Friday, January 29, 2016

Our Great Trickster Figure

The death of Bowie still has me knocked for a loop, to be honest. I mean, a lot of people were affected by Bowie's death, so that's nothing new, but I still feel that most people had really stopped listening. Hence that last entry that I called a late-stage Bowie retrospective. As I said there, late-stage Bowie, with his intentionally in-your-face imagery and lyrics, his Scott Walker-inspired atonality and Jazz sensibilities...that was MY Bowie. Many mourn the loss of Ziggy and The Thin White Duke, but those personae were already gone. But late-stage Bowie was still here, still producing work. And now he's just gone.
When I turned in the final draft of Drowning Narcissus back in October of '14, and one of the characters wondered about living in a post-Bowie world, I had no fucking clue that world would come less than two years later.
We live here, now.
Our greatest Trickster figure is gone.
Some have asked me for recommendations about the best Bowie biography. To me, it's always going to be Marc Spitz's Bowie: A Biography

If you follow me on Goodreads, I gave this one 5 stars it's so good. Until Angie, Iman, or Zowie (Duncan) come out with books, this is the one I'd say get. Who knows...maybe Bowie wrote one himself and it will come soon.
That would be lovely.
The weather here in this state is oppressive as ever. 75 mph gusts when the temperature is already hovering just under freezing. The politics in this state are oppressive. It's hard not to start feeling like the lyrics to Zep's "Ramble On" in some ways.
I submitted the latest book to the first agent at the top of my list and waited two and a half weeks for a response. Normally, in the old days of paper submissions, that wouldn't even be enough time to make sure it had gotten to him or her. Since this was an electronic submission, though, I feel fairly confident that was a no. In talking with a fellow writer, though, I found out that the press I wanted to place the latest book with takes un-agented submissions, anyway, so I put the packet together and shipped it off. Fingers crossed!
I also finished cleaning up one of my oldest novels...a book that predates Stealing Ganymede in many ways. It's been a long process because that book needed a lot of help. Once it was done, though, I immediately queried another press that I think would be a great home for it. That editor is reading it as we speak, which makes me very happy. Fingers crossed there, too.
Wouldn't that be a hoot--three books from me all coming out in rapid succession.
A new work already in progress. It came to me after a strange dream I had about the actor Chris Owen. School has started once more, so I'm not finding a lot of time to work on the book right now, but it's on my mind.
Michel Houellebecq's latest novel, Submission
wound up on more than a few lists of books that one needs to read, so I took a chance on it. I'm woefully underread in French authors, especially contemporary ones. Still, this seemed very interesting, especially in light of my dawning awareness of how French society has changed in the 21st century (especially in the wake of the Paris Attacks). I can say that the book did not disappoint--it's provocative, especially in regards to contemporary views on academia and Islam. I have to admit that the ending felt rushed. I could have lived with this book for a long time (as with Philip Roth's The Human Stain, which this book reminded me of more than a little). Not a book for the faint of heart, though the punch comes not so much in the prose itself, but in the thoughts you find yourself thinking because of the prose.


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