The BURIED Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments If you've got questions about my fuzzy delineations about HOW DEEP things need to be BURIED to be included within this FORUM of the MOST BURIED of the BURIED, please feel yourself free to ask here.

To keep in mind, VERY FEW ratings and/or reviews. NEARLY unread by ENGLISH (the language, not the folk) readers. BEEN around so long it looks like they've already been paved over (careful about new stuff from the last 2-3 DECADES). INDEED, its about BURIED BOOKS, but I've got it organized author-centric (for various reasons)--BUT YES it's about the BOOKS.

[new group, but already difficult to navigate. ask here. and i'll provide a map one of these days]


message 2: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments So would an author like Dermot Healy—who has multiple editions of his more recent work (& is still living) BUT is not widely read by people on Goodreads, and has a few out-of-print stuff early titles—qualify for this?


message 3: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Rand wrote: "So would an author like Dermot Healy—who has multiple editions of his more recent work (& is still living) BUT is not widely read by people on Goodreads, and has a few out-of-print stuff early titl..."

Borderline-ish with three somewhat rated books, but certainly, should you highlight some of his lesser know things. Especially since you're the only one in my small circle whose read him. (any chance for a review from you of the one you've read?)


message 4: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments It was some ago that I read that one (one of the better picks in that British lit course—my professor then had a pleasingly broad interpretation of his subject) but I will review it eventually. There were some good lines in his memoir Bend for Home ("The truth is the lie you once told returning to haunt you”).

I think I'll try his "Shadowboxing" book first tho.

Healy's also in Aosdána, the Gaelic arts revivalist group.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim I just received a recommendation from a friend for a book by Jens Bjørneboe. The book rec was for Moment of Freedom: The Heiligenberg Manuscript. He has 31 total reviews versus 34 books. Take a quick look and see if you think we should unBURY his books.


message 6: by Declan (new)

Declan | 42 comments
Rand wrote: "Healy's also in Aosdána, the Gaelic arts revivalist group".


It would be completely wrong to describe Aosdana as a Gaelic arts revivalist group. There hasn't been one of those in Ireland since Yeats time. Aosdana is a government backed body to which artists, writers etc are elected. A small stipend is paid to those members whose earnings from their chosen art are slight, but for most it is supposed to be an 'honor'. It has always been controversial because it was set up by Ireland's most corrupt prime minister, Charles Haughey, who liked to use public money to support the arts because it bought kudos from both artists and the more compliant elements of the media. Many artists have resigned over the years and several others refused to join at all because they felt they would be compromised by doing so.


message 7: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Jim wrote: "I just received a recommendation from a friend for a book by Jens Bjørneboe. The book rec was for Moment of Freedom: The Heiligenberg Manuscript. He has 31 total reviews versus 34 books. Take a qui..."

The rating numbers would deny him, but looking at the massive paucity of reviews, I think so. A book is BURIED if it's not TALKED about. Also, he's Norwegian.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim Nathan "N.R." wrote: "The rating numbers would deny him, but looking at the massive paucity of reviews, I think so. A book is BURIED if it's not TALKED about. Also, he's Norwegian..."

D'accord! I'll add him tomorrow...


message 9: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments Declan wrote: "It would be completely wrong to describe Aosdana as a Gaelic arts revivalist group. There hasn't been one of those in Irel..."

I sit corrected then, thank you for the clarification!


message 10: by Mala (new)

Mala | 146 comments Can this poet be added?

Jack Spicer

Three of his books have ratings in hundreds but the remaining ones have zilch!
Our fellow member Matt reviewed his collected poems recently:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 11: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Mala wrote: "Can this poet be added?

Jack Spicer"


It would appear to my eye that those first two books are collections of his other books which would mean that he's not buried. Poetry is of course welcome here.


message 12: by Rand (last edited Mar 28, 2013 08:02AM) (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments Speaking of poets, I was just looking at the bibliography of Kenneth Patchen* who has roughly the same reception today as Spicer, reading-wise. There seems to be a prejudice against poetry within the General Reading Public, by virtue of the rather high Dollars-To-Words ratio inherent in the medium's exchange.

Anthologies of collected works can stave this tendency, somewhat, but only so much.

*The first review listed here for one of Patchen's novels, The Journal of Albion Moonlight, compared it to The Tunnel I've read a little of his poetry, it's playfully absurd.


message 13: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Rand wrote: "There seems to be a prejudice against poetry within the General Reading Public, by virtue of the rather high Dollars-To-Words ratio inherent in the medium's exchange. "

Some of it might be the poets' fault. Might. But that thesis comes from prose-ists. But for my own Schuld, it's incompetency more than economy. If there is a poetry torch carrier among us of the BBC, perhaps a distinct DEAD & BURIED POETRY group would function better, independent from NR's poetry-shaped ignorance. I DO DISlike excluding books as not-BURIED enough. It's rather an absurd position to be in. But this humble little group can only serve so many literary dinners at a time. We specialize rather than generalize. BUT if there is no one bearing the tORCH for poetry as independent from my own clumsy mangling, I COULD create an anYThing-GoeS-PoeTry-CentER folder which could get crammed with as much poetry as you want free from my carrassing of criteria, etc. Thoughts?


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim What's "poetry"?


message 15: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Jim wrote: "What's "poetry"?"

It's those passages in novels where the right and left margins go all wonky.


message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim Nathan "N.R." wrote: "Jim wrote: "What's "poetry"?"

It's those passages in novels where the right and left margins go all wonky."


Oh right... is that a bug in the printing process? You'd think the publishers would proof that stuff better.


message 17: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Jim wrote: "Oh right... is that a bug in the printing process? You'd think the publishers would proof that stuff better. "

I usually blame the author for trying to be pretentious and "experimental." Nothing is more self-indulgent than screwing around with a reader's expectations for smooth R & L margins.


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim Nathan "N.R." wrote: "Nothing is more self-indulgent than screwing around with a reader's expectations for smooth R & L margins..."

the bastards...


message 19: by Mala (new)

Mala | 146 comments "If there is a poetry torch carrier among us of the BBC, perhaps a distinct DEAD & BURIED POETRY group would function better, independent from NR's poetry-shaped ignorance"

S Penk & Mike P read lots of poetry- I did send out an invite to Mike... Maybe I shd invite S Penk ( but he seems like a very busy guy). Yours truly also reads poetry but luckily her fav poets are definitely not buried,so there!
But any distinct group outside the purview of NR's snarky comments would be SO BORING as to be not worthwhile > >


message 20: by James (new)

James | 4 comments Has Dzanc been considered for the publishers page? Their reprint series is going to be my ticket to McElroy.


message 21: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments James wrote: "Has Dzanc been considered for the publishers page? Their reprint series is going to be my ticket to McElroy."

If not, a mere oversight. They oughta get themselves there.


message 22: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments This man is probably not known outside Scotland, but his novels are very much indebted to Calvino and Borges, and are unread, so worth a mention: Frank Kuppner.


message 23: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "This man is probably not known outside Scotland, but his novels are very much indebted to Calvino and Borges, and are unread, so worth a mention: Frank Kuppner."

He might not be dead enough to have been BURIED (b. 1951), but something says that, no, yes, he oughta have some limelight. Add, please.


message 24: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments so how buried is TOO BURIED?

G.K. Wilkinson wrote two books in the sixties, both of which were translated. The one that was adapted to a Disney film seems less easily available. Oh, and he's not listed on goodreads, but has a page on librarything and googlebooks.

His comic allegory in "The Monkeys" is a 1962 allegory which combines monkey labor with French colonialism. It was adapted to the Disney film Monkeys, Go Home, which as the imdb reviewer marzipanfiend states, is "Not the best film ever, but with this many monkeys it can't be at all bad. Definitely worth watching. I suppose maurice chevalier also lends some class to the film. But the monkeys are the real reason for watching it. They're great. It can't be long until someone remakes this."

Disney removed some of the more racist dialogue in the film to make the story family-friendly.

Discovered via a lovely little bit of research on the history and ethics of animal labor by the inimitable Paul Collins. Collins, incidentally, deserves props for backhoe-ing over at McSweeney's (a week or so ago I wasn't sure how to catalogue that imprint and decided just to add to listopia, not knowing which titles therein were *literary* enough for inclusion here ... yesteryear's pot-boilers are not needed here, ja? Some items of the Collins Library may be worthy for this group, perhaps.)

But it is entirely possible that "The Monkeys" is in fact Literature. Does Disney adapt trash?


message 25: by Nathan "N.R." (last edited Apr 04, 2013 10:16AM) (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Rand wrote: "Does Disney adapt trash?"

At a minimum they turn it into trash. BUT, if you've got something on Wilkinson and can argue, or we can presume, his merit as aspiring to LIT-UR-A-CHUR, then please add and correct the lacks in the goodreads database. The Collins imprint can go into the BackhoE folder, even if what he's turned up so far might not quite qualify as BURIED, his efforts would appear to be in that direction. Criteria for such Publishers is a bit more lax; the idea that they be ones to keep an eye out for. [yesteryear potboilers? not less they rise above genre constraints and flavors]


message 26: by Mala (new)

Mala | 146 comments Take a look at this writer:
Henry Blake Fuller

Sketchbook & Mike Puma have reviewed his Bertram Cope's Year.
Very low ratings overall.


message 27: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Mala wrote: "Take a look at this writer:
Henry Blake Fuller"


Go-to, please.


message 28: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Excellent. Fuller should be added.


message 29: by Nate D (last edited Apr 16, 2013 10:21PM) (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments I think he's better known than I realized, but I'm now needing to read much more John Hawkes. Maybe this is a Completists thread, rather.


message 30: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Nate D wrote: "I think he's better known than I realized, but I'm now needing to read much more Joh Hawkes. Maybe this is a Completists thread, rather."

Under-read, very much under-read, but for better or worse, not BURIED. I'm on a slow coarse for completionism with him and so would happily join you over yonder.


message 31: by Garima (new)

Garima | 78 comments Stumbled upon another 'Sorrentino', Fernando Sorrentino.


message 32: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Garima wrote: "Stumbled upon another 'Sorrentino', Fernando Sorrentino."

Please ADD. He might also be a source for unEARTHing more books and authors, via for instance his Seven Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges. Also, I REALLY LikeLikeLike the title Theres a man in the habit of hitting me in the head with an umbrella. [Justification: yes, he's not quite moldy enough to have been BURIED, but being Argentinian we might be in a position to prevent his BURIAL; but importantly he looks like an unEARTHer himself]


message 33: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments is vintage noir excluded from "serious literature"? if not, Paul Cain deserves inclusion.


message 34: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Suggest: create a "currently-reading" folder for BURIED books so we can keep up with the unEARTHing activity.


message 35: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments "currently-exhuming"


message 36: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Michael wrote: "Compton Mackenzie, who had Orwell wandering London and Henry James asserting his praise---maybe two of his shorter books are occasionally read but his best meaty stuff & huge novels seem all but fo..."

The curse of the one-or-two-hit-wonder and all the rest go by way of oblivion. ADD please. And highlight too the good ones. and HIGHlight the FAT ones and tell me something about Sinister Street [and, hey, write some Mackenzie reviews so we can LIKE them!].


message 37: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Rand wrote: "is vintage noir excluded from "serious literature"? if not, Paul Cain deserves inclusion."

It's excluded if it's only defense is "vintage." But the BEST of the BEST of the GENRE is always already LIT-UR-A-CHUR. He'd appear to my eyes, upon your witness, to be a case of "ADD please."


message 38: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "Suggest: create a "currently-reading" folder for BURIED books so we can keep up with the unEARTHing activity."

If you can promise to keep it all kneat and tidy.


message 39: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Enrique wrote: "What do you guys think regarding the BURIED/unBURIED status of a writer like John Cowper Powys?"

There is some consolation to be found by inclusion within the Folder, "BURIED books by KNOWN authors." BUT, if the bulk of his work, his MAJOR if unacknowledged work, is BURIED, then he'd be BURIED. I know his name, I know not whence, but if those few books which have not been put below the sod are but an iceberg tip, then he is properly BURIED. If, judging with knowledge of his literary corpus, those few are his WORTHY works, then he'd NOT be BURIED. Clearly an ODD thing to judge. We've had several authors included here who have a work or two or three with some kind of respectable numbers but whose other works, plentiful, have been ignored and covered over, and therefore, with that disparity, have been deem BURIED. A few surface-poking books might be the camouflage which hides the fact of the BURIAL of others. [your call?]


message 40: by Mala (new)

