Buy my books. They pay for my writing, since I don't teach. Credible offers welcome, though,
Thursday, February 24, 2011
My Facts (Includes true personal George Clooney and Jorge L Borges anecdotes)
I live in Montana and California but go to New York a lot to visit The Masters. Stuff that won't go into my novels or that won't pass the major media filters is what will go here. That big picture is of my girlfriend. The little picture is of me when I was her age. I have kids. I grew up in a Minnesota town of 500 where a noon siren sounded every day so people who worked outside knew what time it was. The town where I live now, in Montana, is pretty bombed out from the recession. I love to drive, no matter how expensive gas is. I drive a Ford. A hybrid Fusion. Great car but not in snow. My family is originally from the Cleveland/Akron area. I went to Princeton and wrote a memoir I'd like you to buy called Lost in the Meritocracy about how much I hated it. I loved Oxford, though. You just read a lot there and write little essays and stage amateur plays with your friends. The movie Up in the Air was based on my novel of the same name. George Clooney starred. He played me. In person he's smart and charming and extremely sincere about his Sudan work. He could have stolen my girlfriend from me and showed signs that he knew it, but he didn't. I think that shows class. In both of them. The movie Thumbsucker is based on one of my novels. It was directed by Mike Mills, is terrific, but is not as good as Mike's upcoming movie, "Beginners," which is superb. Of all the Hollywood people I've met, my favorite is Robert Downey Jr., who is a kind of shining psychedelic optimist and as verbally quick as any top-tier writer. I was very good friends with Clark Rockefeller, who was revealed as a fraud and one of the last few decades' greatest con men. He sure fooled me. I saw Samuel Beckett walking down the street once in Edinburgh wearing a long navy blue wool coat. It was like seeing a great British sailed frigate from the Empire days come knifing up a little river, that shocking, that beautiful. I also met, unexpectedly, Jorge Luis Borges once, long after I thought he was dead. It was 1985. It was like meeting Kafka. He recited a speech from King Lear (in English) and then explained how it might be improved. When he recited the improved version, I had to concede he was right. He reminded me of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, all bent over and blind with a curled wooden cane.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Great stuff. The Beckett especially. Never felt anything similar.ReplyDelete
Up in the Air is a great book. I enjoyed the movie as well, curious what you thought of it. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about the process of a book becoming a movie.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you think it's a great book. And yes, the movie was exceptionally enjoyable, I thought, though it was very much the personal vision of the writer-director and was, in an odd way, both less comic and less tragic than the novel. Both were about loneliness, though, and addiction, perhaps, and how all that is solid is melting into air -- and now air is melting into code. We evolved to live on earth. Are we really prepared to leave it? Anyway, the transition from book to movie from the point of view of the book writer. It's like a mushroom trip going out of control. Faces swell. The heart pounds. Weird moments of existential desolation descend. Then all of a sudden everyone is laughing. You're not sure why. Then you grow very, very tired. When you wake up you have crazy cool memories but you feel neurologically, spiritually depleted. It's like that,ReplyDelete
this is great. I almost think I can even see a young Brad Pitt here. My celebrity hole is getting filled. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I had a celebrity citing in an airport once. Timothy Leary in his last year.
Guessing the Sun Also Rises even if it's wrong.
i watched up in the air on hbo last christmas with my folks, and i was a bit worried that it would be a tale of george clooney handsomely jettisoning all emotional attachments and becoming an air-based sex robot and isn't this a wonderful brave new world? if it was that story, i would've hated it--i moved around a lot as a kid, therefore most of my relationships are 2- to 3-year fragments of fading memory, nothing worth hanging your hat on (though that's changed a bit over the past 5 years). when i was younger, i fancied myself a crusading world traveler who would need or be needed by no one, but i think i was just validating my failure to make lasting relationships and my overwhelming hatred for the exurbs. believe it or not, i really like the idea of rootedness and stability and interdependence--and i kind of feel bad about it, like i'm giving up on my earlier pretense towards rugged individualism. i was worried up in the air would make me feel worse about wanting roots but it actually made me feel better about it and work through some shit. anyway i should probably read the bookReplyDelete
Cachoritta. Wow. Love how you play that word horn. Neal Cassady is making a comeback. With me too.ReplyDelete
I've watched Robert Downey Jr.'s career since maybe The Pick-Up Artist and thoroughly enjoy him. Read your piece on him and thought it was articulate and observant. If I were ever to write a screenplay he'd be a muse for me to be certain.ReplyDelete
I'm happy you're blogging. It's nice to read a blog where the writer is indeed a writer.
Having been born and educated in MN I have to ask - what is your hometown?ReplyDelete
Celebrity encounters are like emotional drive-bys because sometimes they date-stamp themselves into your memory. I once met Illya Kuryakin (aka David McCallum) in an audition waiting room in 1993. Perhaps not Beckett, but I was equally speechless because I figured Illya would have known Kafka.ReplyDelete