To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed. You could line up all the pols in the U.S. in a straight row and examine them head to toe and not find a single man or woman capable of admitting, never mind ending, the corruption of their vocation--Buddy Dooley

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pop. 1280

Several months ago I read Jim Thompson's classic noir novel "The Killer Inside Me," my first meeting with Thompson after hearing about his work for years.

Shortly after finishing the book, I looked up the most recent movie made from the story, the Casey Affleck project of the same title.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now, in a style reminiscent of how I approached things as a young man, I've been moved to read a bio of Thompson.

The urge arrived yesterday after finishing his dark and hilarious "Pop. 1280."

You haven't?  Do.  You have?  You understand what I'm saying.

Thompson has my fullest attention these days; now I'm repeating an old pattern.

For years I would find an author, read a couple of his books if my interest held, and then move on to a bio of the writer if I could find one.

I think I was looking for secrets, or insights into how and why a particular writer impressed me.  The history of the writer's life seemed like a good place to visit.

Over subsequent years, until recently, I'd fallen out of the habit and read fewer bios in general.  But it feels good to reenter that realm, first with the Joe DiMaggio bio last month and now Michael J. McCauley's Thompson bio, "Sleep with the Devil" (1991).



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