Sunday, June 17, 2018

"Reflection on a Past Life" by William N. Copley (Walther König)

ISBN: 978-3-86335-458-9
Never heard of this little book until I went to my local (and excellent) used bookstore Alias East Books, and picked this up.  I had coffee, took the bus home, and within the hour I finished the 80 or so pages.  A remarkably charming account of the gallery year of Artist, art dealer, and American Surrealist William N. Copley AKA CPLY.  According to the book, his book had six exhibitions.  From September 9, 1948, to February 20, 1949, and then it was over. The artists he had one-man shows (none of that group show crap) of were Magritte, Joseph Cornell, Roberto Matta, Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, and Max Ernst.  Financially the gallery was a wash-out.  A total bomb.  And located in the dap of the middle of Beverly Hills, California.  So in a sense, the Copley Gallery was the pre-Ferus Gallery in the  Los Angeles area.  

Copley's charm comes through in his prose writing. He's hysterical, and his observations on his artists are both insightful, gossipy, but respectful in a guy's guy world.  Also included are a series of photos of the original installations that took place in his gallery.  This is an art dealer who loved his artists and their art. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Joe Meek on Tosh Talks





Joe Meek on Tosh Talks



Joe Meek is without a doubt one of the intriguing figures that came out of contemporary music.   A gay man who lived in London when it was illegal to have gay sex or even hinting of having a relationship with another man, very much lived in his working space on Holloway Road in North London.  He didn't leave his flat/recording studio that much, as he was, at the time,  focused on making recordings that to this day is revolutionary and profound, in the sense that he was probably one of the first DIY personalities in the recording world.   On this episode of "Tosh Talks," I focus on three albums by The Meek planet.  Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, Heinz, and the brilliant "I Hear a New World" (1960) billed as Joe Meek and the Blue Men.  I also commented on Brian Eno's "Another Green World" and how that is the little sister or brother to Meek's "I Hear a New World."    A friend commented that Meek is the bridge between Les Paul and Phil Spector, but to me, as he was a non-musician, he used the recording studio as an instrument, similar to what Eno did years later.  A remarkable sonic artist in an extraordinary era. - Tosh Berman

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"City Lights & Streets Ahead" Memoirs of Keith Waterhouse (British Library)

ISBN: 978-0-72123-0964-6
I have this nagging interest in the literature of British writers in the post-war years of London and other cities in the United Kingdom.  Keith Waterhouse is one of the writers that I kept a note of, to investigate, especially his novel "Billy Liar," which of this date, I haven't read yet.  By chance, I picked up this edition published by The British Library of two Waterhouse memoirs in one volume "City Lights" & Streets Ahead."  Both are remarkable books, not due to originality, but the fact that Waterhouse was a remarkable memoirist, who not only captured various characters that came and went in his life but more important to me, places.  I wouldn't think he would call himself a Situationist, but he shares the love of exploration of one's neighborhood, town, and city and with great descriptive powers of his writing, he captures neighborhoods better than a photograph of such a place. 

"City Lights" is about his youth in Leeds during the war years, and also his first approach to becoming a journalist for newspapers.   Waterhouse has a perfect pitch understanding of the importance of location in everything he writes about.  This is something he must have learned as a journalist, or, he has that natural talent in expressing the surroundings in such a vibrant, textural manner of writing.  He's obsessed with the markets, bus & public transportation, libraries, marketplaces, and so forth. How a city is built up and serves its population is very much on Waterhouse's mind.  The beauty of the writing is not just a factual set of information, but his subjectivity due to his writing that puts explicit images in the reader's head.  

"Streets Ahead" deals with his life as a journalist on various London orientated newspapers, as well as his career as a novelist and playwright.  He collaborated with another writer Willis Hall for the theater and film work, and they stayed as a partnership for decades.  This is very much a writer's memoir (both books), and as a fellow wordsmith I'm learning a great deal about craft and putting one's identity in their work, even if it is a collaborative piece of work.  "Streets Ahead" deals with the theater life of Broadway New York as well as London.  His description of Manhattan in the 1950s is merely superb.   Again, his ability to hit the streets to see the sights, smell the scent, and acknowledge the iconic as well as the forgotten structures is remarkable.  There is even a section of him visiting Los Angeles, and that too is an excellent observation of that city.  He also attempted to walk Sunset Blvd from Downtown to the Beach.  He didn't make it, but still...  

