tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Hotel

Hotel by Franz Kamin
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really liked it
bookshelves: literature

Franz was an old friend of mine who died in a car crash along w/ another friend of mine, Sarmad Brody, on April 11, 2010. I've been making a documentary about him. While I was in NYC in Dec '10 I had the good fortune to interview Mitch Highfill & Mitch gave me a copy of "Hotel" - wch, if I understand correctly, Mitch himself published.

Now, I'm an unabashed enthusiast for Franz's work: his writing, his composing, & his performances. SO, to read a work that I hadn't previously run across was a treat. I'm usually enamored of work that manages to have something to say by people who have a wealth of ways of saying these things & "Hotel" reinforces this nicely. Each page has the text broken into equal quadrants as if each block is a window pane in THE HOTEL - ie: the bk itself. When each text ends on the page it isn't continued on the next - it's as if that's all the view thru the panes that they allow. As the 1st page asks the reader: "Is this a description of some hotel someplace? Or is the hotel only in my mind?"

I know Franz respected the writings of Maurice Blanchot & I find a small trace of Blanchot here - albeit a bit more experimental. This is a very slim volume but Franz manages to put enuf into it to probably satisfy most readers of his work. Take the following page example (hopefully not reformatted here):

SOMEWHERE IN THE V AST COMPLEX OF COR
RIDORS OF THE SUBB ASEMENT IS THE ALT
ERATIONS ROOM. OPE RATED SOLELY BY A
SQUAT HEAVYSET WOM AN, VERY OLD, BROW
NISH SKIN, SITS AT A LITTERED TABLE
AMIDST RACKS OF TO OLS, SURGICAL IMPL
EMENTS, BOXES OF P ARTS, CHEMICALS, G
LASSWARE, COILS OF WIRE, MACHINERY O
F EVERY DESCRIPTIO N. CLUTTERED. THE
PURPORTED REASON F OR THE EXISTANCE O

F THIS ROOM IS THA T IT IS A REPAIR S
HOP: RADIOS, VACUU M CLEANERS, WATCHE
S, DOG LEASHES; SH E EVEN DOES VET WO
RK ON THE DOGS THE MSELVES. IT IS RUM
ORED THAT SHE ALSO MODIFIES THINGS:
CHANGES OBJECTS OF ONE FUNCTION INTO
OBJECTS OF ANOTHE R; HAS BEEN KNOWN
TO WORK ON PEOPLE, TO CHANGE THEIR A
TTITUDES, MOODS, M ODES OF FUNCTION.
HOW IS THAT DONE? SHE HAS QUITE AN U
NDERGROUND REPUTAT ION. THE TROUBLE I
S, I HAVE NEVER BE EN ABLE TO FIND TH
E ROOM WHEN I NEED ANYTHING CHANGED.

To me, this has traces of the humor of William Burroughs & the structure of George Perec's "Life, A User's Manual" - a nice combination indeed. &, of course, Kamin is his own man.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
December 27, 2010 – Finished Reading
January 6, 2011 – Shelved
January 6, 2011 – Shelved as: literature

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