24.7.10

Why I like Dixon who likes Bernhard who read Beckett who admired Joyce.....

Stepehn Dixon, according to GOOD READS (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10386.Stephen_Dixon) " is known for his colloquial and stilted, yet intense and exhaustive writing style. Dixon has been has been nominated for the National Book Award twice, in 1991 for Frog and in 1995 for Interstate."
I picked up two of his books this summer at Powell's Books in Portland Oregon, Mecca for book lovers everywhere, Interstate and Phone Rings.  His novels start from a premise or situation and never stop, for a breath, for a comma, for description.  Like Thomas Bernhard, he loves the long sentence, but where Bernhard is influenced by Beckett, Dixon is American through and through.  What the hell does that mean?  He is raw, visceral, dialogue driven.  Bad things happen to good people, and we can't stop ourselves from reading as he swims through the novel like a shark looking for blood.
He wrote a hilarious essay called PLUG for an online site called Rain Taxi on Thomas Bernhard. http://www.raintaxi.com/online/1997winter/dixon.shtml

Jerome Klinkowitz states,"Stephen Dixon is a master of self-generating fiction. While eschewing the flamboyantly anti-realistic experiments of authors such as Ronald Sukenick and Robert Coover, Dixon nevertheless refuses to propel his narratives on the energy of represented action. Instead, he contrives circumstances so that everything that happens within his novels grows from the initial elements of his fiction. Developing from itself, his narrative ultimately has no pertinent reference beyond itself; yet that growth is so organic that it offers all the delight expectable from a more realistically referential piece of storytelling.

Dixon's method can be traced to his way of writing sentences. Often his action will take place grammatically, as subjects have to battle their way past intransigent verbs in order to meet their objects, and as modifying phrases pop up to thwart syntactic progress. There are always modifications to everything, Dixon has learned, and his genius has been to apply this insight to the making of narratives." http://biography.jrank.org/pages/4271/Dixon-Stephen.html

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