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Jonathan Letham in the Walt Whitman Writing Series

November 15, 2009

A lot of the authors I read are on youtube. I am going to try and link to these from now on instead of writing tepid book reviews. Listening to Jonathan Letham makes me enormously envious of writers. I would love to have the time to engage with writing the way he does. To “talk back” to the books I read (maybe why I am so obsessed with book clubs everywhere I go). I love the idea of a writing “coming of age”. It is in there—that seed—waiting for the time and attention and discipline needed to make it something real.

In the video, Letham suggests that his writing has a conventional narrative. And I guess, in some ways, it does. I don’t really know what that means. But what I love about his writing, is that distinct sense that you are entering a very specific, very unique world. Fortress of Solititude was brilliant in doing this. His collection of short stories was a hit or miss. I loved the first story (with Mafia game explained)! And I strangely liked the Dystopist story which was a allegorical story about the writing process which sounds boring, but very much wasn’t. Many of the others were…still not formed fully, still half-ripe somehow.

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