A Cruel Man Delighting in Flowers

...the mildness to which men ... had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half ... was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty—the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower—that beauty ... failed quickly of its effect... 

Hermann BrochThe Death of Virgil

 

Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It tickles. He once painted a fingernail black and no one really noticed. He was disappointed. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these. His first novel, 'Missing Presumed Undead', will be re-published by Satalyte Publishing in February 2014. A second is on its way.

Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote 'Breakfast at Tiffany's':
Truman Capote is a beautiful and deft stylest, and a marvelous ironist, combined with an unflinching approach to the thematic content of whatever he is wtiting about. The fact that he gets short shrift in the pantheon of 20th century American writing, versus the likes of his long time friend and contemporary Harper Lee, is an absurdity.

This story has such a sense of packed intensity. Capote manages to say much through the narrative focus while ensurting you never really question the pace. Holly Golightly is a fantastic invention: a character you can really love and hate simultaneously: a really human complexity is developed around her. At some points she seems ditzy and ridiculous, at others a steaming battleship. She is stupid and clever. A slut and a prude. And she drops the N-bomb casually, but retains literary heroic status. This could be part of his modern fall-from-grace, but it is also part of his genius.

What a great film it could have made, because it was the film they did make of it that has probably made me hestiate for so long to read it. I shouldn't have, and nor should you.

'House of Flowers'
A short modern fable, with a whimsical child-like kind of tone often in conflict with the adult subject matter, creating a very distinct mood. Anyone still obsessively married to that whole 'show don't tell' school of writing could realy benefit from reading this too.

'A Diamond Guitar'
A little Cool Hand Luke: A Novel treatment to the above themes, with a similar style, though more masculine and sweaty. Strong, evocative prose, with thickly drawn characters.

'A Christmas Memory'
Heavy on nostalgia but still interesting for its style and character building. Although, would bring the whole down to 4.5 stars.

Currently reading

Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Harold Bloom
The Rebel (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Albert Camus