Friday, August 24, 2012

Padgett Powell

In Padgett Powell's new novel, You & Me, "two loquacious gents on a porch discuss all manner of subjects, from the mundane to the spiritual to the downright ridiculous."

Earlier this month I asked the author what he was reading.  His reply:
I have completed in the last several weeks Peter Guralnick’s Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, which I picked up in Kevin Canty’s house. Kevin said it’s sad and he is not incorrect. Poor Elvis is about the best I can hazard. It is a frightening long march of mismanagement and silliness and it will scare you if you see in it-–the Presley life, the person-- even small facets of your own dispositions and inclinations. I am on to a book by Thompson and Cole that Guralnick refers to as authoritative called The Death of Elvis. Might have to look at superbitch Goldman’s second Elvis book too (the first, because he can write, is a hoot). It’s all bracingly sad.

I have finished chapter one of Under The Volcano, a book on my list since about 1969 probably. I had to start the chapter twice to get to the end and even now do not feel the undertow I wish I’d start feeling. (I am in approximately the same position vis-a-vis Ulysses, for approximately the same time period.) I like one of the sentences in this chapter well enough that I used it as an epigraph for You & Me: “He felt rather like someone lying in a bath after all the water has run out, witless, almost dead.” That aptly describes me and my fellows in the book, so we shoe-horned it in. Malcolm Lowery is spelled Malcom Lowery in the first edition, so if you want the error, step lively and buy now.
Learn more about Padgett Powell's You & Me at the HarperCollins website.

My Book, The Movie: You & Me.

--Marshal Zeringue