Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

in which the author discusses five books he'd read, if time permitted.

1. The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse,  by Lonely Christopher.
This debut short story collection seems transgressive and queer in a good way, but then there's always the worry– as there is when buying any post-structuralist/postmodern (whatever that means) short story collection–that when the book arrives it just be a weird collection of bad line drawings and mostly-blank pages with just one or two short sentences and you'll have read the whole thing in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica and you'll be out $17.78 facing a long sleepless night ahead with nothing left to read in the house but an overlong biography of Mark Twain.

2. Your Wildest Dreams, Within Reason, by Mike Sacks.
Funny guys are good to have around. When you're in the mood to laugh, they make you laugh. When you need to cry, they make you laugh. When you storm the beach at Normandy, they're usually the first ones mowed down by German machine-gunners. And when you need to retreat and leave their bodies on the battlefield, they don't take it too hard. In fact, they're more likely to crack wise or ask you to tell their mommas that they love them than say something totally inappropriate like, "Don't leave me here to die!"

3. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, by James Gleick.
In case you didn't hear about it, there's an Information Age a-brewin'. The Information Age isn't much like the Age of Bronze or the Age of Iron–though we do still have a lot of bronze and iron lying (laying?) around. And the Information Age isn't the same as the Age of Enlightenment because we have a lot fewer powdered wigs now. I'd say the Space Age is like the Information Age, but now that the shuttle's been decommissioned we'll probably have a lot less information about the universe, which will mean that the Space Age, in certain respects, will have had more information than the Information Age and, if you think about it, a shot at the title. The 1970s were the Golden Age of America Cinema, but that seems neither here nor there, but the Jazz Age seems more fun than any of the ages heretofore mentioned, even though people wore zoot suits then, and a small man with a slight frame like myself could never wear one and be taken seriously.

4. Perpetual Inventory, by Rosalind E. Krauss.
Will my aspiration to regularly read high-minded books about art criticism–not just art criticism itself, but books about art criticism–ever be realized? Or will I spend the rest of my life with my crooked nose buried in a copy of  while I stuff cotton candy between my ears while watching Battlestar Galactica and drooling into a paper cup?

5. Radical Coherency: Selected Essays on Art and Literature, 1966 to 2005, by David Antin.
See #4.

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