Sunday, August 27, 2006

Somewhere in the past couple of days I saw a list of books that had gone into the making of someone's (but whose??) book. I love that sort of thing, and it made me try to remember what, beyond Sebald and Sir Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia and Ben Katchor's comic strips (all mentioned in the acknowledgements), had been on my desk over the 7 years I was working on The Exquisite. Yeah, right! But here are a few of them:

The Descent of Alette by Alice Notley
Dark Property by Brian Evenson
Kiss Me Judas by Chris Baer
The Pink Institution by Selah Saterstrom
The Book of Jon by Eleni Sikelianos
Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
Gotham by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
The Melancholy of Anatomy by Shelley Jackson
Jesus Son by Denis Johnson
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Berg by Ann Quin

I suspect the list is something like three or four times as long -- I mean of books that nudged me, even just slightly, in some way during this project.


Blogger Carceraglio said...

I love this kind of book list. There were some great "what are you reading now" emails during the heyday of the Poetics email list. Everybody turned out to be reading Jan Potocki's (sp?) The Manuscript Found at Saragossa, at one point.

Here is a list of what I was reading or trying to appropriate while I wrote a particular short story (which story remains nameless here):

Barbara Comyns, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead

Michel Foucault, Abnormal

Henry Green, Concluding

Alexander Kluge, Learning Processes with a Deadly Outcome

Marie Redonnet, Nevermore

Bruno Schulz, “The Comet”

Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten

Steve Weiner, The Museum of Love

6:55 PM  
Blogger Laird Hunt said...

Great list, carceraglio. The Comyns title is a knockout -- I'll have to look it up. And anything with Henry Green on it rates high for me. And of course Walser and Schulz.

I'd love to encourage anyone else who can call to mind some of the books that helped them cook a piece to add them here. Doesn't matter at all whether the thing has been published, etc.

Actually, it might be even more interesting if film, visual art, etc. were added.

Mulholland Drive would get attached to my list.

And some of David Wojnarowicz's visual art (I'm thinking of a piece showing a guy in flames).

8:25 AM  

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