Chuck Palahniuk Does Not Live In My Basement

I’ve been scanning old photos and documents for my memoir-in-progress, and going a bit scan-crazy as I dig into my archives. Here are a few interesting literary items I’ve found.

Does This Happen To Other Litbloggers?

I have no idea why this happens, but I get letters from kids to famous writers. But they don’t send the letters to the writers, or to their publishers (which would probably be the best approach). They send the letters to me. Over the years, I’ve received letters about various writers we’ve covered here on LitKicks, including Chuck Palahniuk (above), S. E. Hinton, Kurt Vonnegut and Lemony Snicket. I feel terrible about the fact that I never write back. But really, what are these kids thinking? Chuck Palahniuk does not live in my basement.

If any other litbloggers have experienced the same thing, I’d love to hear about it.

Damn! This Was Some Cast

I haven’t posted about it as often as I’d like, but I love the New York Shakespeare Festival. Many famous actors and actresses paid their dues there, including Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, William Hurt, Raul Julia, Christopher Walken and many more. Still, when I dug up this old program for a 1981 Delacorte Theatre production of King Henry the Fourth Part One, starring the fairly unknown Stephen Markle as King Henry and Kenneth McMillan as Falstaff, I was surprised to discover that the supporting cast included then-total-unknowns John Goodman, Val Kilmer and Kevin Spacey, not to mention the then-slightly-known Mandy Patinkin as Hotspur. I vaguely remember Patinkin’s Hotspur, and Goodman, Kilmer and Spacey left no impression at all. Damn, that was some cast! I wish I could go back in time and enjoy the play more than I did.

Me Being Pretentious

I always wanted to be a writer. Around ninth grade I composed an apocalyptic novel called The Rain God. I remember that I liked the title very much, and that I had some good ideas for the novel’s cover artwork (above). I didn’t have a very clear idea what the story would be about, though, as is obvious from this pained first page:

“It was a dry dark beginning. My town is a little town, a farming based society. My father planted Yams. That is, before he died in a flash fire last week.”

Forget what those kids who send me letters to writers were thinking … what was I thinking? My father planted Yams? Hmph.

Then again, on the other hand, is this much worse than Cormac McCarthy’s The Road? That’s the real question. I guess I should have stuck with the project.

12 Responses

  1. I’m still waiting for you to
    I’m still waiting for you to forward my letter to Henry Thoreau.

    Looking at your typed page reminds me of how, if you type too close to the bottom of the page, the paper would slip loose from the platen, causing the words to run downhill. I think other times we did it on purpose, for some effect.

  2. One other player who became
    One other player who became somewhat well known is Linda Kozlowski who was in the Crocodile Dundee movies.

  3. Wha? I hope you’re
    Wha? I hope you’re being…actually, don’t know what you mean by The Road reference. You’re either tring to be funny, which doesn’t work, or you’re seriously deluded, which wouldn’t surprise me seeing as you think your memoir’s gonna sell 100k.

    I’m a solicitor and I get people sending me letters, requesting sex.

  4. Fam, yes, I have been
    Fam, yes, I have been seriously deluded since the day I was born. Somehow this arrangement works for me.

    I’m also not a big Cormac McCarthy fan, if that helps explain the Road reference. More here.

  5. I must say, I went back and
    I must say, I went back and read the opening the McCarthy’s The Road and it wasn’t all that bad. I especially like the part about the underground serpent.

  6. I just read your objection to
    I just read your objection to The Road. The book is a bummer but I liked it because it is the kind of stuff I am drawn to.
    The Road reminded me of much post-apocalyptic pulp-fiction I read in the ’70s. A possible cannibal scene from it is an ending in another book about a world-wide famine.
    Your objection to The Road reminds me of my own question as to why Hemingway is considered the uber-stylist yet this reader, with his limited literary criticism, never hears Steinbeck described the same way.
    An aside: No Country for Old Men seemed straight out of reality with its antagaonist as the new generation in the drug trade.

  7. I think it’s so great that
    I think it’s so great that the kids write you here, SE Hinton, and I’m digging your memoir but shouldn’t you talk about The Outsiders not the internet?

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