Toward the end of the book, he and Hall worked for the Rolling Stones, on a film project that didn't happen.  It's interesting to read commentary by a guy from the theater London world commenting on The Stones world in Los Angeles and a bit of London.   "City Lights & Streets Ahead" is a British must read for those who are fascinated with England in the 1950s -especially regarding its Theater life. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Joe Meek's Bold Techniques" by Barry Cleveland (ElevenEleven Publishing)

ISBN: 978-0-615-73600-6 
To enter the world of Joe Meek is like swimming in a pool of liquid but not sure what is in the mixture.  Still, one needs to dive into the deep pool and keep both ears wide open.  To be an admirer of Joe Meek's recordings always leads one to an obsession.  I know very few people who dipped their toes into Meek's work, and not leave without being obsessed with the sounds and odd narrative of Joe's life.   "Joe Meek's Bold Techniques" is a beautiful obsession but tightly controlled by its author Barry Cleveland.   For one, the book's primary focus is on Meek's recordings and his techniques in getting these strange outer world sounds on his records.   It goes into detail the nature of his home studio in North London, as well as the equipment he had, or made/invented for his singular sound.   A total sound/studio geek book, but Cleveland's writing never loses the human behind the machines, and therefore an excellent biography on Joe Meek.  

The other book on Meek is the essential biography "The Legendary Joe Meek: The Telstar Man" by John Repsch is an extremely well-researched book on its subject matter, but what is missing is the narrative skills of the writer.  I feel Cleveland's book is a better narrative piece, even though it has tons of material on equipment, microphones, tapes, and so forth, it's still an overall amazing document on Joe Meek and his life.   Also includes a track-by-track analysis on Meek's legendary and amazing album "I Hear A New World," which the second edition of this book includes the  CD version of the album.   Also has a pretty fantastic Discography that is much needed.  The Joe Meek world still needs a lot of work with respect to discography and research.  I'm hoping that there will be a full overall biography of Meek and his times, as well as the upcoming documentary A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK, which promises to be extremely interesting. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

"Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World" by Tosh Berman (coming out January 2019)


Anthony Bourdain by Tosh Berman


The passing of Anthony Bourdain out of our (my) world is a depressing thought. I don't know Bourdain, nor have I read any of his books, or care about food shows, or even cooking, yet, one of the few joys I have is watching Bourdain's Television shows. I don't have regular TV, so I tend to see his programs a year later, or even a decade late. Nevertheless, his openness to other cultures and his acceptance of odd and strange food dishes is something to marvel at in the time and age of such hideous figures like Donald Trump, who finds McDonald's the ultimate dining experience. His embracement of Rock n' Roll artists and culture and his excellent taste in politics and social mores was a very nice commentary on the world. As of this week, I was thinking of actually getting regular TV services so I can watch Bourdain's programs on CNN. A glass of wine and I'm transported to a foreign area of the world, and I'm perfectly happy. Even though I'm a vegetarian, I do enjoy another's eating habits, which I thought to myself, "How long can he live after eating so much meat?" I also enjoy his programs when he goes to Japan, a country that I love, and it seems he captures that culture in such a compelling manner. And also note that his commentary on the Israel/Palestine issue is refreshing with respect to the Western World ignoring the open wound that keeps pumping out the poison that is Israel's policies toward Palestine. He was the little strong light in the world that turned entirely into darkness by the dark forces that all of us are facing on a daily basis. 
I followed his Instagram because I'm fascinated by individuals who travel on a consistent basis. He would shoot his various hotel rooms throughout the world, and there was something slightly depressing about that existence. On his TV shows, he never talked or showed off his hotel existence in such a clinical manner. It was the flip side of Bourdain's landscape, compared to the outside world, which he wandered like a hungry Situationist. In the hotel room, there was no sense of life. Like David Bowie, he was an original made up of parts that are known, and I love. The adventurer, the traveler, the writer, and sort of an Errol Flynn attitude toward the world, in that spirit that seems masculine, but not in the straight jacket mode of a Trump or any of that sickening mode of a human. This morning I decided not to get cable or a new streaming series. I'm going to spend more time listening to vinyl and reading books. And writing of course. - Tosh Berman

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley on Tosh Talks





Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley on Tosh Talks

Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley are a British songwriting duo from the 1960s and 1970s. Sometimes they go under one name: Howard Blaikley. They wrote songs for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich as well as Peter Frampton's first band, The Herd. An underrated and almost unknown band these days. They sounded like The Walker Brothers meet The Small Faces. I first heard 'Howad Blaikley' songs through Joe Meek's The Honeycombs. Their first album is one of the great pop recordings and like The Herd, criminally underrated as well. On my show "Tosh Talks" I go deep into the world of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, from The Honeycombs to their odd album with R.D. Laing called "Life Before Death." I'm your host, Tosh Berman, Tosh Talks.

