Posts Tagged ‘raymond carver’

Book Recommendation

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Kind of stumbled onto this one. My friend Thad was going through his textbooks to sell back at the end of the semester and I picked The American Tradition in Literature (12th edition) out of the box. With all my books in storage I needed something heavy to keep me going for a couple months and, at more than 2,000 pages, this one’s my baby.

I’m not much of a textbook person but the editors, George and Barbara Perkins really nailed some magic. Sixty pages of Walt Whitman, a whole Kate Chopin novel (The Awakening), F. Scott, Hemingway, Woody Guthrie. There’s Faulkner’s “Barn Burning,” Steinbeck’s great “The Chrysanthemums,” William Stafford, Nabokov, Flannery O’Conner, Norman Mailer, a ton of Mark Twain. It’s even got the uncut version of Raymond Carver’s staggering “A Small, Good Thing.” It’s a monumental collection. So much history and so much America. I imagine you can find a good used copy and, if you do, by all means buy this book. It’ll pay off.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Part One of a New Series: The Things We Carry with Us

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

It’s interesting to me what we consider important enough to keep in our backpacks and bags. What are our motivations? How much of it is superstitious–or even talismanic? Where does our subconscious think we’re going? What are we preparing for–and what are we prepared for?

I like inanimate objects that tell stories and what we choose to carry with us can tell us who we are, our sum and measure. (It can also be totally meaningless. Depends on the case.)

For the first part in a new series here at the Asthmatic Kitty Sidebar, this is my travel bag. It’s an old mini Samsonite, one strap, dark blue fake leather, about a foot and a half tall and a foot wide. I have no idea where it came from but I know I didn’t buy it in a store.

If you look close enough you’ll see “ADAM GNADE” written in all-caps Sharpie and, closer still, a drawing of a charm for warding off demons that I found in a book on symbology.

This bag has been all over the country, coast to coast. It’s been on a lot of train trips and a lot of tours and it has crossed a lot of borders.

Here’s what’s inside…

Copy of The New Yorker (latest issue, from subscription)

Composition notebook with “Property of GLENN DANZIG” written on it in all-caps

Pentacle hardback writing notebook

American Scholar Steno Book notebook, green tint, gregg-ruled

Slingshot organizer with “ADAM GNADE” sticker left over from tour merch box

Paperback copy of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Card-stock Dutch Boy paint sample (saved because the color is inexplicably called “Go Away”)

No-name tape walkman with headphones (bought at truckstop in Utah)

Two Will Oldham mix cassettes made for me by Dan Bryant and Connor Kirkwood the night I left Portland

Postcard from my grandparents in La Selva Beach

Unused bar of Dr. Bonner’s Magic Soap (lavender)

Knife with a sailing ship on the handle (bought at Texas roadstop, first US tour)

Unused postcard with Dusty Springfield on the front

Various scraps of paper, notes to self, half piece of paper with unfinished song lyrics–song title, “The Wild Homesick”

Create, Scheme, Remember notebook (made by 1984 Press) used for writing down dialog for stories

Wallet, camouflage, canvas, Velcro with Microcosm Publishing company credit card, three BOA debit cards, Dillion’s Plus Shopper’s Card card, AAA card, expired California driver’s license, keys to storage space in Portland, key to Hard 50 farmhouse, unknown gold key, Chinese money (yi yuan), fortune cookie fortune reading, “Keep your courage up and it will keep you up.”

Battery charger with two AA batteries

Two-prong-to-three-prong plug adapter

Various stolen pens (Ramada Hotel, Hampton Inn, Greyhound/NW Trailways)

Small temperature gauge

Small, round compact mirror (merch from the band The Locust) given away by the band at Locust show/film premier of John Waters’ Cecil B. Demented, Hillcrest Landmark Theater, San Diego

Gloves (gray cotton with skull print)

US passport

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Adam Gnade’s End of February Top Three Love List

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

1. Raymond Carver. Bart got me into Carver’s stories and then I picked up his great What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Right now I’m editing a book I finished in January and Carver’s minimalism (or as Bart writes, his editor’s minimalism) puts me in the right headspace for the cuts I need to make.

2. Waffle House. I rarely feel more American than when I’m at Waffle House getting breakfast at a million o’clock at night. In case you were wondering, when the waitress asks you if you want your hash browns “smothered, covered, or scattered,” the answer is YES. For full immersion go to the one by my place, out on the interstate by the Whisper’s gentleman’s club and the liquor store. Get on the 70, head toward Kansas City, and follow the sounds of ever-lovin’ satisfaction.

3. My friend Megan McIsaac’s photos. You should go check out her photography Tumblr page. She has a new zine out (a split with her friend Renee, pictured below). You can buy it here.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com