Bad idea……Pretty, pretty, pretty bad.

From this article on Larry David (which didn’t have the stones or the critical acumen to say that Woody Allen’s Whatever Works was probably one of the worst movies ever made):

In the US, reruns of Curb Your Enthusiasm are about to begin airing for the first time on a mainstream cable channel, requiring the cast to record new dialogue to be dubbed in over the show’s copious swearing. (“You say ‘freak’ for ‘fuck’ and ‘shoot’ for ‘shit’ and ‘baloney’ for ‘bullshit’, or whatever fits the movement of your lips,” David says.) Perhaps in an effort to convey the David world-view to a wider audience, each episode will be followed by a 10-minute panel discussion to contemplate the “issues” raised by the show.

The issues? That makes it all sound rather studious. “Just the issues,” David says. “Like, finding out your doctor is gay and then going up to him and saying, ‘I didn’t know you were gay!’ – is that a bad thing to do? Why is it bad? Is it OK to tell a blind person his girlfriend is unattractive, or should you pretend she’s attractive?” For a moment, he looks almost entirely serious – deadpan bordering on dead earnest – as though we have finally penetrated through to the questions in life that really matter. “You know. Things like that.”

RIP David Markson


This is rushed, and I’m finding it hard to say what I want to say.  I’m saddened in part because he went out like so many of the giants in his books–broke, underappreciated.  His commonplace book aesthetic, the assemblage technique that built and built until something more than the sum of those lines, those facts, hovered over/nested under the text was called experimental and marginalized.  But few books read more quickly than his assemblage novels.  Few books repay rereading as generously.

Anecdotes he shared in interviews–the role he played in getting Gaddis’ The Recognitions reissued in paperback, etc.  His generosity.  The absolute lack of pretension in him.  All of this will be missed.  R.I.P.