Monday, June 4, 2018

"Peepholism: Into The Art of Morrissey" by Jo Slee (Sedgwick & Jackson) 1994

ISBN: 0-283-06210-X
I remember finding "Peepholism: Into the Art of Morrissey" by the singer's co-designer Jo Slee at a local Virgin music store in Hollywood, and I never bought it, but I always looked through the book on a regular basis whenever I visited that store.  One day I arrived, and the book went missing or got sold, and ever since then I have been thinking about obtaining this book.   Morrissey, in a nutshell, is a fascinating artist.   Of all his talents, and songwriting is one of them, but I also love his sense of design and thought that into his graphics for The Smiths.  Jo Slee worked with Morrissey on the visual side, and it's fascinating how he had brought up a distinctive gay or/and pop culture through his work.  I believe the images he uses or presents is just as important as the music.  His time with the Smiths was the best, visually speaking.  I prefer the solo Morrissey than the Smiths music, which I know is a sin to the average Smiths fan, but on the other hand, his work as a graphic artist/designer is superb during The Smith years.  

His use of actors such as James Dean, Albert Finney, and various British iconic comedians, pop star great Billy Fury and so forth is used as a language to describe an inner world that is very Morrissey specific.  In a manner, his work reminds me of Sgt. Pepper cover, due that one thinks how do these faces in the background connect to the Fab Four.   One feels the same way when approaching a Smiths cover.   Once Morrissey went solo, he pretty much eliminated having another face or person on the cover beside himself.  That, I also found interesting that he made this huge change when he went solo. A difference is good, but, the intensity of The Smiths graphic is exceptional in design and mind. "Peepholism" is not the perfect Morrissey graphic book, or on its subject matter. It would be nice if a cultural critic/historian did a book on just Morrissey's graphics world, nevertheless, "Peepholism" is fascinating in parts, and I'm happy that I eventually found a used copy. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

"Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50" by Agnès Poirier (Henry Holt & Company)

ISBN: 978-1-62779-024-6

I can almost resist everything, except, any books about the Left Bank during the 1940s to the late 1950s.  Generally, readers/culture addicts are seduced by images of Paris and its culture throughout the years.   In a way, it's the conceptual 'Disneyland' for those who don't live there, yet, keep track of its beauty through pictures, movies, and of course, literature.  I'm so much in tune to that world that I pretty much started up a press, TamTam Books, just focusing on the Paris post-war years, due that I love the literature as well as the figures that came out of that time, especially Boris Vian.    

There are many books on Paris that was published throughout the years, as well as memoirs, diaries, and biographies - so it's not an obscure subject matter by any means.  But it wasn't until recently one hears the name Boris Vian in English reading books on the Existentialist period.  Vian was a significant figure in those years, and a lot of books about that period avoided his identity, I think due that none of his books were available in English at the time.  Therefore I have to presume editors for various presses probably decided if editorial cuts are being made, it is perfectly OK to eliminate Vian in its narrative.  That is not the case anymore.  Although he's a side-figure in the recent book "Left Bank" by Agnès Poirier, at least he's given credit as a writer and social figure in Paris.  

Beyond that, this book doesn't have any new information, and if one is a long-term reader of Paris literary and social history, still it's a fun read and Poirier does a  good job in covering all the loose ends of the rambling narrative that is the grand city of romance and ideas.  All the stars are here:  Juliette Gréco, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, Camus, as well as the Americans that came to Paris during the post-war years, such as James Baldwin, Miles Davis, Richard Wright, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and the old stand-by's such as Picasso and Jean Cocteau.   A colorful group of characters.  One is in good company.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

"Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World" by Tosh Berman (City Lights Books)


Ladies and Gentleman, this is a photograph by my father Wallace Berman. This will be the cover for my memoir "Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World." Coming out on City Lights Books in January 2019. - Tosh Berman

