List with No Name #39

  1. Do the Right Thing
  2. Bamboozled
  3. 25th Hour
  4. Malcolm X
  5. Crooklyn
  6. Red Hook Summer
  7. She’s Gotta Have It
  8. Summer of Sam
  9. School Daze
  10. Mo’ Better Blues
  11. Jungle Fever
  12. Miracle at St. Anna
  13. Get on the Bus
  14. Girl 6
  15. She Hate Me
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Double Borges (Books Acquired, 9.13.2013)


I was lucky enough this past Friday the 13th to pick up two Borges volumes, lovely twins with tactile covers, running over 500 pages each—they swallow a lot of Borges books I already own (although curiously leave out entire collections). I found a heartfelt note from mother to son in one the nonfiction collection, where she explains the difficulty she had with the book. I have my own Borges anxieties. Two from the collections: first, from the fiction and then the start of a list from the nonfiction.



National Day of Encouragement Reading List

Today, a dollar store calendar my grandmother gave me tells me, is National Day of Encouragement, which is totally a real thing. So here is a National Day of Encouragement Reading List, which is also totally a real thing. Much encouragement to you, citizens!

  1. King Lear, William Shakespeare
  2. Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
  3. “Before the Law,” Franz Kafka
  4. Candide, Voltaire
  5. First Love and Other Sorrows, Harold Brodkey
  6. “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne
  7. Camp Concentration, Thomas Disch
  8. “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson
  9. “The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe
  10. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  11. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  12. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  13. Correction, Thomas Bernhard
  14. Butterfly Stories, William Vollmann
  15. “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor
  16. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  17. 2666, Roberto Bolaño
  18. “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Edgar Allan Poe
  19. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
  20. From Hell, Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
  21. The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus
  22. The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski
  23. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  24. “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot
  25. Hamlet, William Shakespeare
  26. The Pearl, John Steinbeck
  27. Distant Star, Roberto Bolaño
  28. Notes from Underground,  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  29. The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  30. The Kindly Ones, Jonathan Littell
  31. “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” Flannery O’Connor
  32. Gargoyles, Thomas Bernhard
  33. The Plague, Albert Camus
  34. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  35. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  36. Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  37. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  38. “Good Old Neon,” David Foster Wallace
  39. 1984, George Orwell
  40. Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre

List with No Name #38

  1. John Barth’s beret
  2. Zora Neale Hurston’s fedora
  3. Mark Twain’s bowtie
  4. David Foster Wallace’s bandanna
  5. Tom Wolfe’s white suit
  6. Carson McCuller’s cigarettes
  7. Wiillaim Faulkner’s pipe
  8. Jonathan Franzen’s spectacles
  9. Flannery O’Connor’s crutches
  10. Walt Whitman’s hat (cocked, natch)
  11. Oscar Wilde’s fur coat
  12. Thomas Pynchon’s paper bag

Susan Sontag’s List of Novels with Cinematic Structure

Novels with cinematic structure:

Hemingway, In Our Time


[Horace] McCoy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Robbe-Grillet, Les Gommes [The Erasers]

[Georges] Bernanos, M. Ouine

I[vy] Compton-Burnett,

V Woolf, Between the Acts

Philip Toynbee, Tea with Mrs. Goodman

des Forêts, Les Mendiants

his first novel—multiple pov [points of view]

[Barnes,] Nightwood

Reverzy, Le Passage


[John] Dos Passos

Firbank, CapriceVainglory; and [Inclinations] (trilogy)

Jap[anese] writer [Yasunari Kawabata] (N.B. visual sense, suppleness of changing scenes)—Snow Country, etc.

Dickens (cf. Eisenstein)—

There are people who thought with camera eye (a unified p-o-v that displaces itself) before the camera

N[athaniel] West,


“new novelists”: Claude Simon, Le Palace

Claude Ollier, La Mis-en-Scène

(all based on organization of a decor (N[orth] Africa)

–From an entry dated 6/26/66 Paris in Susan Sontag’s notebook, published as part of As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh. (I’ve maintained the bracketed editorial intrusions of the published text, even with they did not seem necessary).

“Best films (not in order)” — Susan Sontag

Best films (not in order)

  1. Bresson, Pickpocket
  2. Kubrick, 2001
  3. Vidor, The Big Parade
  4. Visconti, Ossessione
  5. Kurosawa, High and Low
  6. Syberberg, Hitler
  7. Godard, 2 ou 3 Choses . . .
  8. Rossellini, Louis XIV
  9. Renoir, La Regle du Jeu
  10. Ozu, Tokyo Story
  11. Dreyer, Gertrud
  12. Eisenstein, Potemkin
  13. Von Sternberg, The Blue Angel
  14. Lang, Dr. Mabuse
  15. Anonioni, L’Eclisse
  16. Bresson, Un Condamne a Mort . . . 
  17. Grance, Napoleon
  18. Vertov, The Man with the Movie Camera
  19. Feuillade, Judex
  20. Anger, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome
  21. Godard, Vivre Sa Vie
  22. Bellocchio, Pugni in Tasca
  23. Carne, Les Enfants du Pradis
  24. Kurosawa, The Seven Samurai
  25. Tati, Playtime
  26. Truffaut, L’Enfant Savage
  27. Rivette, L’Amour Fou
  28. Eisenstein, Strike
  29. Von Stroheim, Greed
  30. Straub, . . . Anna Magadalena Bach
  31. Taviani bros, Padre Padrone
  32. Renais, Muriel
  33. Becker, Le Trou
  34. Cocteau, La Belle et la Bete
  35. Bergman, Persona
  36. Fassbinder, . . . Petra von Kant
  37. Griffith, Intolerance
  38. Godard, Contempt
  39. Marker, La Jete
  40. Conner, Crossroads
  41. Fassbinder, Chinese Rouleette
  42. Renoir, La Grande Illusion
  43. Opuls, The Earrings of Madame de . . .
  44. Kheifits, The Lady with the Little Dog
  45. Godard, Les Carabiners
  46. Bresson, Lancelot du Lac
  47. Ford, The Searchers
  48. Bertolucci, Prima della Rivoluzione
  49. Pasolini, Teorema
  50. Sagan, Madchen in Uniform

