[Read] ➬ Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces, 1990-2005 Author Luc Sante – Agedanna.info
In His Books And In A String Of Wide Ranging And Inventive Essays, Luc Sante Has Shown Himself To Be Not Only One Of Our Pre Eminent Stylists, But Also A Critic Of Uncommon Power And Range He Is One Of The Handful Of Living Masters Of The American Language, As Well As A Singular Historian And Philosopher Of American Experience, Says The New Yorker S Peter Schjeldahl Kill All Your Darlings Is The First Collection Of Sante S Articles Many Of Which First Appeared In The New York Review Of Books And The Village Voice And Offers Ample Justification For Such High Praise Sante Is Best Known For His Groundbreaking Work In Urban History Low Life , And For A Particularly Penetrating Form Of Autobiography The Factory Of Facts These Subjects Are Also Reflected In Several Essays Here, But It Is The Author S Intense And Scrupulous Writing About Music, Painting, Photography, And Poetry That Takes Center Stage Alongside Meditations On Cigarettes, Factory Work, And Hipness, And His Critical Tour De Force, The Invention Of The Blues, Sante Offers His Incomparable Take On Icons From Arthur Rimbaud To Bob Dylan, Ren Magritte To Tintin, Buddy Bolden To Walker Evans, Allen Ginsberg To Robert Mapplethorpe The work of a master. Luc Sante is coolest guy I ve never met, and this book made me feel excited for once, instead of burdened, to have been born a human being.Humanity is terrible Humanity stands in front of the subway doors during rush hour, yap yapping into its cellphone Humanity sends homeless, mentally ill men with life threatening medical problems and dementia out into the freezing December night Humanity uses emoticons and can t be fucked to work the shift key or distinguish between a contraction and a possessive, because what is the English language anyway but some used up and degraded old whore who just exists to be exploited in whatever crass, hasty way satisfies your needs Right, but despite all of this humanity has, like Ezra Pound, written a few good poems, and we need guys like Luc Sante so they can remind us of this.As I ve commented elsewhere, one can t help but notice that this world fucking sucks For me, periodic rediscovery of culture often books, but also music, sometimes visual art is much of why I m able to stick around in it Luc Sante is a guy who has immersed himself in all this sweetness and light and smokey basements, and fart funked dancehalls , whose prose transmits his knowledge and enthusiasm with the easy infectiousness of conjunctivitis.I moronically returned this book to the library before reviewing it, so I can t give a helpful listing of what the essays are about because I forget everything that happens to me and am invariably left only with a hazed impression of whatever has just occurred I think the first few are about living in New York in the late seventies early eighties There s a memorable one about Sante working in a New Jersey factory during high school, which displays what I love most about this guy the perfect tone he takes when he writes about himself He s not self deprecating, but honest and a bit teasing, and he always takes himself in particular his younger self not too seriously but seriously enough This is what made the last essay, about Rimbaud, one of my favorites Sante writes so honestly and with such compassion about how he saw things as a younger person, in a way that strikes me as endearing and pretty rare I can t quite describe it, but there s this level of self knowledge and comfort and some gentle mockery but admiration and simultaneous distance and intimacy that also spills over when he s writing about other subjects.These subjects include music, photography, Tintin, cigarettes one of his best essays , and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn t love all of them equally in the music section I was a bit bored by the Mekons, while the Dylan was a stand out , but none of them were boring and bad This is no minor feat in our era, which I often feel is characterized by everyone on the planet s mistaken conviction that they we have something important or interesting to say As this website and review demonstrate, everybody s a critic Unfortunately most people s criticism is no fun to read, because it s actually hard to say anything interesting and worthwhile about cultural products, let alone to express that in compelling language that itself has got great aesthetic merit unless, apparently, you are this guy Luc Sante He bangs this shit out without missing a beat, and I found the end product so enjoyable that when I d finished, I felt depressed and didn t want to start a new book I had to recall what I d admired about it this image of a man so seeped in and enthralled by culture to get myself excited about reading something else.It reminded me of the way The Savage Detectives made me feel that these boys who