom and Bellow if such are seen preparing for their Halloween spooking

PS--amazon recently notified me that bellow's letters are available there at discount

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top Ten Russian Novels!

L.U.S.K. is excited to feature a guest post from Aisha O'Connor-Fratus, writer, editor, parent, and blogger at Hell's Domestic Backside. Enjoy this list of Aisha's ten favorite Russian novels:
1. Anna Karenina (Lev Tolstoy, 1873 to 1877). Anna is rich and bored. Anna hates the way her husband chews his food. Count Vronsky—played by Christopher Reeve, so handsome) sweeps Anna off her feet! But things do not end well for Anna.
2. The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880). Not about a traveling circus acrobatic troupe. Its sweeping explorations of God, free agency, and morality are timeless and haunting. My favorite part is Ivan’s reciting of the poem “The Grand Inquisitor” in which Christ is resurrected during the Spanish Inquisition.
3. Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky, 1866). Life-long graduate student Rodion Raskolnikov tries to justify an unspeakably immoral act with eugenics and hey—a guy needs to eat.
4. Rudin (Ivan Turgenev, 1856). Dmitry Rudin talks the talk, but…

The Writing Life Starring Iain Levison

Iain Levison's Dog Eats Dog was published in October, 2008 by Bitter Lemon Press and his even newer novel How to Rob an Armored Car will be published by Soho Press in October, 2009. Back in '00 or so, L.U.S.K. first discovered Levison's A Working Stiff's Manifesto in hardcover with its original subtitle, "Confessions of a Wage Slave." That memoir established Levison's scalding wit and ability to hold the attention of an ever-tweeting audience. It was later released as a trade paperback with a supercharged second subtitle, and Levison has managed to survive, publish, and publish again. With long-terms roots in Scotland and Philadelphia, Levison currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he commits literature and carpentry as much as he can.

USK: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and when did you first identify as a writer?
IL: Writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at. Well, the only legal thing. Early on, I realized t…

Auggie's Revenge: Reviews, Interviews, and Excerpts