Monday, January 25, 2010

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester is a journalist, essayist, poet, editor, and teacher.

His first two books, God Save My Queen (Soft Skull Press, 2003) and God Save My Queen II (2004), are collections on his obsession with the rock band Queen. His third, The History of My World Tonight (BlazeVOX, 2006), is a collection of poems.

His latest book, How to Be Inappropriate, a collection of humorous nonfiction, was recently published by Soft Skull Press.

I recently asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I usually have a stack of books next to my bed, and I switch back and forth among them depending on mood and how sleepy I am. I just finished reading Michael Martone's Racing in Place: Collages, Fragments, Postcards, Ruins, and it's super. To me, it strikes an artful balance between what Aldous Huxley calls the "three-poled frame of reference" of great essays: the objective/factual/concrete-particular, the abstract-universal, and the personal/autobiographical.

Then there's Let's Talk about Love: A Journey to the End of Taste by Carl Wilson. It's part of the 33 1/3 series of books dedicated to a single album. In this case it's the siren of shmaltz herself, Celine Dion. Told from a particularly Canadian point of view, Wilson sets out pretty ambitiously, which is to capture what taste is: many have failed before him, so I am curious to see where this one pans out.

What else? Let's see. There's Nick Flynn's new memoir The Ticking Is The Bomb, my friend Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's Everything is Everything, Kathleen Rooney's For You For You I am Trilling These Songs, and, at the bottom, a book called The Artistic Transaction and Essays on Theory of Literature by Eliseo Vivas. It's a collection of critical essays that hearken back to the time--the book is from 1963--when scholars wrote essays for a general audience. Vivas first hit my radar when I was making a handout on the objective correlative, and the Northwestern professor was cited as having written a piece that pokes holes in the idea, popularized by T.S. Eliot. It's really good, but it's by my bed primarily to help me get to sleep.
Visit Daniel Nester's website.

--Marshal Zeringue