I knew at some point I would return to his works and read them slowly and carefully, because something there was worth savoring. For example, I remember standing in Green Apple, on the second floor, right where the stairs end, and there was the table covered with books, I picked up Europe Central and read this:. Somewhere between steel reefs, a wire wrapped in gutta-percha vibrates: I hereby…zzzzzzz…the critical situation…a crushing blow.
Some would claim this type of writing a loose and baggy monster full of purple prose. Those terms carry a negative connotation. But I enjoyed it. Obviously some publisher thought it was worth producing.
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I was reading in isolation, desperately wanting to connect with other people who valued this type of prose. I specifically remember asking a woman bookseller if she had anything by Vollmann. But as I read him, it was like Jesus washing the feet of prostitutes. He and so many of the figures in the book were lost causes, so much of the voice was sympathetic. I had never read someone who had such empathy for a group of people that are so often the detritus of capitalist America. This critical companion is significant for a number of reasons. First, it makes the world a little less lonesome.
Readers of Vollmann now have a book that can be found in the library that will offer them the silent conversation of academic discourse. Too often the academic world is purely professional, but for many it can be a place to connect with other like-minded individuals. This book is the starting point for learning and relationships, to say nothing of careers.
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Daniel Lukes, a co-editor, tackled one of the most salient issues in the Vollmann corpus—masculinity, sexuality, and prostitution. While often superficially addressed in book reviews, nobody to my knowledge has established groundwork for discussing these issues and how readers make sense of such topics. Vollmann: Methodologies and Morals. I reached out to Lukes via email to ask a few questions about this book and his essay. I like what you say about the loneliness of the Vollmann reader: and how likely it is that even if your friends and colleagues count literature specialists among them, your direct circle might not include other Vollmann readers.
He is something of an acquired taste or literary oddity, on some level, who has not quite attained either the critical or popular mainstream acceptance of many of his peers. I do sometimes wonder if Vollmann might ever pull a Cormac McCarthy and produce some late-career pop hits that make him more of a household name. In any case, literary history is full of authors who took a while to be recognized. Certainly one of the most rewarding aspects of the whole project, first the MLA conference panel and then the book, have been contacting, meeting, and working with other Vollmannists, finding such a sense of camaraderie among them, and sharing conversations and enthusiasm.
I first started reading Vollmann as a young man in my twenties living in London, and his explorations of loneliness made a major impression on me. You read and read and sometimes you find an author who somehow speaks to you in a particularly direct way, as if making your own thoughts and feelings more intelligible to you. For me literary criticism should involve some kind of giving back — to the writers that are important to you — by sharing your passion for them.
Thirteen stories and thirteen epitaphs | Open Library
So when I went back to grad school for my PhD in Comparative Literature, I always intended to work on Vollmann, in spite of the difficulties involved in studying authors who are non-canonical, or controversial in some way. Can you provide a contextual backdrop for the MLA conference panel on Vollmann that started this book? How did you and Christopher decide to go ahead with the project of assembling this book? What was your motivation to include the shorter non-academic essays in the critical companion?
At the time of publication some parts of Netherlands New Guinea and some islands in the surrounding oceans were still under Japanese control. Covers show some brown tone at the edges and just a bit of wear map is in fine condition. October 12 Old Masters for Zanesville's Museum. Portinari Arms and Armor Brought up to date. Limited edition. Soft stapled wraps. Original black and white wrappers.
Very good with marginal rubbings from use. Includes black and white illustrations. Lang: - eng Vol: - Volume 41 Pages Reprinted in with the help of original edition published long back As these are old books we processed each page manually and make them readable but in some cases some pages which are blur or missing or black spots. We expect that you will understand our compulsion in these books. We found this book important for the readers who want to know more about our old treasure so we brought it back to the shelves.
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Hope you will like it and give your comments and suggestions. When the powers that be reduced the speed limit on Lake Windermere to 10 knots waterskiers complained that their sport was now completely scuppered. Red binding. White dust jacket. Illustrated primarily from photographs. Im reading The Ice Shirt now and so far its pretty darn amazing.
Vollmann is a tough nut to crack, his oeuvre is all over the place in regards to subject matter, and according to the reviews, quality as well. I think Ive found a good entry point with The Ice Shirt though, but I really believe it will be very hit and miss in the future in regards to which of his books resonate with me.
Vollmann finally clicked for me, and I have been devouring his books so far this year.
What an immense talent, and with his already extensive oeuvre there are plenty more books to choose from. I almost never read two books from the same author back to back, but right now Im compelled to only read Vollmann, hes that good. Any other Vollmann fans out there I would love to hear what books of his you have read and what your opinion of his work is.
Thus far yes its early he is my personal greatest literary discovery of The other thing about Vollman is that he is absolutely fricking insane if you ever read about him. And insane in a highly interesting, 'my crazy uncle did this once' sort of way. Cooper, Vollman is one of my favourite authors of all time!
But it sounds like you've already read more of him than I have. In the past few months I've read The Ice Shirt, The Rainbow Stories, about page of Imperial and about pages of Fathers and Crows - the previous two are freakin' amazing, I just had to put them aside temporarily due to other commitments. I've also sneaked a peak at the prologue to The Rifles - absolutely stunning. Those few pages are some of the best I've ever read. I've also read Whores for Gloria- a lot shorter than most of his work, a much narrower focus, and pretty visceral lots of ugly sex.
I get the feeling it's something he whipped off in his spare time :D. I love Vollmann's work, but I often wish it came in smaller bites. It's the getting-started I find hard; once I'm into a Vollmann, I'm there, but, y'know, I only even climb Everest once a decade or so well, twice in the '70s, but that was a special case. He sure is a one-off, though. I really can't think of any writer to compare him to. I forgot to mention Rising Up and Rising Down. I've read the opening sections of the unabridged version , and, I confess, I find the confrontation with mortality too discomforting.
Vollman paints its dusty, squelchy reality so vividly it leaves me with a slight sense of psychic nausea. One day, perhaps, I'll be able to handle it.
WILLIAM T VOLLMANN 13 Stories & 13 Epitaphs 1st SIGNED
I don't find the length of his works off-putting at all; unlike most other lengthy books, I find I can put him aside for a week or two and then step straight back into the narrative. Great to see some Vollmann fans around. The amount of Vollmann tonnage I have on the shelf right now is awe inspiring.