d previously annoyed me in the abstract with their poetry reading and blues listening and Bowery slumming and bohemian aesthetics were actually onto something great, something I d been missing out on That if I paid attention to the things that they cared about, I might stop missing vast portions of the world that I had been neglecting through my lazy snobbishness That if I did investigate the things of the world that had excited them like this, then maybe I wouldn t hate it so much.Okay, so now please excuse me, gotta read some Rimbaud Hopefully I m not too old already for it to have an effect.Recommend this one Thanks to David Giltinan for the heads up. They talk about Luc Sante as if he s the Second Coming of the English language a prose style to die for , one of the handful of living masters of the English language , transcendental prose , but I thought he came across, thankfully, as a chatty, enthusiastic and extremely well informed guy who has a lot of interesting interests But shoot me if you must I think he has a tendency to say some really unsurprising things about the stuff he chooses to write about I glommed onto the Dylan piece I is Someone Else , where he reviews Chronicles , and it was, you know, pretty good what I got from it was this great quote which is actually Stephen Crane An artist, I think, is nothing but a powerful memory that can move itself through certain experiences sideways and every artist must be in some things as powerless as a dead snake.That s brilliant I might get that tattooed that on my left arm, next to the Sanscrit word for onions which I had done in 1994 It s supposed to be a different word but these mistakes happen quite frequently, apparently Well, I liked the other music pieces too, like the review of the psychedelic freak beat cd box Nuggets On the psychedelia front alone, there s zit cream metaphysics the Electric Prunes , brain pan alley the Elevators insufferable la la twaddle Fenwyck and bobbing for meatballs the Bees What happened to the Castaways, whose falsetto and Farfisa driven Liar Liar is th eeriest number in the box and whose photograph reveals them to have been classic chess club geeks Or the Nightcrawlers, whose Little Black Egg is to psychedelia roughly what Paul Klee was to surrealism I want to have thought up zit cream metaphysics And brain pan alley So essays, huh Or should we say short articles and reviews There s a section on New York and its phenomena such as Rudolph Giuliani and John Gotti there s Woodstock 99 Victor Hugo, Rimbaud and Rene Magritte sounds like the beginning of a Woody Allen sketch where they all go to a party and try to pick up comedy moose Tintin, Walker Evans and Wisconsin Death Trip and finally finally a brilliant piece on Robert Mapplethorpe Perhaps Mapplethorpe was grasping, vulgar, deceitful, disloyal, inconsiderate, exploitative, shallow, calculating, cruel, vain, racist, anti Semitic and so on, but then, too, perhaps his biographer and his memorialist are complying with current convention, which prescribes brutal candor rather than reverence in treating the recent dead This stricture might actually be a new spin on the denial of death, particularly in regard to Aids piety entombs its subjects, but malicious gossip does tend to keep them in the room.In passages like that you can see a mind in motion like a kittiwake catching a codfish, fast, elegant, precise and true. Kill all your Darlings is a collection of essays by Luc Sante, a writer with a breathtaking command of the English language This may have something to do with his learning English as a second language as a child he was born in Liege, Belgium in 1954 and his family moved to the U.S in the early 1960s one thinks of Nabokov, another writer for whom English was not the first language, but who achieved a mastery of the language superior to that of most native speakers At any rate, Sante writes so fluidly, with such grace but without showing off , that the reader is happy to buy whatever story he s spinning The essays in this collection include pieces on art, photography, poetry and music, and some idiosyncratic meditations on cigarettes, on factory work, on hipness , on the harm done to New York City by Rudy Giuliani, on the particular madness that characterizes New Year celebrations Sante s Belgian origins are reflected in essays about Magritte and Tintin, respectively Other pieces deal with Victor Hugo, the photography of Walker Evans and of Robert Mapplethorpe There is a moving tribute to Allen Ginsberg, who lived in the same NY apartment building as Sante for over ten years Though I had no great prior interest in the musical evolution of Bob Dylan or the origin of the blues, Sante s writing is so seductive that I read both pieces, and was riveted throughout He s just that good This is an awe inspiring collection on edit My favorite essay was hands down the one about cigarettes Though Tintin was pretty fun as well.