Friday, November 17, 2006

p.s. The mighty david ehrenstein has pulled through big time today, as I'm sure you'll agree. Do give him your response. I sure learned some stuff from this. At the risk of possible own horn horn tooting, I'd like anyone to name another blog that pays tribute to Slayer and Lorenz Hart in the same week. Bizarre. I don't really have anything of note to report on my end, so I'll just move to your, end, so to speak. ** Jw veldhoen, Interesting. Well, hm, I read what you wrote a few times, and looked at your blog, and my potentially faulty conclusion is that your post is dense with irony. If I'm wrong, and you're being serious, you seem fully intelligent enough to imagine the unsatisfying response I'd give you. So I guess I'll leave it at that. I will say you have an interesting blog, though that might not be much of a compliment coming the likes of me. ** Joe mills, If you do, tell Suspect Thoughts I sent you. Hm, I guess I should quit smoking, huh? I won't cut down, though. Nobody I know who's ever tried that has been successful. It's all or nothing for me. On Alyson, well, at least two people who post here have published books with Alyson, but I don't know if they'll feel comfortable in-putting on that subject. I only know Alyson as a reader. They've done some excellent stuff as well as a lot of what I consider junk. David Gest has to be about as low as it gets on the celebrity scale, and of course he's on a reality show. Good God. ** Bacteriaburger, I read two of your porn stories -- the Burger King one and the 69/rimming one -- and liked them a lot. It's not very often at all that I'm reading porn and getting happily distracted by how good the sentences are and how economical the prose is. I also read 'The Bee Is Me,' which I like a whole lot. Beautiful. Consider me a fan, and I look forward to reading more. Oh, if you don't mind me asking, when you write for places like Handjobs, what kind of edit do you get? If you are edited, is it at all a literary kind of edit? How free do they let you be? I mean, is there a formula they expect porn stories to follow -- A+B=C -- or is it looser than that? A lot of questions, sorry. I'm just curious. ** Photi, Hey. Yours a great list too. I didn't know Night Boat or Factory School, so big thanks for those turn ons. I love all those presses you mention too. Have you published with any of them? How's your Paris trip planning going? Etc. ** Perspects, Oh gosh, I can see how my sentence/tone read as teenage-level bait. If so, it was unconscious. I was just spinning off tosh's post without calculation. If I did bait, I'm sorry because, really, no one is going to hear that tape. I don't even know where it is. In some box. On your novel/blog question ... I don't think the blog has affected the novel problem. If anything, I think math is probably right that it'll only help when or if I find another novel to write. Like I've said, I'm seeing this blog as my big project. It's my new novel in the sense that I'm trying to make it my own, something original and valuable, and think of it as an artistic form that I'm working in, and so far it's still a really interesting process to me. And of course this unexpected community has formed here, and that's really something because a novel doesn't do that. Yeah, sure, sometimes it's a chore, but so's writing a novel. An obligation? Once in a while when I'm feeling really burnt out on ideas, it sort of feels that way, but not entirely, and it's more that when I'm not in the mood I think of it as a form of discipline. A vacation: it's inevitable. I won't always have the time or handy internet, but I think the vacation time will find me not the other way. I think it's okay. I might go down to only posting five days a week at some point. We'll see. Thanks, I. ** David ehrenstein, Thank you thank you for today. And, on Shadow Morton, did he do other really top work aside from The Shangri-Las? The only other work by him that I can think of is his production on the second New York Dolls album, but I'm assuming he must have done a lot of work in the 60s, no? ** Tosh, Oh, thank you for the support, sir. ** 5stringaphasia, Yury speaks Russian, English, and French. ** Mark, Interesting question about Redonnet. People here often ask me what contemporary French fiction writers I like, and I always have to say that not many get translated, but among the ones I like a lot are Marie Redonnet. And the response has been a kind of thoughtful pause and then an, 'Oh, yes, she's very good,' which I have interpreted as indicating that she's not a big deal here, not a writer on the tips of literary people's tongues, but that she is respected. The only other thing people have said is that they think her earlier work is better, but then I tend to interpret that kind of response as meaning, 'I haven't read her recent work, but I'd rather not say that I haven't.' So that's all I know so far. But I like her work a lot, like you. ** Tony o'neill, I'll be very interested to hear your take on Amsterdam, my former home, yet a place I haven't been in a decade. Have an amazing time. ** Misanthrope, That's very nice of you to say, my friend. Funny, on your latest job guess. Yury really laughed when I told him what you'd guessed, and he's not a big laughter person, but rather a bit of a hardnosed young Russian