“You have fallen into art — Return to life”

I spent the latter half of July 4th ablaze, brightening the bedroom well into the night with my rouged red, sunburned skin. Painful, to be sure, but also a fine excuse to avoid do little else but read. By book of choice for the afternoon was William Gass’ hyper-experimental paean to language itself, or maybe of language to itself, Willie Master’s Lonesome Wife. — “Imagine the imagination imagining,” he repeats several times. — Unsurprisingly, I loved it. It is in a sense a 20th-century reworking of Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde (described memorably by somebody as an “ideational erection”), which very nearly derailed my doctoral thesis once upon a time.  (It remains uncertain to this day whether the tragedy was its near-success or its failure to do so.)  I’ve long expressed a vague desire to write an epic erotic poem, mostly because I know the title already, Frottage, so works like Willie Master’s Lonesome Wife and Lucinde are, as they say, in my wheelhouse. Read the rest of this entry »

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