Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son
Fun story: Johnson published this book to pay his tax bill:
Jesus’ Son was an act of literary desperation. There had been a second divorce and a call from the IRS asking him to please pay the $10,000 he owed. Bankrupt, Johnson turned to some “memories” he’d jotted down years back — vignettes of his drug-abusing past that he never considered publishing — and sent them to The New Yorker. To his surprise, several were accepted. Fortified with $4,000, Johnson contacted Jonathan Galassi, his editor and the president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. “I told him, ‘I’ll make you a book of short stories; all you have to do is pay off the IRS.’”
And (can’t find the source for this quote, but it’s posted all over):
What’s funny about Jesus’ Son is that I never even wrote that book, I just wrote it down. I would tell these stories apropos of nothing about when I was drinking and using and people would say, “You should write these things down.” I was probably 35 when I wrote the first story. The voice is kind of a mix in that it has a young voice, but it’s also someone who’s looking back. I like that kind of double vision. So I worked on them once in a while, then I started using stories I heard other people tell, and then I started making some up. Pretty soon it was fiction. Then I just forgot about it. I thought, I’m not going to parade my defects, my history of being a spiritual cripple, out in front of a lot of other people..
Filed under: my reading year 2014
Hi! How are you? Figured I’d drop a little note, just to catch up.
Hey, you know what I heard the other day? That every time you view someone’s LinkedIn profile, they get a notification. Every single time. I wonder if that’s true, I had no idea. Seems like an invasion of…
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She looks vapid now. Like she’s coming to us from the uncanny valley of the dolls.
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Visited some old friends at The Clark today. clark art.edu
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