Saturday Evening Post
JM, Trees of Wooden Clogs, Libbey Park, Ojai, 6.13.09
That having been said, the Weekly's fiction issue, billing itself WLS, did indeed own the acronym: it was derivative.
There's an article by Nathan Ihara interviewing acerbic lit critter James Wood, a man nobody really wants to interview but many are quietly glad somebody did, even with blanks loaded in the barrel. Woods damns his critics by announcing that they're all damned on the Internet. Of course, there is no "battle for the novel"--the battle is for increasingly disinclined readers, as ever. I find myself simply wanting to read just about everything my friends find worthwhile reading, and only now and then hitting paydirt all by myself.
I cotttoned a little more to Christie's interview of Geoff Dyer, who has elevated his diarized fiction from very tangential journalism to very vaguely emotional parlour game. " A surprising number of people in Britain wake up and tacitly think: How can I slightly fuck up someone’s day, including my own?" Dyer tells Christie in the interview. It's really a shorthand for his own progress in letting go of the anger attendant to England's codified cultural anonymity for the underclasses, but it's entertaining.
Not sure that the featured fiction itself adds much. It was hard to find anything other than the fact of narrative in Michelle Huneven's excerpt. Peter Gadol has and and and and disease, terminally, and while the malady doesn't fit much of anywhere, it really doesn't fit the sleeply slopes of Silver Lake. Charlie Haas? "On the outside the Clean Page building reflected light like five stories of cop sunglasses." That's must be your trite Angeleno lowpoint of the year, but if one lower comes your way, let us know.
Summer arrives tonight at 10:45 p.m. I hope you're young and in love; there is little hope left for anyone who isn't.