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Jonathan Lethem’s essays reveal surprising influences on his fiction. By Stuart Kelly. National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A New York Times Notable Book A Best Book of the Year —Austin American-Statesman Includes a new, previously. The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. (Vintage Contemporaries) [Jonathan Lethem] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. National Book.

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Inspired by Your Browsing History. Much of the writing is admirable for its ambition, trying to offer some Unified Field Theory of pop culture, ranging from comic books to music obviously to Shirley Jackson.

Many of the essays are the kinds fcstasy long articles in Rolling Stone that, if I were browsing the magazine, I’d skip right over a study of James Brown, a long interview with Dylan, etc. I know that sounds ambitious and perhaps a bit pretentious, but without all of my influences, I am not sure if I would have the ambition to attempt this. Nothing, in all my experience of literature since, has ever had as strong an effect on my sense of the sheer possibilities of writing.

A book infouence essays by author and critic Jonathan Lethem. From two varied backgrounds we met and connected for a brief discussion that still lingers in my memory, although I doubt Lethem recalls it. And we copy what we love. Thank you” — which is as disarming as it is wholly unnecessary. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. When he’s talking about books, bookstores, movies He comes across as very honest, although what he says could be a momentary belief that’s liable to change.

It is probably presumptuous of me to claim that my career could have been similar to Jonathan Lethem’s. I understand if no one actually does navigate them. Patsy Cline and Billy Lee Riley. Lethem’s writing is, as always, razor sharp and highly intelligent. This is such a sensitive issue that I usually do not want to bring up with it.

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The Ecstasy of Influence

Norb of MRRhe constructed whole monthly columns filled with glorious asides nested within nested parentheses and I have no idea who influenced him but he was my original influence in the wonders of breaking a text with multiple streams midstream, seventeen years after first reading one of his columns I’m still playing at copying him, the footnote would come a little later to me and while it can serve the same function it is not nearly as in your face as an annoying series of parentheses am I in one now?

Did he have to put them all in this book? Will that reader try twice? Doesn’t he have any friends? A few interesting things, but not that much that I liked. View all 10 comments.

I don’t know why I turned to it, his last book Chronic City I did find disappointing, it never really took off in my opinion. But also, I feel like anyone who criticizes the turn in the final portion of tFoS just doesn’t understand the book.

But there was a time— to be exact—when our paths crossed and we weren’t that dissimilar. Photoshop effects are there for everyone to surprise no one.

This conflating of three modes leads to outright contradiction. The result is an insightful, charming, and entertaining grab bag that covers everything from great novels to old films to graffiti to cyberculture. Sep 08, Kristina Aziz rated it it was amazing. Some of the pieces ecstaey back into the ‘s.

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The Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem –review | Books | The Guardian

I don’t like boring book reviews, and I generally don’t like being told by a reviewer if they would recommend the book or not. Apr 25, False rated it liked it Shelves: Mar 31, Paul Dinger rated it liked it. Many of the more literary essays in this collection name-drop Philip K. Leading us to the conclusion that Lethem is a minor writer with heaps of brio but not much memorable in the final analysisters.

But, still I keep feeling the urge to write these very long winded ‘reviews’, which I think of more as an extended personal narrative than individual reviews. With gatekeepers like that, we risk stagnation. It’s a long, persuasive effort, with a twist ending, or, rather, a revelation: And if there is an intentional appropriation, it is needed to judge whether its result is an expansive reproduction or just be a mere iteration.

Of course this is true. Jun 12, Larraine rated it did not like it. I think that as he suggested you pick and choose.

Feb 01, Nick rated it it was amazing Shelves: Any artist has influences, whether it is another artist, life experience, environment, etc… As time moves forward, more and more art will be created, so by that reasoning, it will be more and more difficult to come up with anything purely original.

Coming from a music background, I have often thought of this. October 13, at 6: