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Ecstasy of Influence (11 Edition)

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Ecstasy of Influence (11 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780385534956
ISBN10: 0385534957
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

What’s a novelist supposed to do with contemporary culture? And what’s contemporary culture sup­posed to do with novelists? In The Ecstasy of Influence, Jonathan Lethem, tangling with what he calls the “white elephant” role of the writer as public intellectual, arrives at an astonishing range of answers.

A constellation of previously published pieces and new essays as provocative and idiosyncratic as any he’s written, this volume sheds light on an array of topics from sex in cinema to drugs, graffiti, Bob Dylan, cyberculture, 9/11, book touring, and Marlon Brando, as well as on a shelf’s worth of his literary models and contemporaries: Norman Mailer, Paula Fox, Bret Easton Ellis, James Wood, and oth­ers. And, writing about Brooklyn, his father, and his sojourn through two decades of writing, Lethem sheds an equally strong light on himself.

Review:

"Novelist Lethem's collection of new and previously published works is embedded with cultural influences; particularly prominent is Norman Mailer's 1959 Advertisements for Myself, which functions like a template for this compendium of obscure writings, liner notes, book introductions, memoir, early unpublished fiction, and even blog bits. The title essay, which first appeared in Harper's in 2007, is a 'collage text' in which Lethem borrows the words of others, from T.S. Eliot and Muddy Waters to Disney films, creating a commentary on plagiarism, allusions, and appropriation. Lethem writes: 'Art is sourced. Apprentices graze in the field of culture.' Like Mailer, self-exposure commentaries are interleaved throughout, and Mailer's notorious 'Evaluations: Quick and Expensive Comments on the Talent in the Room' gives Lethem a springboard for evaluations of writers: J.G. Ballard, Paula Fox, Shirley Jackson, and especially the cosmic consciousness of Philip K. Dick, a major influence on Lethem. In a tsunami of literary and cinematic references, familiar and obscure, Lethem easily rises to the surface as a brilliant, incisive essayist who loves to sing the body eclectic." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Did I say I love this book? Well, OK then, I love this book....bring[s] a novelist's sensibility to these essays, to find a through line, to approximate a narrative. It offers a way, in other words, to rethink the collection as a book in its own right — and not just that, but a book about a big idea." The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Lethem writes with a commitment to sharing his enthusiasm for whatever obsesses him....While the results illuminate his formative influences and artistic development, they also cast considerable light on the culture at large, which is both reflected in Lethem's work and has profoundly shaped it.....[H]igh ambitions and a strong sense of purpose." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"A fresh, erudite, zestful, funny frolic in the great fields of creativity." Booklist

About the Author

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including Chronic City, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

i: My Plan to Begin With

My Plan to Begin With, Part One

The Used Bookshop Stories

The Books They Read

Going Under in Wendover

Zelig of Notoriety

Clerk

 

ii: Dick, Calvino, Ballard: SF and Postmodernism

My Plan to Begin With, Part Two

Holidays

Crazy Friend (Philip K. Dick)

What I Learned at the Science-Fiction Convention

The Best of Calvino: Against Completism

Postmodernism as Liberty Valance

The Claim of Time (J. G. Ballard)

Give Up

 

iii: Plagiarisms

The Ecstasy of Influence

The Afterlife of “Ecstasy”/Somatics of Influence

Always Crashing in the Same Car

Against “Pop” Culture

Furniture

 

iv: Film and Comics

Supermen!: An Introduction

Top-Five Depressed Superheroes

The Epiphany

Izations

Everything Is Broken (Art of Darkness)

Godfather IV

Great Death Scene (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)

Kovacs’s Gift

Marlon Brando Breaks

Missed Opportunities

Donald Sutherland’s Buttocks

The Drew Barrymore Stories

 

v: Wall Art

The Collector (Fred Tomaselli)

An Almost Perfect Day (Letter to Bonn)

The Billboard Men (Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel)

