Been reading Jamie Iredell‘s Prose. Poems. A Novel. today. Wanted to talk about it with someone, so I figured I’d see if anyone else is reading/has read this one. The poetry of the prose is romantic and indulgent and perfectly ugly. I don’t know how he does it exactly, but Jamie never overwrites, while reserve and subtlety don’t appear to be his concern. And the anxiety of Denis Johnson’s influence doesn’t deter him at all. In so many ways – the topics, the prose, the form, etc. – there is so much Johnson in this book, but it lives confidently and compellingly apart. The scenes are claustrophobic and dire but I’m feeling a comfort and familiarity inside of them. Reading this book is enjoyable. Reading this book is like listening to an emo song that doesn’t suck really loud on your headphones (like Cap’n Jazz or the first Promise Ring album); it indulges whims and the poetry of adolescence without ever being cloying or cliched or losing its own voice. Anyone else reading Prose. Poems. A Novel. (or the chapbooks of its sections)?
7 thoughts on “Book Chat: Prose. Poems. A Novel. by Jamie Iredell”
i’m reading it and enjoying it, definitely
i see what you’re saying with the johnson. i love johnson, but iredell seems to be more about the people who kill deer than the people who try to talk to the deer, and i like that
I’ve been reading it this week, too. Today on my lunch break I was finishing up the section section and couldn’t put it down and get back to work. I like my job, it’s not that. It was the writing. You’re right. It’s enjoyable in a way that a lot of contemporary/independent-whatever-it-is-we-do is not. It’s serious and complex, but entertaining and witty at the same time. I’ve only got a few pages left and will probably finish up tonight. Maybe I’ll go read it right now.
That’s well put, Mike. There’s a real empathy in his writing.
Another thing: Christy Call’s drawings add a lot to the book. There’s an incidental nature, a non-illustrative quality that add another layer of depth.
Thanks for posting about this. It’s really nice to read people saying anything at all. And since you’re saying really great things, that’s great. And if you have bad shit to say let that fly too. Fuck it. That would be great. great. great. great.
jamie: your book is in my stack to read. can’t wait for the indulgence!
too I think orange alert adds a lot of quality by way of design and materials, a real compliment to jamie’s words.
and john, yes, it is enjoyable, that is a perfect description. it doesn’t strangle you, it doesn’t push, it just moves easily and with literary prowess.
I am a fan of this book.
An interesting thing, that comes out of the precision you note (cuz not overwriting while not being concerned with subtlety is, I think, precision), is that all the drunken, druggy actions end up seeming smart and real, rather than an escape from or substitute for authentic characters.
And about the book as object: damn, it’s beautiful. The chunks of text on the bright white page and CC’s drawings make the work POP.