Posted: November 9th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | No Comments »
I only have a few minutes to write this but I want to try to put down something in writing on this day, November 9, 2016. I woke up this morning hungover, very tired, and had to tell my two boys (a 4th grader and a kindergartner) that the bad man had won. I woke up in a similar state on September 12, 2001, in Brooklyn, with the exception that I had no children to explain this to. I am still grappling with the implications of this election, and what that will mean to our country. I can’t imagine all the progress that will be undone. My great hope is that there is no major calamity that befalls us, that nothing catastrophic can stop us from resisting the changes to our social, political, and environmental progress. I still believe in the idea of this country and don’t want to flee it. I want to stay and fight. I wish I had done more to oppose this villain.
To my boys: I will tell you what I have always said – we will treat other people with respect and dignity. And we will stand up for those who can’t stand on their own, we will fight for what we believe in, and we will be okay. This will all be OK in the end.
Posted: August 16th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: clips, InfiniteJest, interviews, writing | No Comments »
Over at Publishers Weekly I interviewed Jane Alison about her latest novel, Nine Island.
I wrote a short essay on Impostor Syndrome for Poor Yorick’s Summer (an Infinite Jest reading group).
Posted: June 8th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | No Comments »
Samples of my published writing can be found by clicking on this link:
Posted: March 14th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: books, clips, reviews, writing | No Comments »
I reviewed Thomas Rayfiel’s excellent new novel Genius for the Chicago Review of Books.
Thomas Rayfiel’s <em>Genius</em> Tackles Sexuality, Philosophy, and Cancer
And at Mexico City Lit I wrote a review / appreciation of Carlos Velazquez’s first book in English, The Cowboy Bible.
Posted: February 25th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: clips, interview, PW, Texas, writing | No Comments »
Over at Publishers Weekly, there I interviewed author Laura Tillman about her new book The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts.
Posted: February 19th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: clips, InfiniteJest, MEL, writing | No Comments »
This week I wrote a piece of MEL magazine about job insecurity.
Also, medical I had a brief quote in this New Yorker piece about Infinite Jest.
Posted: February 10th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: clips, Fabre, Molossus, poetry | No Comments »
For issue 3 of molossus, I reviewed Luis Felipe Fabre’s poems about Sor Juana.
I was intrigued by this book because I had seen Fabre’s name mentioned in a lot of prominent places but had not read his work. In fact, I saw somewhere on Twitter that Valeria Luiselli called Fabre the best contemporary poet in Mexico (or something along those lines).
Posted: January 15th, 2016 | Author: Matt | Filed under: DFW, personal | Tags: DaveLaird, DavidFosterWallace, GreatConcavity, podcast | No Comments »
I have yet to mention it here, but back in October of 2015, Dave Laird and I created a podcast centered around discussions of David Foster Wallace and his work. It’s called The Great Concavity and you can see our website here: http://greatconcavity.podbean.com/
You can also find us on iTunes with this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-great-concavity/id1048764063?mt=2
We’ve posted six episodes so far and have a lot more in store for 2016. If you have a question about Wallace you’d like for us to answer, you can tweet at us @ConcavityShow.
Our logo comes from Robyn O’Neil’s incredible pencil drawing titled These final hours embrace at last; this is our ending, this is our past (2007).
Posted: November 17th, 2015 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: Bucher, horses, legend, LeoSBucher, LSB, RTBucher | No Comments »
I’ve written about my great-grandfather in the past but I continue to research the stories about his life and try to see if there is any existing evidence to support some of the details of his life. There are still many questions I have but today would have been his 125th birthday and I wanted to document one of those stories.
On June 12, 1910, in Powersville, Missouri, Leo Steven Bucher was helping his soon-to-be adopted father R.T. Bucher wash their horses and buggy. They led the horses into the pond, wherein one of the horses laid down and got tangled up in the harness and eventually both horses drowned.
From his 1910 diary:
Drowned tow horses [two horses?] (Black) (One Horse & one mare). Drove in pond to wash wheels, horse laid down and pulled mare over him, got tangled in harness.
The next day, they buried the team of horses:
Amazingly, this story was picked up by the local newspaper, the Unionville Republican, and even ran as 10-years-ago item in 1920.
R.T. Bucher had the misfortune to have his team drowned Sunday. He had driven them into the pond to wash off his buggy when one of them laid down and became tangled in the harness, throwing the other one, and before they could be loosened, both were drowned.
In 1910, this was a very serious problem as a horse was the main mode of transportation and work. It was equivalent to losing both your cars and your tractor on the same day. In a time before insurance, it could be very expensive to replace two horses.
For some time, this story was told as an origin story – that R.T. and Alice Bucher had another son who drowned in a pond with some horses. The reality is much different. Leo Bucher was already living with the family by that point and might have even contributed to the drowning of the horses (since he states in his diary “Drowned two horses)). In fact, I can find no evidence that RT and Alice Bucher ever had any other children besides Leo, whom they adopted when he was 21 years old. It’s likely that they took him in because they were unable to have children of their own.
Posted: November 12th, 2015 | Author: Matt | Filed under: personal | Tags: books, Knausgaard, Lerner, markson, Minot, wallace | No Comments »
- Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle, volume 4 paperback and volume 5 hardcover
I know the UK has Volume 4 in paperback but we don’t get the beautiful FSG edition until April 2016. Volume 5 comes out in hardcover around the same time. Keep working hard, Don Bartlett!
- The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner (June, 2016) – In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art.
- Anything by Eliza Minot
She hasn’t published a book in eight years. Hopefully she is working on something wonderful.
- David Hering’s book on Infinite Jest, forthcoming from Bloomsbury.
- Anything by Beth Nugent
She hasn’t published a book in almost 20 years, but a boy can dream.
- Understanding Roberto Bolaño by Ricardo Gutiérrez-Mouat due out next summer.
- A comprehensive, critical biography of either Roberto Bolaño or David Markson.
- My brother’s book! Master of The Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code to Writing In The New World of Media by John Bucher and Jeremy Casper, due out in 2016.