RARA-AVIS: Willeford

From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
Date: 28 Nov 2001

Here's another repost.

I've just caught up on digests after travel, so I'm a bit behind. A few things on this topic:

The new releases of Woman Chaser and Machine have resulted in a Lawrence Block review in the new issue of BookForum (ArtForum's quarterly book review). There is some inaccurate information, but it's still an interesting, visible notice (maybe also appropriate since it's the ArtForum thing--though they should've had notice of "Burnt Orange").

People are mentioning two Willeford autobiographies. There is also the self-published, short "Guide to the Undehemmorhoided" (sp?) about his own surgery, and a few other matters. Great great stuff.

Dave notes:
"I seem to recall reading in the Herran bio that Willeford considered "Shark Infested Custard" his best work, upon finishing it. (late 60's?)"

Shark is later. The novel was shopped between 1974 and 1977 (I think noted in Herron). Willeford sometimes thought strongly (exuberantly?) of his most recent work or work in progress. I like Shark quite a bit. I like Black Mass of Brother Springer even more. Herron I believe quotes Willeford as writing in his diary that this book was "the best existentialist novel ever to be printed in English." He later called the book "weird" and said, "I was temporarily insane when I wrote it."


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