Monday, May 7, 2007

Harry Mathews & Doug Nufer @ St Marx

Freshly back from seeing Harry Mathews & Doug Nufer read at St Marx. I wasn't familiar with Nufer, though he was totally great, & the books he had for sale seemed truly interesting & attractive, but I had to pass for lack of cash. Nufur ended his reading with a great splice-song combination of the Noel Noel xmas thing & The Star Spangled Banner. One of my finest ever moments as an American came when someone who was waiting in line with me to get a Mathews autograph who had missed the Nufer part of the evening asked me for a recap, & I totally blanked on the name of the song, saying something about the "Noel thing" & then totally bumbling on the home of the brave shit. I was impressed with myself. Harry signed two books of mine that I brought along for the occasion, The Way Home put out by Atlas & Burning Deck's Country Cooking & other stories. The title story from the Burning Deck is actually in both volumes, & Harry said that the Atlas version is the "correct" one. I haven't compared the two closely, but certainly will. Whatever copy you may happen to come across is worth checking out though, as the story is quite hilarious & incredibly well-done. Both volumes are actually pretty interesting, as the other things included vary greatly in style & content but are always great, & frequently funny. "Singular Pleasures" is included in the Atlas volume, & is also available separately from Dalkey Archive; it's a collection of one-page stories of all types of people masturbating in all sorts of ways. While it's plenty funny, it's pretty sexy as well, always causing one of those should-this-be-awkward moments of aroused reading. Yes, when I read the book I can't help but nurture a nice stiffy, but I can say that I've never finished myself off after completing the book, which would seem to be the ultimate reading of the text. Next time I shall rectify this oversight. With hope, Harry would approve.

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