Author: austen

Get to Know Austen

How long have you worked at Lemuria? 3 yrs

What do you do at Lemuria? I’m the shipping and accounts manager.

Talk to us about what you’re reading right now. Fiction: The Scribe by Matthew Guinn, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. NonFic: Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (I’m halfway through this. I will probably finish it mid 2016), Animal Liberation and Critical Theory edited by John Sanbonmatsu (This is a great collection of essays concerning the animal and the other), Fortunes of Feminism by Nancy Fraser

What’s currently on your bedside table (book purgatory)? Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James. It’s a good bedside table book.

I know it’s difficult, but give us your current top five books.

1. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

2. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville

3. Molloy by Samuel Beckett

4. Dhalgren by Samuel R Delany

5. Dark Lies The Island by Kevin Barry

Favorite authors? Slavoj Zizek, Camille Paglia, Peter Heller, David Foster Wallace, Samuel Beckett, Kevin Barry

Any particular genre that you’re especially in love with? I’m in love with Science Fiction. It speaks to me.

What did you do before you worked at Lemuria? I cleaned Methamphetamine labs.

Why do you like working at Lemuria? Most things people sell are bullshit. When I sell a book I have the potential to change someone’s life in a big way. How many commodities pack in that potential for $30? You can get mentally gutted and reconfigured with a great book. How much does therapy cost per hour? It’s a lot. Here’s a book that can change your life for the price of a pizza. I love books.

If we could have any living author visit the store and do a reading, who would you want to come? Kevin Barry. He’s my favorite living author right now.

If Lemuria could have ANY pet (mythical or real), what do you think it should be? Goat.

If you had the ability to teleport, where would you go first? The Sun.

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Austen sent both of these pictures of himself to me (Hannah), and I just couldn’t choose between the two of them.

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It’s impossible to pick a favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m in It and I Can’t Get Out

I’m sitting on my couch. It’s been a long day. I have a whiskey. I have my books. I feel stranded in a desert lately. I can’t seem to stop reading these bullshit philosophy books. I want a good story, but fiction just isn’t working for me. I do have this 900 page novel I’m currently reading, that I love, but no one else is liking it. I feel isolated in fiction. Sometimes this happens to me. I like the punishment of philosophy. I’m a masochist I suppose. Why else would I work all day to come home and read Kant? I need a break.

JacketAdie recommended a graphic novel yesterday. It’s sitting on my coffee table by the whiskey. I pick it up. An hour later I’m halfway through it. It’s 500 pages of graphic novel. Needless to say, I’m loving Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor. It came to me in my final hour. It plucked me from the cruel wasteland that is Transcendental Ideality. Water in my mouth. Manna in the muscular hollow that lies beyond the hard knot of flesh that is my navel.

McCloud’s style is sublime. He has crafted a world so deftly enthralling that I find myself at once both freed and bound-bound in the sculpture.

In the words of the famous philosopher Kanye West: ‘I’m in it and I can’t get out.’

Let’s be clear here, McCloud’s world is a very good place to be stuck in.

The Slow Regard of The Kingkiller Chronicle  

The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Patrick Rothfuss’ latest novella, is a stray moon beam in an otherwise unlit cellar. Focusing on a mysterious character from the first two (full length) installments of the trilogy baptized The Kingkiller Chronicle, Slow Regard comes as a much appreciated lens, though not without a warning from it’s author.

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As Rothfuss prefixes – ‘If you haven’t read my other books, you don’t want to start here.’ He’s referring to the aforementioned LP’s The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear.  Slow Regard concerns one of the ‘lesser’ characters named Auri. She, despite being lesser in page count, occupies a pivotal space for the hero of the tale, Kvothe. Like Mr. Rothfuss, I too will provide a caution before you read the rest of this. While it contains no spoilers, some of the references will ‘fall on deaf ears’ if not familiar with at least his first book. Don’t let this discourage you as it’s unimportant. What is important is that it may prompt you to read the books, which is the best decision you could make at this point in your life. So too much caution is ill advised.

I’m prone to saying I rarely reread books – at the expense of abusing this qualifier once again to (over)articulate my feelings for The Kingkiller Chroncicle, rarely do I read a book twice. Mid-way through Slow Regard I found myself desperately craving a second romp in the barn with Name of The Wind (I will refer to this book from here as Name or, simply as N).  The first go around I had with Name was quick and passionate, ergo the romp. So I put down the novella and picked up N expecting to come back to the same sexy flash as before. But I found this vixen to be quite different from what I remembered. While still exhilarating, she had matured a great deal. I now found subtlety where before I had only experienced pace and the new. I found intricacies and complexity that were overlooked in my former hast. It was bliss, as before, but now aged and refined. This change is of course my own advancement as a reader. I was an enthusiastic E’lir; now, I’m sure Master Rothfuss would sponsor me to Re’lar.

Not ready to pick the novella back up, my lust unabated, or rather bewildered, I looked to Wise Man’s Fear (Wise or W) with a curious eye. And so, with my strange second encounter with Name, I wanted to see if the same would hold for Wise.

This was the case upon my initial reading of the series: N > W. In Wise I felt the Felurian bit was way too long, among other things, and that the story advanced in a slipshod fashion in places and not at all in others. I still loved W, but N was the one. Though, now after my second reading of the two, I’ve found the orientation of my desire to have been inverted. I found Felurian’s scene to have been the perfect length and the story never fell. So now: N < W. Not only have I found the second book to be better than the first, but I like the first book better than the first time I read the first book. In all ways it is better. Don’t let me confuse you. The books are spectacular. That’s all you need know. And if you haven’t read them, you must. Simple.

And with this I pick up The Slow Regard of Silent Things once more. I finish it and love it. It satiates aspects of the story that get (rightly) left out from the other books. It’s fresh, odd, and entirely different from anything he’s done yet. The remnants after distilling Rothfuss’s works is his prose. It’s beautiful and highly lyrical. His books feel like a tragic song, something Kvothe would be proud of.

The only books I’ve found myself doing a yearly with is Moby-Dick and Infinite Jest. The Kingkiller Chronicle is close to finding itself among them.

 

Written by Austen 

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