Sunday, September 25, 2011

Naming The Unnamable


I’d like to step aside today and direct you to a beautiful review that is, like all of this poet’s writings, perceptive, instructive, and wise. It contains passages like these, which are all the more powerful in context:

... A profound vision of the inner life ... Some of the most resonant accounts of dreams in recent literature ... Some of the funniest, most acerbic rants about American society and values in recent literature ... essentially a meditation on loneliness, it is profoundly American ... compellingly human: we never doubt that narrator is telling us the truth. In a society awash every day in public lies, it’s refreshing to realize that honest expression is still possible ...

I’m pleased to say that these words, written by Joseph Hutchison, are about my recently published novel, A Listening Thing. His review is proof of something I’ve been saying right along: What a reader brings, gives a book wings. And it proves something else, I think: that a friend can write about his friend’s novel, and remain true to his calling, and to himself. That is no small thing.

Thank you, Joe.



4 comments:

Transcend Designs said...

You know I can't even come close to Joseph's description of your wonderful book William, as you know I'm not a writer by any stretch of the imagination...but let me just say, having finished it Friday afternoon, it was thoroughly enjoyable, and deeply moving, not to mention funny as hell...

I haven't read a book where I have agreed as many times to the character's outlooks on life since I think Walden which was quite some time ago...

Fine job my friend,
it's a pleasure to know you
and we're proud to have a space for you on our shelf space...

: )

William Michaelian said...

Brad, that pleasure goes both ways, and what an honor it is knowing the book has a place ’neath your cabin roof. You say you’re not a writer — so you’ve dodged that strange curse and are an artist instead; either way, I Thoreauly appreciate your kind words. My thanks to you and Kiki both. Thanks, too, for reading Joe’s thoughtful, kind review.

Joseph Hutchison said...

It was my pleasure to read the book and to write what I could about it, William. It deserves more, and will receive more comment, I'm sure. I didn't even mention (did I?) the extraordinary afterword, which casts its sweet light back over every sentence that comes before.

William Michaelian said...

Joe, you are, in fact, the first person to refer to anything about the book other than the story itself. But it’s quite appropriate, I think, that Stephen should get the attention. The rest — the preface, interview, and other materials — will be there for the record. I am truly glad everything unfolded the way it did, and the way it is. That includes your insightful review, which, like Paul L. Martin’s and the many other comments on A Listening Thing, is now an indispensable part of the book’s legacy. I admire your work, here and well beyond. I am a quiet student, but I appreciate all I’ve learned from you during the past couple of years. And that casts a sweet light all its own. Thank you again.