cynic. I fear you'll be sorely disappointed by the blandness and obviousness of the answer. I love your guesses, though. ** Matthew, Thank you. That's incredibly nice. I read that piece of yours, 'Flashbacks,' on your webpage and liked it a lot. Very sharp. So thanks for it too. ** T.pkendall, Hey, there. Thanks for the project report. Very curious sounding. I'll try to get over to your blog and read the new writing asap. ** Katsim, Hey! I was wondering where you were. Nashville, huh. I've never been there, but I always imagine a super country music influenced place, meaning .... I don't know, cowboy hats galore and lots of steel guitar sounds floating on the wind? Thanks for the project. I'll put it on the permanent page. You sound good. ** Sypha_69, Sounds like we're in pretty much the same writer stage allright. I like your HP Lovecraft book idea. If you're not in a fiction state, why not? It definitely sounds very worth doing. ** Eddie b, You still at the writer's residency? Comedy's good. I thought there were things in your novels that were really funny, showed your touch for it. ** Brooklynserpico, Pollard's injury surely just means he's gonna go back to Dayton and record five new albums while he's limping around. Not a bad thing. ** Antonio, Am I surprised your course load is heavy on the female? No, I expect no less of you. What interested me in your list of classes, not surprisingly, is a little old class called 'Composition II Eng.' Please tell me this is a fancy name for a writing workshop, and that you've bitten the bullet and decided to flex your mindbogglingly great literary talent. Or don't tell me that if you don't want to. Anyway, you say all your classes suck, which would include that one, which is not a good sign, I guess. Tons of fake jewelry for you, dude. ** Math t, as I said to perspects above, yeah, I think the blog will only help lead me to whatever novel I write next, if I write another novel. I.e., i think you're right. ** Lost child, Thank you, pal. You don't have to be articulate about your projects, and your inarticulation is beauty. ** Blake, That's crazy you saw the films of those pieces. I'd love to watch those again. It's been forever. You know, since you offered, you could actually really help me out if you took any camera phone shots of 'Them' because I'm putting together a blog entry on that piece, and I don't have any pix from the piece itself. If you have any and could send them to me, that would be really great. If it's a hassle, don't worry about it. Thanks, man, and for the good words about the text. Speaking of Kevin Cridon -- it's actually spelled Creedon: I wish you could have seen him or I had a picture. Wow, pretty. ** Maria mcgregor, Thanks! ** Matt, Okay, I'll think up some questions and email them to you soon. I'm pretty easy to talk to, you wouldn't really have to sweat it. But, cool, Matt Day is now officially in the works. Projects can be anything, so your band is definitely a project, yeah. Good, more Matt-related stuff for your Day. Take care. ** Winter rates, Yeah, I know some of the work of Sun City Girls and definitely like it. Your curated Day would be most, most welcome. Anytime, whatever you want to do. Great. ** Nicehex, Excellent news about the meeting. Sure, send a still or two. You know, if you're game, I'd be totally into devoting a blog day/post to your film: stills, script piece, notes, whatever you wanted to share. Anyway, I just throw that out there, if the idea appeals. My address: ** Jheorgge, So now you've got me and probably others wondering what happened today post-big meeting. Can the opinions of the bright and few have had a real impact? Fingers crossed. ** David c, 'Frisk' might sorely test your love. We'll see. Gulp. Yury would love to model for D&G, but no. Apparently there's an unofficial but generally agreed upon height requirement for male models and Yury's height doesn't make the cut. That's what Yury says. ** Hedi, I would so welcome and value anything you have to say about Guyotat's 'Coma,' which isn't available in English, I don't think, and/or Lynch's 'Inland Empire.' ** Atheist, Please nick away at my blog. Pretty please. Trust me, it's a big compliment and honor from one so ultra-talented and wonderful as you. Anyway, anything you nick becomes yours. Your voice is only yours, a transformative force. ** Jax, Fuck, I really apologize for the boyfriend name mix-up. And please tell Tom I'm sorry as well that I hope he feels better. The name Circlet Press sounds very familiar. I'll have a hunt. You're so generous and helpful to the blog people with your suggestions and tips. It's really good of you. Best of luck on the weekend of treatment writing. I'll burn a imaginary candle -- that sounds really lame, wow -- and avoid walking on cracks and so on for you. ** Simon, Okay, will do. I was really sorry to read about Grizzly Bear's robbery and the other troubles. I hope you and they are okay. ** Dandysweets, Russia used to be included in the green card lottery, but no more, grr. But you should try it. Hopefully, if you win one, by the time you get over there, its evil empire phase will be on the way out. Have a good one. ** Geez, I'm posting this so late. It's been one of those days of endless phone calls and other interruptions. Late or not, I hope you enjoy david e's glorious fruit. See you.


