RARA-AVIS: Re: Barry Hannah hunt

From: Duane Spurlock ( duane1spur@yahoo.com)
Date: 18 May 2006

" vhend1234@aol.com" vhend1234@aol.com wrote:

<< I don't remember hearing of Jerome Charyn. What's his style? Any recommendations?

Charyn gets mentioned here every now and then. He's a postmodernist, started primarily as a literary writer, but while blocked on a story was hit by awe and inspiration while reading a Ross MacDonald novel. He then prodded a relative -- a brother, I think?Re: Barry Hannah hunt

 -- who was on the police force for info. Afterwards, he wrote what became known as the Isaac Quartet, BLUE EYES, MARILYN THE WILD, THE EDUCATION OF PATRICK SILVER, and SECRET ISAAC -- "Isaac" refers to Isaac Sidel, who moves through the course of the series (which continued beyond the quartet) from commissioner to ...what? I can't remember...vice president? (at Amazon, see this URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568582285/102-4596719-5150554?v=glance&n=283155

The postmodern touch is apparent, along with a Jewish literary tradition of storytelling -- there's an oral storytelling quality to the narrative, with elements of tall tales and something I call narrative elision (although I may be 'way off on that), where reader expectations of types of details typical in genre writing aren't met -- obvious things are skipped to suit the storyteller's immediate interest in where the story should go. Richard Brautigan did something similar, but Charyn's method is slightly different; the result is still comic.

It took years of reading Charyn for this stuff to percolate in my brain, and I'm sure some folks might disagree with me. But a real understanding of the tradition Charyn works in came to me after reading some of Isaac Babel's Odessa stories, particularly those about gangster Benya Krik.

Hope this helps, but I can see how it might confuse...

- Duane Spurlock www.pulprack.com

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 May 2006 EDT