Mala | 146 comments Are playwrights welcome in this club? If yes,then consider this author:

John Van Druten

Sketchbook reviewed his book:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 41: by Sketchbook (last edited Apr 27, 2013 03:22AM) (new)

Sketchbook Among theatre enthusiasts, John van Druten is not a Buried Name. He wrote a slew of hits: There's Always Juliet, Bell, Book & Candle, I Remember Mama, I Am a Camera (among others). The Voice of the Turtle -- included in anthologies -- ran almost 4 years on Bwy, made him v rich, and was made into a movie starring Eleanor Parker, Ronald Reagan, Eve Arden. Of course Bell, Mama and Camera were also filmed.

Key point : They arent revived today, but only Ten Williams, O'Neill, Arthur Miller - dramatic writers - are revived. Camera did become the basis for the huge hit musical, Cabaret.

One could put 90% of US playwrights into Buried: Robert Sherwood, Maxwell Anderson, S N Behrman, Philip Barry, Sidney Kingsley, Wm Saroyan, Elmer Rice,
George Kelly and on and on....

Plays vaporize quickly.


message 42: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Drama's more complicated than I am capable of grasping. I'm gunno go with Sketchbook here: "Plays vaporize quickly." It would also be difficult perhaps for us bookish-types to presume over the judgments of the theatre-types where plays have their BREATHING. [for the moment, and unless further arguments are presenting, we shall respect the domain of the theatre and allow them their proper judgement over the question of revival or no revival of x, y, or z's plays]


message 43: by Jim (new)

Jim Nathan "N.R." wrote: "Drama's more complicated than I am capable of grasping. I'm gunno go with Sketchbook here: "Plays vaporize quickly." It would also be difficult perhaps for us bookish-types to presume over the j..."

Plus plays are meant to be watched, not read...


message 44: by Sketchbook (last edited Apr 27, 2013 10:52AM) (new)

Sketchbook Agreed. A play's success often depends on its "star (s)" or direction by a major talent. And contempo plays are usually rooted in the moment of time they're produced, w the longevity of today's newspaper. Eg, Ingrid Bergman in Maxwell Anderson's (claptrappery), Joan of Lorraine (1946); Leslie Howard in Robt Sherwood's Depression drama, The Petrified Forest (1935). Both were prize-winning dramatists in their day and unproducable today. ~~ Ah, but a movie is forever !

O'Neill injected a maturity into the American theatre, but he's only produced today becos of the O'Neill industry, composed of his Estate, agents, bio writers and producers. He's, frankly, hard to bear.


message 45: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments Both were prize-winning dramatists in their day and unproducable today. ~~ Ah, but a movie is forever !

On the contrary, sometimes a play can outlive a film. Two weeks ago I saw Robert Anderson's 1953 play "Tea and Sympathy" at the local community theatre and was suitably impressed with how that drama remains relevant. It's not widely-performed and the (1956) film adaptation was an immediate flop, on account of bowdlerism on the part of MGM.

Tho you probably meant film over movies *not* in terms of adaptation... But still, the beauty of re-staging old plays is that the material may be adAPTed to meet the circumstances of contemporary life. Films are subject to the formats in which they are archived, and tho they may be updated to meet the latest technological standards, they will always be as they were first insofar as the particulars of setting, dialogue and c.


message 46: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Tea&Symp is story of a poor twit who is bullied for being gay, but - of course - isnt, it being 1953 or somepun. Directed x Kazan on Bwy it had spunk, which was lost in film version, and, pls, get the hook for John Kerr. ~~ Now, what is yer point??


message 47: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments My point, moot as it may be, is that while a play may be buried more easily than a film, they are also much easier to unbury.


message 48: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook Unbury..with a local community thea production. Ok, yes. But what is your point?


message 49: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments That comparing the longevity of film and theatre is akin to comparing OJ concentrate and an orange seed.

Yes, film is "forever" so long as one has the technology, but the experience won't be any different. Film is, by nature, a form of stasis. Theatre takes more time/work but can be tweaked to suit certain whims.


message 50: by Sketchbook (new)

Sketchbook A whimmmy ? You mean altering text of a play ?? Or the author's intention ?? I am serious here. I havent a clue as to what you are trying to say. Not sure you do either. But carry on. I leave for cocktails in an hour.


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