It's bound to be awesome. You totally shouldn't miss it. And there's a 2D Cloud panel-talk-q&a type thing happening that Friday afternoon (3p - 6p), August 1st. There's plenty of info here for the curious: http://ripexpo.tumblr.com/
I found this austere English edition of Baldwin's first novel at a book sale in Portland, Maine, and perhaps because the cover is so stark, so direct, my first thought upon seeing it on the table was, "No, you go tell it on the mountain!"
This rather childish reaction of mine caused me to wonder if there were any other titles that used the imperative mood to order around its readers. Thus, I put together this brief list of bossy book titles.
1. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters - J. D. Salinger
2. Look at the Harlequins! - Vladimir Nabokov
3. Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami
4. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
5. Don't Cry - Mary Gaitskill
6. Nobody Move - Denis Johnson
7. Crash - J. G. Ballard
8. Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin
Now this is by no means an exhaustive list. I just used my enfeebled brain and my fiction bookshelves to compile it in a hurry. I wanted to post at least ten, but I was surprised at how difficult it was to find even these eight (and Crash is kind of a cheat because it's probably the noun and not the verb form of the word).
If you have some suggestions, please send them in. If I get enough good ones, and if they are books I actually have in my shop, then I'll put together a window display, take a picture of it, and give you credit for your help. Get on it!
What a beautifully sad, sadly beautiful story. And the language it's clothed in is finer than silk, finer than ermine. It's like the skin of a rare creature hunted into extinction because of its exquisite pelt. Constance and Uncle Julian and Merricat, though they are only words on the page (and now, in my memory), are hallowed misfits, special friends. I'd even wish that Merricat were a sister of mine but for the arsenic.
You know how some people get all aquiver about dreaming in French? I feel the same when I dream in Amis. I dreamt a lot of Amis while rereading this novel. They were unpleasant dreams, to be sure, extremely uncomfortable and uncommonly vivid and sweat-soaked dreams. When I or someone else spoke, we spoke in aphorism.
I didn't count (because I'm lazy) but I'd bet that the word money appeared on nearly every page of Money. And if not the very word money, than some other incarnation of the word money -- dollars, pounds, etc. If there were such a thing as a reading drinking game (and if people still read things, like novels and things), I think you could make yourself incapacitatedly inebriated by taking a shot, a swig, or even a sip every time the word money was used in this novel. That is, one person at a table, reading aloud, while his or her drinking buddies sit listening to Money, listening for the word money, and taking a drink every time they hear it, the word, the word money. Take a drink, then pass the Money. The whole lot of you, of us, of everyone, would be facing the floor inside of page ten, hospitalized by page fifteen.
And that would be an excellent way for all of us to get to know our inner Selfs.
I had this book with me while at the beach. The beach was cold. It was mid-spring and it was New England. I stood and I looked at the sea. The sea looked grey.
First, I put the book in my front-right pants pocket. Then I took it out, transferring it to my right shirt pocket. I then removed it and put it in my left-front pants pocket. I let it sit there for a minute while I measured the waves and then I took it out and again put it into my right-front pants pocket. Then I immediately pulled it out, putting it this time into my left shirt pocket. I waited ten heartbeats and moved the book to my right shirt pocket. Then, in quick succession, I put it in my right-front pants pocket, my left-front pants pocket, my left-rear pants pocket, my right-rear pants pocket and finally, back into my right-front pants pocket. Then I pulled it out again, I sat down and read it, from page first to page last.
Then I stood up and threw the book into the sea.
The Stubborn P.
Here's where I say stuff about events and stuff.