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wildcatwalt has commented on (5) products.

Letters on Cezanne by Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters on Cezanne

wildcatwalt, February 17, 2012

Rilke's awesome
Plus Cezanne inspired this
cool haiku review
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Preversities: A Jacques Prevert Sampler (Black Widow Press Translations) by Jacques Prevert
Preversities: A Jacques Prevert Sampler (Black Widow Press Translations)

wildcatwalt, November 19, 2010

Prevert, the screenwriter of two fantastic films “Children of Paradise” and “Port of Shadows”, is also a poet of delicious happy endings because they are not endings of a clichéd fashion, but of the moment, the near, the dear, and the yes of the night and the sigh of the dawn. For his poems avoid pity, sentimentality, and anything else that hampers the truth of beauty.
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Op Oloop by Juan Filloy
Op Oloop

wildcatwalt, August 11, 2009

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a book is just a book. Not OP OLOOP. This is a novelistic journey!

Freud was a Juan Filloy fan. I can see why. The acute insights into people, the human mind; but Filloy’s fun and funny!

The rational vs. the emotional is a tale that I’ve found under many different covers over the years; but no novel I’ve ever come across has rendered the surge of the romantically rational conflict that's found in the human spirit with such a real veracity, a musical cadence.

Also: most translations have an indecision I can feel, this one doesn't. Lisa Dillman’s translation is fantastic.
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The Little Girl and the Cigarette by Benoit Duteurtre
The Little Girl and the Cigarette

wildcatwalt, March 27, 2009

“Not only are we no longer capable of seeing the tragedies that have befallen us, we are incapable even of registering our own incapacity to do so. What I admire most about The Little Girl and the Cigarette is the clarity with which this novel unmasks the fundamental stupidity of our modern world. Duteurtre sees, and records all that he sees.-Milan Kundera”

Little Girl and the Cigarette by Benoit Duteurtre is a modern book that I recommend to one and all. Only book I've read in a couple years, modern, that isn't nonsense. I've given this out. And I've noticed something that true works of art, the test if you may, to their fidelity, engender the very thing they are illuminating. Again: I've given this book out, bought it, even put it in nice ribbon. Not many responses. It's short and to the point and funny and alive. Milan Kundera does not put out easy blurb, I'm thinking what is going on here?

The one response I did get recently was:

"Is there a sensory way into this novel?"

Huh. I was confused.
First, it's written with no hyperbole, it's very simple, Carver if he had a sense of humor.

Sensory? For days I wondered. Sensory? I looked at the book. It seemed nice enough. Pink cover even, welcoming. It was very easy to open, no locks, font, yes I checked, legible, large enough to see.

You read it.


Am I suppose to feed you chocolates to spurn your reading comprehension into working? Maybe a...... foot massage? Very confusing. And then I realized they have no cognitive thinking ability at all; what the book is full of. They went to college, even. More than once, and to many different schools for a graduate degree. And even more horrific or bleakly funny is they serve of some import in a highly paid professional position to judge screenplays as to their value…and they can't even read, their OK, can mean millions…and again they can't even read with any sort of personal objectivity, let alone professional objectivity, akin to the view point of a child; exactly what is illuminated in the book. Ha! I can only laugh. And if Milan can digest why can’t anyone else? He IS SENSORY.
My initial review here:


Duteurtre's first novel to be published in the United States, THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE CIGARETTE, gives us two stories in one. One is about a man waiting to be executed for killing a policeman. His last wish before being put to death, a cigarette, is against jailhouse policy but he must be granted his last wish—this sets off a chain of events that eventually puts his death sentence in doubt. The other story focuses on a midlevel bureaucrat; his cigarette habit leads him to jail after being interrupted by a little girl in a bathroom. Soon he's falsely viewed as someone who commits crimes against children. Hints of Camus dot the landscape of each story, especially during the scenes that take place within the French judicial system; absurd associations between flowers and the condemned man are made by the media, which ring, sadly, as very true to current form; but yet are still extremely hilarious to read. "What a strange juxtaposition! The cigarette, with its toxic tar; the wildflowers, symbol of freshness…", the TV announcer exclaims when the prisoner takes his last smoke; and he goes on to make the typical TV announcer banal psychobabble conclusion: "I imagine that more than one viewer must be wondering about Johnson's behavior."

Any notion that this book is farcical in its take on the world should immediately be put to rest. It is a gracefully honest narrative exercise in controlled style and well-earned humor that cogently examines the current western preoccupation for a coddled youthful existence; and the misinterpreted sense of community brought about by repression. This societal affinity for the past is not merely sentimental, but a deluded notion that occurs when people are generally well off but mentally ill-equipped to deal with having a relative pain free existence despite their inherit mediocrity.

The context perceptively rendered in this book is new for this condition, of course; but this sentiment was presciently noted in literature almost one hundred years ago in Maugham's OF HUMAN BONDAGE-

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. ...They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life.

And emotionally, in every Alain Resnais' movie (over and over…and again and again…) But in his movies it is more of longing that cannot be quenched in vista of one's memories against what is present in the world, politically and socially—while also, thankfully, being contained in the fictional landscape. Instead of the bizarre present day realities that are so wonderfully exhumed to be publicly shamed by Duteurtre.

The verdict is in: this is one well-composed piece of fiction that holds more truth than any nonfiction book that I have read this year. And it makes you laugh. Wonderful.

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Last Nights of Paris by Philippe Soupault
Last Nights of Paris

wildcatwalt, March 25, 2009

William Carlos Williams did a splendid act of artistry in translating this sublime novel by Soupault. Williams was able to translate not just the words, but Soupault's rare gift to illuminate an environment in a literal everyday sense, and yet transcend the physical, dancing into the emotionally spiritual while never becoming absurd.

Pure mind silk.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

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