The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc.

Jonathan Lethem. Doubleday, $32.50 (480p) ISBN 978-0-385-53495-6
Novelist Lethem’s collection of new and previously published works is embedded with cultural influences; particularly prominent is Norman Mailer’s 1959 Advertisements for Myself, which functions like a template for this compendium of obscure writings, liner notes, book introductions, memoir, early unpublished fiction, and even blog bits. The title essay, which first appeared in Harper’s in 2007, is a “collage text” in which Lethem borrows the words of others, from T.S. Eliot and Muddy Waters to Disney films, creating a commentary on plagiarism, allusions, and appropriation. Lethem writes: “Art is sourced. Apprentices graze in the field of culture.” Like Mailer, self-exposure commentaries are interleaved throughout, and Mailer’s notorious “Evaluations: Quick and Expensive Comments on the Talent in the Room” gives Lethem a springboard for evaluations of writers: J.G. Ballard, Paula Fox, Shirley Jackson, and especially the cosmic consciousness of Philip K. Dick, a major influence on Lethem. In a tsunami of literary and cinematic references, familiar and obscure, Lethem easily rises to the surface as a brilliant, incisive essayist who loves to sing the body eclectic. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/22/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-09-956343-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-94088-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-94082-7
Paperback - 441 pages - 978-0-307-74450-0
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-224-09396-5
Open Ebook - 355 pages - 978-0-385-53496-3
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4481-2972-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-09122-1
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.