Frantic and overdone, but strangely honest rantings from a modern-day Genet.

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PARADOXIA

A PREDATOR’S DIARY

Hellion’s diary of a troubled life as hunter and despiser of men.

Lunch, a musician, writer and photographer, was a grimy and dark princess during drug-haunted Manhattan’s nihilistic No Wave movement of the early ’80s. Here she recounts time spent amidst the artists, scenesters, druggies and occasional murderers who made up acquaintance. Lunch was spurred to sexual aggression by a childhood of abuse in upstate New York, and later into nympho-maniacal behavior and rampant drugging. “New York City did not corrupt me,” she writes. “I was drawn to it because I had already been corrupted.” She hated men but flung herself at them, the worse the better. Reproducing the pathology of abuse, the cycle of pain received and inflicted, she grabbed and discarded with abandon, making a specialty of deflowering 14-year-old boys. The pell-mell prose gives the book an immediacy that’s hard to shake, and Lunch’s headlong plunge into manic devastation and corruption at times recalls the better work of William S. Burroughs. No wonder that Hubert Selby Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn, was a mentor of sorts to this evil angel of extremes. As Sonic Youth front-man Thurston Moore (another No Wave vet) puts it in his blank verse afterword, “She can lure fascist beasts to honey with a whiff of her thigh. She can eviscerate them in their own hideous pools of selfish shame.”

Frantic and overdone, but strangely honest rantings from a modern-day Genet.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-933354-35-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Akashic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2007

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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