I hate making apologies for not being present here. Life is busy, and we can’t always focus on creative projects, no matter how much we feel compelled by them. I have many interests, and outside of my Substack, I also have aspirations to publish critical writing in a variety of literary reviews. Writing on art and books here has emboldened me.
My interests over the summer tend to skew toward books. There are several on my desk right now. I’ve given up on my essay about Warhol for now. After reading the book I talked about I decided that it wasn’t as investigative as I had hoped it might be. No one needs to recite the facts of his life again. What I need to know is something deeper, so that I can reflect upon the context of his image better. At this point I am not sure I have anything new to say on the matter. I have been told that the Blake Gopnik book on him is the best one, so I will be getting that and ruminating upon what I find.
My favorite new book is Also A Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me by Ada Calhoun (Grove Press, 2022). This book provides a perspective into the journalistic process by which biographical books are written, while at the same time presenting those events and personalities as parts of the demi-monde of the writer’s own upbringing. It is a story about the author as much as it is about O’Hara. She is the daughter of a highly regarded art critic who shared a fascination with O’Hara, and the book was originally his but was never completed due to estate interference. She attempts to finish it herself, which leads to newfound realizations about her subject, her father, and herself as a writer. My full reflection upon the experience of reading this book will be forthcoming very soon.
That’s it for now. Stay cool and keep reading.