Todd James

Writing and the Neighbor Arts

Live Nude Models

On a Photograph of My Father

Hazel

 

vi: 9/11 and Book Tour

Nine Failures of the Imagination

Further Reports in a Dead Language

To My Italian Friends

My Egyptian Cousin

Cell Phones

Proximity People

Repeating Myself

Bowels of Compassion

Stops

Advertisements for Norman Mailer

White Elephant and Termite Postures in the Life of the Twenty-first-Century Novelist

 

vii: Dylan, Brown, and Others

The Genius of James Brown

People Who Died

The Fly in the Ointment

Dancing About Architecture

Dylan Interview

Open Letter to Stacy (The Go-Betweens)

Otis Redding’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Rick James

an orchestra of light that was electric

 

viii: Working the Room

Bolaño’s 2666

Homely Doom Vibe (Paula Fox)

Ambivalent Usurpations (Thomas Berger)

Rushmore Versus Abundance

Outcastle (Shirley Jackson)

Thursday (G. K. Chesterton)

My Disappointment Critic/On Bad Faith

The American Vicarious (Nathanael West)

 

ix: The Mad Brooklynite

Ruckus Flatbush

Crunch Rolls

Children with Hangovers

L. J. Davis

Agee’s Brooklyn

Breakfast at Brelreck’s

The Mad Brooklynite

 

x: What Remains of My Plan

Micropsia

Zeppelin Parable

What Remains of My Plan

Memorial

Things to Remember 435

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Daniel Glendening, May 28, 2012 (view all comments by Daniel Glendening)
"The Ecstasy of Influence" collects a wonderfully entertaining collection of essays spanning a range of topics. The collection provides a look into the mind and thought process of one of our great contemporary novelists (and one who isn't really sure he's really all that great). Through the collection, certain themes and motifs seem to repeat themselves, and one gets the sense that Lethem is id the act of trying to figure out the best way to write each time he sits down to do so. Certain figures pop up in multiple guises, Lethem's own personal canon rearing its head over and over again: Borges, Guston, The Ramones and Bob Dylan, Nathanial West and Brooklyn and Norman Mailer, along with pulp and sci-fi and everything on the fringe.
The collection is worth the read for the titular essay alone, a remarkable exercise in appropriation and literary mash-up to rival Girl Talk or Richard Prince.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385534956
Author:
Lethem, Jonathan
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Author:
Lethem, Jonathan
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
Essays
Publication Date:
20111131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5 PHOTOS IN TEXT
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.55 x 6.43 x 1.47 in 1.72 lb

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Ecstasy of Influence (11 Edition) Used Hardcover
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$14.00 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385534956 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Novelist Lethem's collection of new and previously published works is embedded with cultural influences; particularly prominent is Norman Mailer's 1959 Advertisements for Myself, which functions like a template for this compendium of obscure writings, liner notes, book introductions, memoir, early unpublished fiction, and even blog bits. The title essay, which first appeared in Harper's in 2007, is a 'collage text' in which Lethem borrows the words of others, from T.S. Eliot and Muddy Waters to Disney films, creating a commentary on plagiarism, allusions, and appropriation. Lethem writes: 'Art is sourced. Apprentices graze in the field of culture.' Like Mailer, self-exposure commentaries are interleaved throughout, and Mailer's notorious 'Evaluations: Quick and Expensive Comments on the Talent in the Room' gives Lethem a springboard for evaluations of writers: J.G. Ballard, Paula Fox, Shirley Jackson, and especially the cosmic consciousness of Philip K. Dick, a major influence on Lethem. In a tsunami of literary and cinematic references, familiar and obscure, Lethem easily rises to the surface as a brilliant, incisive essayist who loves to sing the body eclectic." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Did I say I love this book? Well, OK then, I love this book....bring[s] a novelist's sensibility to these essays, to find a through line, to approximate a narrative. It offers a way, in other words, to rethink the collection as a book in its own right — and not just that, but a book about a big idea."
"Review" by , "Lethem writes with a commitment to sharing his enthusiasm for whatever obsesses him....While the results illuminate his formative influences and artistic development, they also cast considerable light on the culture at large, which is both reflected in Lethem's work and has profoundly shaped it.....[H]igh ambitions and a strong sense of purpose."
"Review" by , "A fresh, erudite, zestful, funny frolic in the great fields of creativity."
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