[The list continues up to number 228, where SS abandons it].

—From a 1977 entry in one of Susan Sontag’s notebooks. The list is published as part of As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals & Notebooks, 1964-1980.

List with No Name #37

  1. Socrates
  2. Guy Debord
  3. Sylvia Plath
  4. David Foster Wallace
  5. Hunter S. Thompson
  6. Gérard de Nerval
  7. Tadeusz Borowski
  8. Spalding Gray
  9. Virginia Woolf
  10. Lucan
  11. Thomas Disch
  12. Vachel Lindsay
  13. Ernest Hemingway
  14. Yasunari Kawabata
  15. Paul Celan
  16. Seneca
  17. Heinrich von Kleist
  18. John Kennedy Toole
  19. Sarah Kane
  20. Breece D’J Pancake
  21. Gilles Deleuze
  22. Robert E. Howard
  23. Richard Brautigan
  24. Anne Sexton
  25. Stefan Zweig
  26. John Berryman
  27. Walter Benjamin
  28. Primo Levi
  29. Jerzy Kosinski
  30. Hart Crane
  31. Yukio Mishima

List with No Name #36

  1. Fargo
  2. A Serious Man
  3. The Big Lebowski
  4. Miller’s Crossing
  5. Barton Fink
  6. Blood Simple
  7. No Country for Old Men
  8. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  9. The Man Who Wasn’t There
  10. Raising Arizona
  11. Burn After Reading
  12. True Grit
  13. The Hudsucker Proxy
  14. The Ladykillers
  15. Intolerable Cruelty

List with No Name #35

  1. Achebe
  2. Bolaño
  3. Carter
  4. DeLillo
  5. Ellison
  6. Fitzgerald
  7. Gaddis
  8. Houellebecq
  9. Ishiguro
  10. James
  11. Kertész
  12. Lispector
  13. McCarthy
  14. Nabokov
  15. O’Connor
  16. Pullman
  17. Quincey, de
  18. Rousseau
  19. Shakespeare
  20. Tolkien
  21. Uris
  22. Vollmann
  23. Wallace
  24. X, Malcolm
  25. Yates
  26. Zweig

List with No Name #34

  1. Atwood
  2. Borges
  3. Calvino
  4. Dickinson
  5. Emerson
  6. Faulkner
  7. Gombrowicz
  8. Hawthorne
  9. Ibsen
  10. Joyce
  11. Kafka
  12. Lish
  13. Melville
  14. Nin
  15. O’Brien
  16. Poe
  17. Queneau
  18. Roth
  19. Sebald
  20. Twain
  21. Updike
  22. Vonnegut
  23. Walser
  24. Xenophon
  25. Yeats
  26. Zola

List with No Name #33

  1. Moby-Dick
  2. Mosses from an Old Manse
  3. Emily Dickinson (oeuvre)
  4. Go Down, Moses
  5. J R
  6. Huckleberry Finn
  7. Invisible Man
  8. Blood Meridian
  9. Leaves of Grass
  10. The Scarlet Letter
  11. A Mercy
  12. Grapes of Wrath
  13. Death Comes for the Archbishop
  14. Underworld
  15. The Pale King

List with No Name #31

  1. “Made in America”
  2. “Pine Barrens”
  3. “College”
  4. “The Test Dream”
  5. “Whoever Did This”
  6. “Long Term Parking”
  7. “Kennedy and Heidi”
  8. “Mayham”
  9. “Rat Pack”
  10. “Whitecaps”



List with No Name #29

  1. V., mostly on a beach in Ko Lanta.
  2. The Road, in the maternity ward after my daughter was born.
  3. Infinite Jest, late at night after I first moved to Tokyo. And then lugging it onto the train.
  4. Un Bel Morir, in the emergency room all night, my mother’s fever so high.
  5. As I Lay Dying, another hospital.
  6. 2666. On a plane leaving San Francisco. And then compulsively every night for a month.
  7. Angels, on a Florida beach.
  8. Cat’s Cradle, on a houseboat, on a river.
  9. The Once and Future King, in the back of a rented car that was zooming across the South Island of NZ, my parents repeatedly imploring me to just look up please.
  10.  Ulysses, on the old gold velour couch I sometimes still miss, on my roommate’s Ritalin, comprehending next to nothing. And then a decade later, with real joy.