City Lights Books website for further information:  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles" a Memoir by Françoise Hardy; Translated by Jon E. Graham (Feral House)

ISBN: 978-1-62731-060-4
Françoise Hardy, along with Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall, and of course her husband, Jacques Dutronc is one of the great architects of the French pop sound, sometimes known as Yé-Yé.   For an American, the French pop/rock world is almost like living in Superman's Bizarro, where everything is slightly different, or just a tad weird.  The French are very formal in the recording well, and there is also a deep respect for poetry, which comes through the lyrics.  Especially someone like a genius such as Gainsbourg.  "The Despair of Monkeys and Other Trifles" is a fascinating memoir, for one, we don't get that much of an insight into that world if we don't speak in French.  So, a book like this is essential to one who loves French 1960s pop music.  

Hardy's life is not unusual, but still a troubling family background.  Her mother was cold, and her sister was insane.  And her long-term relationship with Jacques Dutronc is both a head-scratcher and kind of awesome, in that they both respect their roles in the relationship - although it took Hardy a long time to accept certain aspects of her husband's mental and physical state.   In a cliché saying, it sounds so French!   In her manner, Hardy is very thorough on her stance in life, which is a mixture of sophistication and a believer of astrology, which she has written books on that subject matter, as well as a column in a publication.   I'm also delighted that she knew Stockhausen and appreciated his music and other modern experimental composers of that era, even at the height of her fame in the 1960s.  

Indeed an iconic beauty, but I'm not surprised of her unease with her physical appearance or her feelings of stage fright.  For me, the way she sings there is a hesitation like she wants to grant the listener an invitation into their lives.  Which I think is one of her big appeals as a singing artist and songwriter.   There's a hesitation in her manner that is very seductive.  Still, she was then, and I suspect still, a major player in French pop music world.  Reading the book, you come upon every significant French star - both on artists she worked or ran around with.   So the reader gets a nice snapshot of the scene at the time.  The French entertainment world was/is a small one, so I suspect it's difficult to avoid anyone of importance.  For example, even my beloved Louis Furey is mention here and there in the book, and he's obscure like a ghost in the English speaking world. 

If there is a weakness in the book, it may be within the English translation of Hardy's prose in French.  Reading the book, I feel like I'm reading a translation which usually means there is something wrong with the style of the translator.  Or it may be just Hardy's writing itself.  Still, if you are a fan of Hardy's music, this book is a must-read.  A few years ago I published Serge Gainsbourg's biography by Gilles Verlant, and this book is an excellent companion piece, due to the coverage of the French pop music world, which is a mystery to most French non-speaking people. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Joker on Tosh Talks





The Joker on Tosh Talks



My obsession with the great American fictional character The Joker.  The main villain for Batman/Bruce Wayne.  Visually based on "The Man Who Laughs," starring Conrad Veidt.   Here I riff through the idea of The Joker.  Both in my life and in the White House.  Tosh Berman, the host of Tosh Talks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Adam Parfrey 1957 2018 on Tosh Talks





My thoughts and commentary on Adam Parfrey's Feral House and his importance as a publisher.  Also some personal observations on the issues of publishing and fathers. - Tosh Berman

To read my article I wrote on Adam for the L.A. Weekly go here:
http://www.laweekly.com/arts/publishing-provocateur-adam-parfrey-has-died-but-his-feral-works-live-on-9454557

Monday, May 7, 2018

"Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond" by Michael Nyman (Cambridge University Press)

ISBN: 0-521-65383-5
Even though it is only an illusion, but it seems that when John Cage walked into our room, the world has re-started in some fashion.  Cage is the stone that was thrown into the pond, and future experimental music came from those little ripples from that rock.   Michael Nyman, a great composer, by the way, wrote this book in 1974 at the height of Brian Eno's Obscure Records label, where he focused on the British wing of the musical avant-garde.   Before Nyman's work with filmmaker Peter Greenaway, he was acutely aware of the tradition of contemporary classical music and all its strange and beautiful routes it took through the later years of the 1940s to the publication date of this book.   In such a fashion the book appears to be a classic textbook on its subject matter, and Nyman is very much the instructor in taking the reader from point A to point B, and so forth.  Not one only gets the foundation of Cage, but also the works of Fluxus era composers up to the British talent such as Gavin Bryars, Christopher Hobbs, and the Scratch Orchestra, as well as the world of Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich.  Illustrated with music scores and rare photos, this is a remarkable and essential piece of work regarding the world of the avant-garde sounds and its artists.

