Is my boat comin’ in? Have a look at Kyle Gann’s post. I had no idea. And of course, I’m
terribly unhappy about it. (That’s how my staff of thousands spells thrilled.)
What I really love — besides the pleasure he got from my Wyler biography — is how he compares an issue in one field to another, in this case auteurism in film and stylistic identity in music. It’s not an exact comparison by any means, and he makes no claim that it is. But it’s the sort of transposition of ideas — offbeat and unexpected — that comes naturally to him from what I’ve read on his blog and in his latest book, “Music Downtown: Writings from the Village Voice.” When he insists “art is about appearances, not reality,” I’m convinced.
What impresses me most about Kyle Gann’s writing in general, apart from the consistent clarity and the ease of expression, is its personal touch. And no, his mother didn’t pay me to say this. But yes, I realize gratitude like this is unseemly.
Postscript: Looks like my rowboat is really comin’ in. Although it just got bigger, mebbe to a motorboat. The New Yorker has a Hilton Als profile of cinematographer Gregg Toland coming next week that refers to and quotes from my Wyler bio, which will likely move the book up from #396,483 to #396,481 on Amazon. Row, row, row, etc. And now this, from an earlier life:
Jed Birmingham surveys the avant-garde publications of Jan Herman: the Nova Broadcasts, the San Francisco Earthquake, and his collaborations with William S. Burroughs.
PPS: Still rowing my boat this ayem — Monday, June 12 — per Als’s New Yorker piece, which is not online, goddammit. So I’ve scanned in the front page of the article, left, not that you can read it. If you take a look at the magazine’s table of contents, which is online, here’s what you see minus a link:
ANNALS OF HOLLYWOOD
America’s first great cinematographer
Looks like a great issue, by the way, with two other non-fiction pieces by writers I admire, William Finnegan and Oliver Sacks. Their stuff is not online, either. Will somebody tell David Remnick to get over it? Stop with the tease, please.