Where You Go When You Want to Think

This site has excerpts of my novel-in-progress, Hot Love on the Wing, as well as thoughts on post postmodernism, avant garde art, literature, music, and the community of artists in Bushwick and New York.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rembrandt and Classic Literature: Finnegan's Wake, The Unnamable

He painted this at 25.
Yesterday I went to the Frick to see the Rembrandt and School exhibit. Rembrandt was a master by the time he was 25. If I had to choose one painting from the Frick to have in my home, it would be the Hans Holbein of Sir Thomas More. The thing about this museum is that it has representative works by most of the masters of Western art.

Now I'm sitting at Barnes & Noble (an activity which will become historical within a few years after all the bricks and mortar bookstores close) reading Finnegan's Wake. Very unlike Rembrandt stylistically. It's like Joyce was just talking out loud for six hundred pages, messing around, and he wrote it all down. Except it took him seventeen years.

Meanwhile I'm almost done with Beckett's The Unnamable, from his prose contribution to classic literature, Three Novels. When you run across three page sentences, it's easy to see the influence of the elder on the younger. The intensity's there, but I tellya, it can get tiresome after a while. That doesn't mean I won't incorporate those stylistic tendencies, especially into a passage I call the big city feeling, which my old man has helped me with writing. I find these techniques very good for building tension, in the same way a Woody Allen joke does.

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