Friday, May 4, 2018

"Francis Picabia: Littérature" (Small Press Books)

ISBN: 978-1-942884-24-8
There are individuals from cultural or the visual art world that seems so romantic, that they can't possibly exist.  Francis Picabia was undoubtedly on the planet Earth and was a fantastic artist and poet.  "Francis Picabia: Litterature" is a collection of black ink drawings that were used for the DADA journal "Litterature."  This slim book is as elegant as the drawings.  Picabia's work is very sexy, and it flirts with the island of Eros, in that it's provocative, witty, and incredibly seductive.  The book also has excerpts from Picabia's literary work "Caravansérail" which regards Andre Breton and his world.   But with of course a touch of erotica.   This book is in a limited edition of 500 copies.  I strongly suggest if you are either a fan of the DADA world or love Picabia's work - either with words or ink, do get it.

"Coal Black Mornings" by Brett Anderson (Little Brown, UK)

ISBN: 9781408710500
It is my interest to read memoirs that focus on the early years of its subject matter, due that I wrote a memoir "Tosh" (City Lights Books) that does the same thing.  Brett Anderson is the lyricist/songwriter and vocalist for the British band Suede.  A band that I had mixed feelings for, but since I read this book by Anderson, I re-listened to his work with Suede, and now I appreciate their music and stance in British pop music of the 1990s.  And they are still around, making interesting music.  Still, I didn't know what "Coal Black Mornings" will bring to the literary memoir table.  It's delicious. 

Like a Suede song, Anderson captures the English landscape of poverty and struggling with a family that is partly eccentric - (especially the dad) and the rush of growing up with nothing, yet there is a future if one takes it by the ears and shake it a bit here and there.  Born in a situation where Anderson felt trapped, it is art -both literature and music, which saved his hide. This book in a sense is a tribute to being focused on what you want to do, and not to lose sight of that goal or the world you want to obtain.   The book ends as Suede signs the recording contract with Nude Records, but the build-up to that point is a delightful read, from a superb prose writer.  He does get 'flowery' time-to-time, but it also serves him personality or character-wise, as well.  

My main problem with Suede is not the aesthetics, but that their references to their culture are apparent.  Saying that, and especially after reading this book, I think I'm a tad of a snob to criticize them for that alone.  The fact is that they can write songs like "Trash," while not totally original, is nevertheless a beautiful pop record with an excellent (catchy) chorus.  And "Coal Black Mornings" deals with that subject matter, with Anderson's approach to the songwriting craft, and his ability to stand alone, along with his bandmates, to work on the final product until they find it suitable.  

I'm not sure what Anderson is like in person, but in this book, he's very nice to his fellow musicians and seems to be very fair-minded chap.  So, this is not a gossipy book or one where he settles old scores, but more of an upbeat tale of his youth and hard work to obtain his vision.   In theory, these type of books are a bore, but due to his writing skills and insightful way he can describe London in such poetic but realistic terms, this book is a real winner. 


DJ Lance Rock on Tosh Talks





I have known DJ Lance Rock for 20 years. Although Lance is known for his work as being the TV host of "Yo Gabba Gabba," a show I have seen at least twice (and loved), I mostly know him from the world of music. Lance's knowledge of and deep appreciation for music goes from dance music to Steel Guitar to the avant-garde sounds of Joan La Barbara, Steve Reich, Tony Conrad, to various Post-Punk artists to the nature of retail stores. We talk about books, as well as our love for Les Rita Mitsouko, Magazine, Buzzcocks, and the genius songwriting of Pete Shelley. Basically, two cultural nerds dishing the sounds around them. - Tosh Berman, Tosh Talks

Thursday, May 3, 2018

"Art & Vinyl" by Antoine de Beaupré (Fraenkel Gallery/Editions Antoine de Beaupré)

ISBN: 9782912794291 

FRAENKEL GALLERY / EDITIONS ANTOINE DE BEAUPRÉ


Of all objects on this planet, the vinyl record and its packaging is probably the one thing that I treasure the most. The size of a 12" or even a 7" piece of vinyl strikes me as the perfect size to appreciate the work that is in front of me. Some people have pictures of their family or pets on their I-Phones, and some even have food, but for me, it's the picture of a favorite album that warms my heart. That one image brings me to a different world or a landscape that is redefined to another level of existence. I go to record stores, not only to buy music but also to look at the album covers. I very much treat a visit to a record store as if one visits a museum or gallery. It's interesting to know that many artists feel the same way, regarding the vinyl album and its cover.

