Justin Taylor at Book Court, 8/19/14
Music consecrates everything and this was a holy moment… Jenny Lewis’s high, honeyed voice swarmed all the space between his ears, and everything she sang was the most important thing he had ever heard before, though he’d long known all these lines by heart.
Justin Taylor’s short story collection Flings, which you should buy from an indie bookstore.
There’s another excerpt I can’t post because of spoilers, but it’s about a guy getting a good rhetorical whack upside the head after spilling his sexual longings in the classic women-are-defined-by-my-desires way that I really identified with. Justin’s good at writing the whack-upside-the-head bildungsroman of the modern straight white man.
Hey, I wrote a book and it was published today. It’s a short story collection called Flings. You can read all about it here and, if you want to, find a bookstore to buy a copy from here, or just buy it online at any of the usual places where that is possible. This is probably a good time to remind readers that I am this person, apologize for the relative lack of on-mission content these past few months, and mention that I also exist on Twitter, @my19thcentury .
Above, this tumblr reasserts its devotion to the cover song (if not its actual work ethic) with Blue Cheer’s cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” which, pace Wikipedia, may or may not have marked the advent of heavy metal.
I believe that all work is necessarily of its specific time. There’s just no getting around that, even if you’re consciously writing historical or speculative fiction. I’m not interested in zeitgeists, but I am interested in the way that people live, think, and speak; the technologies we use; our experience of ourselves and each other in everyday life. I think that when people say great books are ‘timeless’ they don’t—or they shouldn’t—mean that the book is unmoored from its own moment or shot like a rocket beyond the orbit of history, or whatever. It’s rather that the work is so firmly rooted that it continues to grow and live with the world as it changes. Leaves of Grass, Moby-Dick, Middlemarch, Independent People, Housekeeping: these books aren’t rockets, they’re trees.
Justin Taylor, author of Flings
Someone liked a thing I said!
Megafaun with John Darnielle and Justin Vernon cover the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil.”
Hiss Golden Messenger - Onder Invloed session. Recordings like this are the reason this blog exists.
1. One Morning In May (Traditional)
2. Into The Mystic (Van Morrison)
3. What Comes After The Blues (Jason Molina / Magnolia Electric Co.)
4. Bad Debt (Hiss Golden Messenger)
5. Lateness Of Dancers (Hiss Golden Messenger)