Four Decades

8 Nov

After forty years of plowing and sowing, plowing and sowing, in the outlying fields of literary journalism and reportage,I dare say my recommendations should be sufficient to send you (else how did you arrive at this way station?)post haste to your nearest book purveyor, shekels in hand…or in an equally useful move, going to your local library (the existence of which is one small but powerful signal that our civilization may yet have life)

I have neither the time nor inclination to exegete on the fictions that follow. I can say I have been pleased to read previous works by the authors and, in fact, I (what loosely are called interviews* though I prefer conversations) spoken face to face with Bonnie Jo, Ron,and Louis—delightful experiences all.

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash


A Clue to the Exit by Edward St. Aubyn


Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories
by Bonnie Jo Campbell


The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres


* which can be found on the Internet.

6 Responses to “Four Decades”

  1. hdinin November 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Yeah? So, what all are you doing with your time and inclination that you don’t have sufficient of either to substantiate your impulse to recommend we spend ours in what you clearly have not as yet done, and that is, read the goddam books you’re urging on us.

    In short, no, those four decades of yours, spent in equally estimable endeavor by each of us—old (and still mentally capable) enough to remember all that time—your followers (to whatever degree of devotion we have the time and inclination to spare for you such a role for ourselves), do not carry sufficient weight to substantiate any of your recommendations as to how I should spend my time reading. Most of the authors you usually mention I’ve discovered aren’t personally worth my time. But then, often that’s a mutual condition…

    Funny how time has such variability and relativity of value. No?

    • robertbirnbaum November 8, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

      Was I unclear— I did read these books Grosse Macher…

      • Howard Dinin November 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

        You were devious. Unclear is your norm.

  2. normanlevy November 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    “Exegete” again?!

    Norman Levy 16 Koch Road Norwich Vermont 05055


    • robertbirnbaum November 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm #


      As in ‘exegesis’ Don’t you know anything?

      • Howard Dinin November 9, 2015 at 11:03 pm #

        Exegete is a noun. The equivalent, and even more profoundly clumsy form of, essentially, one who specilizes in exegesis, i.e., an exegesist. It’s not clear which is more humorous: your pretention, or your cloddishness toward your gentler critics… All in the name of betraying your fundamental illiteracy. There’s a special place in Hell, presided over by Dante himself, for those who make verbs of nouns, especially ineptly.

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