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Showing posts from June, 2015

"Frade Killed Ellen" for Dutch Kills Press

Bellow short stack

Saul Bellow published 100 years ago this month: of the #Writer — Alex Kudera (@kudera) June 4, 2015

3 favorite Saul Bellow characters or scenes 1) Ravelstein watching Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls 2) Sammler observing, famously & 1/2 — Alex Kudera (@kudera) June 4, 2015

3) Saul Bellow's depiction in Humboldt's Gift of Delmore Schwartz as "the first poet with power brakes"; fav prose, opening para. of Herzog. — Alex Kudera (@kudera) June 4, 2015

with a side of Celine

A few days ago, I finished Charlotte Mandell's French-to-English translation of Mathias Enard's Zone, which has several wonderful references to and anecdotes about Celine, and then, this evening I began Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, and it takes me only to page 19 to find Celine once more:

My other book was Erika Ostrovsky's Celine and His Vision. Celine was a brave French soldier in the First World War--until his skull was cracked. After that he couldn't sleep, and there were noises in his head. He became a doctor, and he treated poor people in the daytime, and he wrote grotesque novels all night. No art is possible without a dance with death, he wrote.

The truth is death, he wrote. I've fought nicely against it as long as I could. . . danced with it, waltzed it around. . . decorated it with streamers, titillated it. . . 

Time obsessed him. Miss Ostrovsky reminded me of the amazing scene in Death on the Installment Plan where Celine wants to stop the bustl…