Blogger David Ehrenstein said...

Wow, Dennis -- thanks for adding the pics of Mitzi Green, Ray Bolger and cover art from Simple Simon, Present Arms, the lobby card for Higher and Higher (a film I used to watch a lot on "Million Dollar Movie") and the Anita O'Day album cover.

This was great fun to do.

6:26 AM  
Blogger atheist said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:34 AM  
Blogger atheist said...

*bursts with happiness*

7:19 AM  
Blogger 5stringaphasia said...


Hey, hope you are doing good. Yury is tri-lingual, very cool, hope that French is coming along well, very beautiful language, but I admit to being a very severe anglo-file. I speak English, and enough French and Spanish to read them without much trouble. Italian, that's the one I wish I could read/speak, it's the Romance Language most pleasing to me. Russian, yummy. Yury, a D&G model?
Has Russian fashion/aesthetics had anything to do with his interests in fashion. Ok Chanel, Lagerfield, Levis/Kerouac, the French/WWII GIs, Ralph Lauren, um Versace, Todd... Yury should be a model. I don't know which house, but he should definitly be a model. My fashion is an Abercrombie waist down, GAP tee-shirt hybrid style, skates. I have amassed an extensive "professional" wardrobe, sub-business suit/business-dress casual. Pj pants are the way to go if you ask me. Baggy, all that shit's wrong on the jewelry. Speaking of little black dresses, MATT DAY, I'm stoked. I was reading Guide before bed, figuring out your writing Mr. Cooper, you are so weird LOL I love it. Went back to glance at my notes in Camus' The Rebel, the guy blows me away. Considering studying more French poetry. Looks like I'm off to da club with Puffy and Jon Benet, and my boyfriend. First, David E's day. Have a nice weekend Dennis/Yury, bloggers

7:27 AM  
Blogger David C said...

Slayer/Lorenz Hart - you're probably right there - though of course if we were talking Buffy the Vampire Slayer that would be a different story
Ooh, but Dennis I am LOVING Frisk. This re-reading of the cycle (I forgot to include it as a mini-project) is really proving worthwhile. I've decided to forgive you for overwhelming my capacity for cultural consumption but promise that my love will remain pure.
One interesting thought is that post-blog my reading is much more aware of the autobiographical elements in your work - is this a good thing from an authorial perspective?

7:30 AM  
Blogger ignacio said...

david e -- lorenz hart provides a mood i'm not in nearly enough. i need to contemplate more the beauty in life.

7:32 AM  
Blogger David C said...

I forgot about Yury's height. So if he's not a model, is he going to be a receptionist in a Parisian hamas? Or, I'm thinking something between pattern cutting and retail?

7:33 AM  
Blogger Tosh said...

Mr. Ehrenstein first of all a great subject matter. One of the great things is that the melody plays in my head while reading the lyrics. I am not sure if it is because I am so familiar with the work - or the fact of the skill of putting the lyrics to a melody it just reads that way. Hart is simply a great writer. Him and Cole Porter were something extraordinary. They have that 'genius' bug in them.

This maybe a stupid question, but what was the creative process of Rogers and Hart? For instance the book of the show comes first right? Then they sort of write to that book - thinking of the characters situations, etc.

What's fascinating with that work is that the songs work on one level, and then on another level all together. So in a nutshell does Rogers and Hart think of the song outside of the theater context? And also what comes first the melody that Rogers made up or the lyrics by Hart. Do they go back and forth? I am really curious about the working relationship between the lyricist and the melody maker?

Also right now I am dealing with the translation of the Gainsbourg lyrics (not easy I tell you!) We at this moment want to keep the translated lyrics true to Gainsbourg's melody as well. So we don't want to separate the melody from the lyric writing. In other words when you read Gainsbourg lyrics we want you to pick up on the melody of the song.

Does this make sense? I am writing all of this without the first taste of the demon Coffee.

