February 15, 2011

I'm gonna shine out in the wild kindness
and hold the world to its word

Barbara Crane, Private Views, 1982

* Excellent profile of Stoner (my favorite book) author John Williams. excerpt:

Williams published three masterful works of fiction in a twelve-year span, all misleadingly labeled as "historical novels" but vastly different from one another. Each one was greeted with wretched sales and was soon out of print — even though the last one, Augustus, won the National Book Award for fiction, the only work by a Colorado author ever to do so.

People sometimes confuse Williams with the African-American writer John A. Williams, or even with the composer of Star Wars. Yet every few years some astute and influential critic rediscovers Denver's John Williams, with the same shock of recognition Greenberg experienced sitting in her car back in 1965. "Why isn't this book famous?" C.P. Snow asked, writing about Stoner in 1973, after it finally found a publisher in Great Britain.

"John is almost famous for not being famous," Williams compadre Dan Wakefield complained in 1986. "This is Hemingway without bluster, Fitzgerald without fashion, Faulkner stripped of pomp."

Writing in the New York Times in 2007, Morris Dickstein called Stoner "something rarer than a great novel — it is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, that it takes your breath away." Other Williams enthusiasts have heaped praise on Butcher's Crossing — described as the finest Western ever written and as the first anti-Western — and on Augustus, an astonishing journey through the rise of imperial Rome.

* Werner Herzog reads Roger Ebert's review of My Dog Tulip.

* “All music is folk music, I ain't never heard no horse sing a song” -- Louis Armstrong


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noticed you also recently posted something else about Stoner. And now you reveal it's your favorite book.

Ok. You sold me on it.

Just put a hold on it. Should be delivered to my local library branch in a few days.

Allan Smithee

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


re: Just put a hold on it.

Meant that I reserved a copy of said book.


Allan Smithee

3:17 PM  

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