Friday, August 3, 2012

Jim Krusoe

Jim Krusoe is the author of the novels Toward You, Erased, Girl Factory, and Iceland; two collections of stories; and five books of poetry. His stories and poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Bomb, the Chicago Review, the Denver Quarterly, the American Poetry Review, and other publications. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund.

His latest book is Parsifal.

Last month I asked Krusoe what he was reading.  His reply:
I just finished Satantango, Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s first, frightening, and comic novel about hopeless life in Soviet-controlled Hungary, but really about hopeless life everywhere. It’s a dense, numbed, enchantment that takes place in a constant downpour and is equal, in its way, to Beckett’s equally glum and humorous scenarios of paralyzed figures on empty stages.

The second book I’m reading, and continuing to read, is the Rebecca West classic, Black Lamb, Grey Falcon. It’s her journal of a trip to Yugoslavia in 1937. I know a half dozen people who’ve read the beginning of this book, and no one ever says they finished it (it’s 1150 pages). On the other hand everyone says it’s great, and they are right. The prose is smart, judgmental, and snotty, and West has an eye for details that reminds me of W. G. Sebald. Finishing it or not isn’t the issue. I like to pick it up, read a few pages, and then forget it for a few days. Whenever I feel the need for a certain kind of bracing intelligence, I pick it up again.
Read more about Jim Krusoe's Parsifal at the Tin House Books website.

The Page 69 Test: Parsifal.

--Marshal Zeringue