And on another subject did anyone else besides me witnessed the David Lynch, live cow and piano performance outside of Tower Records the other day?

7:34 AM  
Blogger atheist said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:47 AM  
Blogger atheist said...

well, whatever yury's job is, i really hope he's loving it and that it's going to open up all the right doors for him ... does he do fashion design stuff, have i got that right? do you think one day he'd ever let you post some of his designs, or is that just not in the realm of possibility? *crosses fingers in hope*

7:57 AM  
Blogger Misanthrope said...


I'm glad Yury got a laugh out of that. You know what's cool, it's how everybody likes Yury so much because you like him so much. It's like your love for him has been transmitted so thoroughly through this blog. Pretty neat.

I'd never known who Lorenz Hart was. I'm glad I do now, though I have to admit I'd rather read his lyrics than listen to them - that style of music kind of makes me sick to my stomach. Anytime Frank Sinatra would come on TV, my mom would say to me, "Now you can see why Elvis was so popular." And I agree with her - I just have very little patience with that lounge-type music. But I do appreciate the lyrics - they're usually very good.


PS Okay, is Yury a greeter at EuroDisney?

8:19 AM  
Blogger David Ehrenstein said...

How Rogers and Hart worked together is a tad mysterious. Obviously they were there at the start to agree upon the show and possibly map out a general design, but from what I've been able to gather the lyrics came first and then the music.

misanthrope -- Hart had nothing to do with the lounge.

The alley, yes, but not the lounge.

9:01 AM  
Blogger dandysweets said...

Since there are so many guesses about Yury's possible job i thought I'd join in.

Is he teaching Russian at a language school? (Or maybe French to other Russians?)

Oh, I know, he's a cosmonaut working under fake identity -

and David E,

thanks for your day. Lorenz Hart is someone I'd only ever heard of as 'Rogers and Hart' and I never even thought about them as separate at all or even human beings (so to speak), just as a pair of songwriters who'd written some songs I like. But after reading your 'day' about Hart I was interested to read more, both about him and Rogers (and also Hammerstein), so thank you for making me want to investigate further :)

As for My Funny Valentine. My favourite version is definitely the one by Chet Baker. Least favourite, probably the one by Rufus Wainwright. As much as I rate him as a songwriter and performer, I don't like the sound of his voice much.

9:35 AM  
Blogger math t said...

Dennis, yeah, i feel like when i read your blog, i understand much more vividly and immediately how your books get written. i mean, we are basically watching you write- or as close as we could get to that, anyway, without standing around in Paris looking over your shoulder or something. we watch you structure things; we see what things you group together as 'didn't fit anywhere else', etc. i don't know anyone else who uses their blog as such an obvious building-block thing. naturally, it's really cool. also, even though i'm not devoted enough yet to post 6 days/week, i know my own blog has only encouraged me to be more productive and creative. like, if i don't have anything to post for a few days, i'm like, 'oh shit! i haven't been doing anything!!' since i am a freelancer who follows a nonsense schedule, it's a fantastic way of reminding me how time passes for other people. since you said you'd never had a dayjob, i would imagine [?] the simple rhythm of the thing is nice for you in a similar way maybe. the '1 big post every day' thing is pretty unusual.

__David E i knew a Hart day from you was going to include lots and lots and lots of song lyrics. good show.

__Alyson Books: i don't know if i have useful information to offer, but i once edited an anthology for them under contract+pseudonym. it was not-very-interesting lesbian erotica, you can buy it on Amazon. anyway i met the people who run the company and such [i lived 3 blocks away from their building for nearly 2 years in Los Angeles]. they seemed like good people interested in doing good stuff, who also had to put out lame cash stuff that sold, to finance the rest of it. i interviewed for a job there as an editor, but i didn't get it. if anyone has questions about Alyson i'd be happy to answer them candidly based on my very limited knowledge. email link= on my blog.

__hey! i just decided i am going to have a SPECTACULAR WEEKEND! i think everyone else should do EXACTLY THE SAME THING!!

__study for future oil painting [to be completed by end of 2007]
__study for future work in neon [to be completed: ?]

love, math+

9:46 AM  
Blogger atheist said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:06 AM  
Blogger David Ehrenstein said...

Latest FaBlog: Happy Birthday Chuck

10:14 AM  
Blogger np0804 said...

