A Stacked Literary Scoop: National Book Award winner Denis Johnson has NOT played Grand Theft Auto

johnsoncroppedI leave it to future scholars to decide whether he was referring to the original 2D top-down driving game, or the later 3rd person iterations.  I suspect he was specifically referring to the latter, but that he probably hasn’t played the former either.

Actually, the existence of this gaping hole in Mr Johnson video gaming experience was only one of many revelations that the author laid on a rapt- and I’m not just saying that- crowd last night.  After reading from his new neo-noir novel Nobody Move, Mr Johnson deftly handled a wide array of questions.  In the process, attendees learned the following pieces of information:

– He is a big fan of works in translation for a very interesting reason that I will attempt to elucidate via the comments section if anyone is interested.

– His goal is to write for at least 10 minutes each day.

– He is not the sort of writer who works for three months each year, then spends the other nine floating on a yacht, getting drunk, and shooting at cans, although one gets the impression that he wouldn’t mind terribly if he were.

-Or is it “wouldn’t mind terribly if he was”?  I can never remember, and I doubt Mr Johnson could tell me either, because…

– Despite the fact that he has written an novel called Resuscitation of a Hanged Man, Mr Johnson can never remember whether “hanged” or “hung” is correct.

Many more fascinating nuggets were tossed out last night, but I don’t want you to think you can skip an event at the Library and then get the good stuff here the next day.  Mr Johnson was funny, charmingly self deprecating, refreshingly frank, and even introduced an element of physical comedy into his talk, which doesn’t happen as often as it should around here.  If you weren’t at the Library last night, you really missed out.

-Norm De Plume

Published in: on April 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. But some of us weren’t there because we live far away. So it’s not fair to hold out! And now I must know why he is a big fan of works in translation.

  2. Sorry, Evie. I know it isn’t fair, but I guess the nearby people who didn’t come- and you know who you are- ruin it for everyone else. Let’s both look in their direction in a sulky fashion.

    Anyway, he likes reading works in translation because when the words are filtered through a translator it takes the pressure off of the prose. He doesn’t feel the need to focus on style, so he can pay more attention to everything else.


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