"Art & Vinyl" (FRAENKEL GALLERY / EDITIONS ANTOINE DE BEAUPRÉ) is edited by Jeffrey Fraenkel and Antoine de Beaupré, whose records are in his collection that is in this book. He is also the founder of Librarie Galerie 213 in Paris. There are many books on the vinyl record as music and as a visual, but "Art & Vinyl" is the best volume on that subject matter. For one, this expensive book is superbly designed, and the reproductions of album covers and their vinyl is perfection at work. 

The focus is on the fine arts and not the commercial arts. All the covers and designs in this book are by well-known artists and photographers. And there are surprises here. I didn't know for instance that Gerhard Richter did a painting on a Glenn Gould album. Or that Yves Klein designed the album and label for a recording of a lecture he gave at a museum. Beyond that, there are the famous works, for instance, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,"(Peter Blake & Jann Haworth), "Best of Cream" (Jim Dine), "Exile on Main Street" (Robert Frank), and others. 

There are also artists who did covers, but also made the recordings as well. Joseph Beuys, Yves Klein, Jean Dubuffet, Christian Marclay and Wolfgang Tillmans all made their records under their name. Noticing the relationship between the visual and recording arts is interesting. Many musicians do visual art, so why not are artists making music? In a sense it's another platform for these talented people to explore, and "Art & Vinyl" covers that field quite well. Not only a remarkable book, but an essential book for designers, but also to expose the thread between high-end artists and the vinyl graphic and recording world.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

I'd Die for You and Other Lost Stories" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Scribner)

ISBN: 978-1-5011-4435-6
Success is nice, but it's failure that draws us to the flame so we can get close to that landscape to taste it.  F. Scott Fitgerald is in many ways the Jim Morrison of early American literature.   Sexy, beautiful, and gets fascinating as his demons/alcoholism takes over the body and mind.  The two sides of Fitzerald is the young successful, brilliant prose writer, who was at the top of his profession and world.  Over a short period things crashed into the ground, and me, being me, is fascinated with the ruin that is Fitzgerald.  The truth is, once a writer, always a writer.  He didn't re-write "The Great Gatsby" or any of his early novels, but he did produce the magnificent "Pat Hobby Stories."  One of the first to convey a cynical, even noir attitude toward the Hollywood dream machine, Fitzgerald never lost his talent.  He lost perhaps his luck, and of course, his health.  Still, his prose talent never failed him.  It's interesting that there is now an excellent compilation of stories and film treatments that were unable to sell.  Fitzerald's primary income (and he was paid very well) was magazines and Hollywood.  Still, he had to struggle with getting works completed, as well as getting them published, and he often didn't succeed. 

"I'd Die for You and Other Lost Stories" is a fascinating set of short stories/film treatments that he couldn't get into print, and when offered the chance to change the narrative, he refused to do so. His attitude, and rightfully so, was either publish it as it is or sends it back to me (Fitzgerald).   What makes this book swing are images of Fitzgerald that I have never seen, and the short introduction to each story by its editor Anne Margaret Daniel, who did a superb work of editing and detective work.  Beyond that, there are only two stories that I like a lot:  "The Pearl and the Fur" and "The Couple."   Both are classic narrations on class difference and wealth.  Even though a flawed fellow, Fitzgerald was a fantastic observer of American culture and its citizens. Overall I would recommend this collection to the Fitzgerald fan, but also to writers who struggle with their work. I tend to read literature about writing, and Daniel's mini-introductions exposes Fitzgerald's world at a tough time and place for our prince of American Literature. 

Dennis Cooper Blog on Tosh Talks





Dennis Cooper Blog on Tosh Talks

Clearly, one of the great blogs on this planet.  As a daily practice, I read Dennis Cooper's blog every morning.  When he started to do his GIF postings, I had to get a new computer just to watch them.  An essential exploration of Dennis' world, or at the very least, seen through his eyes and aesthetic.



Bookmark this address, and do visit:  http://denniscooperblog.com