I knew I was expanding my horizons in new and wonderful ways when I became a regular reader of this blog. Given that Rogers and Hart come from a guest curator I shouldn't be so surprised today. It seemed that Slayer came from the source himself, although I am having a very busy week so I didn't look into things as closely as I would have liked and perhaps Slayer was guest curated as well. But I did do some quick internet research and learned that Slayer seems to be regarded as the thinking man's death metal band, or at least the best. As far as death metal, I guess I always saw the hair, the black outfits and the dour expressions and determined that it wasn't for me, and at this point I must be too old to be discovering death metal anyway.

10:30 AM  
Blogger JW Veldhoen said...

Yes sir, I jest, obliquely. I sent a perhaps too obsequious and fawning note through your publisher's website that I suppose you did not receive being that it would act as a coda to my rant, disposing of any misunderstanding. I have found your writing touching, and quite often profound... I wonder the viability of blogs/electronic journals for you, or myself, owned as they are by a giant gatekeeper that could, at any moment, tell us to shut the hell up... Your blog speaks to me of the potential though, for immediate and free distribution of artful reflections... even though, lord knows, most blogs, and the people that write them, are not artful at all... but some represent the potential for an ongoing sort of highly personal cultural anthropology, once called literature.

I had an editor recently compare my writing with Michel Leiris, and I think that that comparison might not be so inappropriate, even for you, at least in this form... Your 'interests' as they are called on drop-down boxes, and on form-fills, expand out on this page, an are curated and elaborated splendidly... My response to your publishers post was just a bit of bitterness on my part re: publication and the difficulties of it. Thank God that these presses even exist though... You've mentioned some of my favorites (esp Dalkey Archive)... I might add Clear Cut Press, and Coach House Books... I posted an unannotated index of my bookmarks some time ago, and included some of the same houses. You've actually bothered to be a service though, by commenting and clarifying etc. which I damn you for, since I don't need the competition!

In the end, maybe these sorts of things, these blog things, are some poor version of Montaigne, but I love personal diaries when written by interesting writers, even though I also believe in reading creative writing w/o much knowledge of a writer's biography and intentions... Other folks I know manage blogs that might interest regular readers here, and yourself. I like a blog called vananodyne, and the blog maintained by painter Wil Murray... I share some connections with both of these people, but WTF, I admire them and this will probably be my last post here... Anyway, I thought I'd clarify if I was overly ironic (gasp). I loved "God, Jr" and will read your other books, eventually. Your frankness and honesty impress me... Susan Sontag wrote the introduction to the English version of Michel Leiris' book 'Manhood', where she abused Norman Mailer (rightfully) and wrote about risk with regards to a writer and their practice, and courage as a standard for judging some aspect of greatness... This risk coefficient, this willingness to expose and conceal at the same time, makes you a heavyweight...

10:39 AM  
Blogger E. D. said...

Yay! Does this mean things are back to normal, Dennis? I hope so. I kind of missed all the craziness.

Sorry to hear about your little writer's block, Dennis. But isn't it reassuring that this always happens - meaning, eventually it'll go away and you'll write another novel? I'm always impressed when anyonen manages to write just one of the things. I barely have the patience to write a short story, which is why everything I write is just a couple paragraphs long.

Speaking of - a friend pointed me to this website where they self-publish books, DVDs, CDs, etc. and it's outrageously cheap.

All you writers here - have you ever self-published anything? Is it just a waste of money?

Part of me wants to do it to see what the end result is, and just have something, you know? But I suppose ultimately that wouldn't make any sort of difference if I was shopping my stuff around, would it?

I was so fucking bummed out yesterday when I heard Robert Altman died. I guess we all should have seen that coming, but I kind of expected him to to live forever. I think I may have to dig out my copy of Images and watch it in his memory. Have you seen it, Dennis? Next to 3 Women, it's my favorite of his.


I was waiting someone to bring up Lynch and his cow! Further proof the man is a genius - who else promotes their movie/actress with a live cow and a sign that says "WITHOUT CHEESE THERE WOULD BE NO INLAND EMPIRE."

I'm expecting INLAND EMPIRE to be one of the greatest artistic experiences of my life. So far, Lynch has never disappointed me. I'm already salivating.

Well, I hope things are back to, er, normal now (I guess perhaps that's not a good word for this blog?).


4:48 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

OMG this WORKS?!?!

5:19 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...


9:32 PM  
Blogger atheist said...

1 ... 2 ... 3!!!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Wil Murray said...

Should you visit Montreal, look me up and I will have you by the studio.

6:31 PM  

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