First, there is the abutment, then vertical supports, then voussoirs, and finally, crucially, the keystone. Ander Monsonin a interview: How does any woman or man begin to tell the story of unexpected violence? How does any writer begin?
A little over half of this book is worth reading. Ander monson essay do not read pieces that have strange and awful layouts. I do not read poems that look like that either, and is definitely the main reason I never became an E.
Cummings fan, though I suppose he would have qualified to be read under the weirdness quotient. Seven of the twelve total essays were very much worth reading. I Have Been Thinking about Snow 2. Adventures in Bourge https: Adventures in Bourgeois Topologies 3.
Subject to Wave Action: A There and a Back with Orchestral Accompaniment 5. The Long Crush 6. After Form and Formlessness: Bodies, Boats, and Bathing 7. The main reason that I like these bits by Ander Monson is that they are simply good and interesting. I mean I sort of get it, but not really.
Not enough to actually be able and take up a disc and play a sandlot game of it. I doubt I could score. But he makes me want to visit the campus near downtown Detroit just to walk the walk and see what I can see.
I have never been kicked out of anything, and for one reason or another I am kind of envious of him for accomplishing it as smart as he is.
I have never attended any institution but a public one and only through high school. At the advanced-age of forty-two years old I did begin three consecutive years of summer stints as a writing student of Gordon Lish which is about as private as it gets I guess.
At that time in my life I would have easily qualified for a hardship scholarship if Lish had offered me one. But the main thing about starting out under the tutelage of Lish is paying your hard-earned cash up front and then proving to him you can hold your water every day through a ten hour class with no breaks.
It is very hard to survive a Lish writing class if you come unprepared to do so. He thrives on making it hard and an experiential event patterned on a reality based on how difficult it is to become an historical figure of the literary canon.
Lish makes a very pronounced impression on any serious and humble student. If you believe you are already a writer of some note you have no place in a Lish class unless he has told you so. Writers he already loves and respects he takes no small measures to recognize in class and goes on to show how serious they are by pointing out their attendance in yet another Lish fiction-writing class.
Otherwise, it can get pretty ugly in there. But these are stories for another time. The essay, Subject to Wave Action, brought me back to my earlier years as a kid of eighteen to when I took the same car ferry across Lake Michigan in the middle of the night.
Having been bitten by a spider on my way back home to Michigan from the receding waters of the destructive Rapid City flood my arm had swelled to a revolting Popeye size. I was tired of the flood, the bugs, and stories of rushing mud and horrific deaths.
I wanted to be back in my Huron National Forest. The car ferry was hoped to be the shortest route to get me there alive. I have no memory of what it was like above deck, nor any idea that there was a Premier Class section of the boat as Monson describes. But I do remember it took a very long time to cross that body of water and a person who has not seen a Great Lake has no idea what Ander or I are even talking about.
These Great Lakes are humongous and not unlike an ocean at first glance. In storms, these lakes eat big ships. Monson talks about the iron ore carrier the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking in Lake Superior November 10, and I was there stuck on the Mighty Michilimackinac, or Mighty Mac, as they like to call the Mackinac Bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.
The very day the Edmund Fitzgerald went down the winds were so bad they had to close the bridge to traffic for the first time in its history since being completed in An empty semi trailer box truck had flipped on its side and was blocking all lanes but the northbound edge of the bridge.
Several times it went up on its side and righted itself by rocking back down to the pavement, but finally it went too far and came crashing down and sliding its long mass, blocking both southbound lanes and one northbound.
It was obvious I was screwed for the time being.The essay is one of these, a technology repurposed in any given instance to solve a sort of problem, one that it does not know it is meant to solve until it solves it.
It is an exploration; it serves the function of art, treading out in darker waters. Even this essay—especially this essay—is a hack.
About Ander Monson Ander Monson is the author of five books, including Safety Features, Our Aperture, Vacationland, Other Electricities, and the nonfiction work Neck Deep and Other Predicaments, which received the second annual Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.
The collection includes his essay "Solipsism" which was originally published on his website, republished by Pinch, and anthologized in Best American Essays In July Sarabande published a collection of his poetry titled "The Available World." Monson is the editor of the literary magazine DIAGRAM, and the New Michigan Press.
Neck Deep and Other Predicaments is an innovative and engaging nonfiction debut by “an original new voice” (Publishers Weekly) and the winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize In this sparkling nonfiction debut, Ander Monson uses unexpectedly nonliterary forms—the index, the Harvard /5.
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July 5: Ander Monson • Jennifer Gravley • Jeannie Roberts • Mark Neely • Jill Christman • Alison Deming • Ella Neely • Henry Neely • Sandra J Lindow • Emma Thomason Today we present ten more dispatches from June 21, to you.