Thursday, April 20, 2006

Not That Christopher Buckley

(this one)

He is a skilled tennis player who grew up two streets over from where Oprah lives. He opened without a crack about reading in a court room, the first in a while, and with a short prose piece that was absolutely stunning. The piece is from his new book, Sleepwalk, published approximately three days ago. Like a few of his pieces, it examined childhood longing and a quest for knowledge you don't realize you are without. As a poet, he is good: fairly prosaic, but his prose is stupendous so that helps.

A lot of his work builds up to the concluding line. Rather than trying to turn the poem inside out in the last stanzas, he instead supports it with resonant lines and questions ("How long do we have?"). His work is fabulous. As a reader, he isn't the best. He speaks slowly and enunciates, doesn't seem to get excited about much, and gives unnecessary five minute introductions to works that need none.

He also read from ...and the Sea. These pieces were my favorites. About 60%-70% of his writing is place specific, and I like it. My favorite piece from this book described spear fishing under kelp beds, "Eucharist white bones of fish", and "unconscious youth." The only problems I had, besides the introductions, were his extensive pronoun use and his failure to explore ideas fully. I liked how some pieces left unanswered, but there were things like Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle that he didn't fully understand. I am a Physics nerd, and maybe that's why it bugged me, but I think he should have done more research for his references. I am still saving up to buy two of his books though, Sleepwalking and ...and the Sea. His work stood up besides his inability to read well.

1 comment:

Turquoise said...

You amaze me. Whoosh.