Over the weekend I was visiting some friends, and one of them, Jeremy, reminded me of Steve Katz’s short story “Plastic Man.” Which is in his collection Creamy & Delicious (Random House, 1970), the book that “started the avant-snack movement,” as Katz once said, and which I read after graduating from college, and which had no small effect on me. I wanted to reread the story and it turns out there’s a copy online at Alt-X (alongside a few more of Katz’s Mythologies). Enjoy!
8 thoughts on “ALL THIS BELONGS TO PLASTIC MAN”
First Acker and now Katz. Makes me wonder how many other writers like them from the ’70s/’80s I’m missing. My dissertation director and mentor turned me onto Leonard Michaels three years ago and I had never even heard of the guy until his last collection of stories (A Girl With a Monkey) was placed in my hands. Now, I can’t imagine American Literature without him. Same with Acker. I only learned about her because of Salon.com, if you can believe that. Her whole life and oeuvre sounded fascinating and the person writing about her said to start with Blood and Guts in High School, one of the most unusual and challenging novels I’ve ever read (and I’ve read my share!). Since then, though it seems exceedingly hard to find other writers like her, or, when found, these writers’ work still in print and accessible. I guess this is roundabout to me saying thanks for the recommendation and link to Katz and these snack-sized stories. And to think I once believed there was only Barthelme, Gaddis, and Pynchon to tackle….
I haven’t read (or even heard of) Leonard Michaels! I’ll have to investigate, thanks.
In a fairer world, Steve Katz’s 1972 novel SAW would be hailed as one of the great masterpieces of ’70s fiction:
His stories are wonderful, too. I found Creamy & Delicious to be a good place to start. Also, he’s publishing his memoirs now; the first volume, Time’s Wallet, is delightful. I published some excerpts from the forthcoming volumes at Requited:
(More snack-sized writing…)
You have so heard of Leonard Michaels, you big liar.
The first two hundred and thirty pages or so of Michaels’s COLLECTED are fairly sublime.
LOVE Leonard Micheals. Also from that time period- Jayne Ann Phillips’ Black Tickets, Kate Braverman’s Squandering The Blue. The 70s were fun for literature.
I just looked him up, and it turns out I have heard of him. I’ve heard, at least, of his collection I Would Have Saved Them If I Could. I recognize that title.
But I’ve never read anything by the man. There are gaps in everyone’s educations. One of my gaps is named Leonard Michaels.
I have read every Michael Crichton novel, though.