Friday, January 21, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 15.1 (Greil Marcus)

Marcus, Griel
Ranters and Crowd Pleasers


Purchased at St. Mark's Books. This came out right around the time I read Lipstick Traces, so I was very excited to read another book by Greil Marcus. It has a few essays in it I remember enjoying, but on the whole I felt disappointed, as I recall.

For some reason holding this book conjures images of my apartment on E. 4th St. I can see the dull, stained, gray carpet, made more gray by all the cigarette ashes ground into it, the cream-colored eighties cabinets in the kitchen, the white walls and the tin boxes covering the radiators, which formed useful surfaces to set things on, at least in summer when the heat wasn't on.

I can see the litte futon in the living room with black, gold, red and green, abstract African pattern on the slip cover, the television on top of a dresser, the black iron gate covering the window to the fire escape and the thin white door to the bathroom, one step up, the dark turquoise bathroom wall I painted, the tiny bathroom window one of my roommates insisted be covered to keep people from looking in, despite the fact that it would be impossible to see someone from outside unless that person climbed onto the sink next to the window.

I can see the little bedroom off the living room, a tiny square with a wooden platform bed, plywood K-mart desk, a few small bookcases, and through the bedroom window the green cornice of the red brick tenement across the street. I used to stare at that cornice when I woke up in the morning. It always made me think of the Edward Hopper print of an empty Brooklyn street that hung above the futon. I loved that cornice. It always felt like it was MY cornice, a tiny slice of Manhattan visual real estate that I owned personally. It could only be seen from MY perspective through MY window. I remember feeling very strongly about that cornice and missing it terribly at times after I left New York.

1 comment:

tyrone said...

on the other hand I must admit I always loved Lester Bangs for the sheer bravado of a writing that plowed right through self-contradiction, self-parody and occasionally, brilliant insight...