Sep 102013

Gordon Lish, known as Captain Fiction in the days when he edited fiction at Esquire Magazine, was my editor for my novel The Life and Times of Captain N. (Knopf, 1993). As I recall, Lish wrote the flap copy for that book, and he sent me to bill hayward to have my picture taken for the cover. Gordon also published a story of mine in The  Quarterly, “Swain Corliss, Hero of Malcolm’s Mills (Now Oakland, Ontario), November 6, 1814″ (it’s in my collection 16 Categories of Desire). Both bill and Gordon have now graced the pages of Numéro Cinq, and we’ve published Jason Lucarelli’s astonishing essay on Gordon Lish and his concept of consecution not to mention the radio interview I did with Gordon, yea, these many years ago. Gordon graciously consented to write a cover blurb for my book of stories, Savage Love, just now on the brink of publication. He sent me this page — he doesn’t use email (mostly he sends handwritten messages on blank white USPS postcards). It is typical of Gordon, ebullient, incantatory, celebratory, exotic, and dramatic. It was too long for the book cover, but he was graceful about letting me cut it, despite his admonition to the contrary at the bottom. Here are his words as they appear on Savage Love:

I, your admiring reader, report myself ever again restored to find in hand the company of your righteous sentences, shout hooray, shout hooray, even splendid, splendid, splendid (borrowing from the great poet Jack Gilbert), like loins, he wrote, like Rome, he wrote . . . .

And here, resplendent in all its glory, is the original, which, in fact, I like much better and for which I am deeply grateful.




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