Joseph McElroy

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Joseph McElroy

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Edited: Jun 10, 2011, 5:01pm

Joseph McElroy is a writer I wish more people would pick up and read. I've been reading his first novel, A Smuggler's Bible (1966) off and on for the past month and it's enticing. There's a fascinating antiquarian bookseller attempting to catalog his library -- in my notes in the margin I've reminded myself to itemize the books the antiquarian mentions (he's one of among seven other interesting major characters) that should appeal to bibliophiles everywhere. I'd like to focus in on it in greater detail soon.

Joseph McElroy's website.

I don't expect many messages here, but if you've read him, let us know what you think. A slow thread in progress ...

Jun 10, 2011, 6:53pm

I own, and what's more, I intend to read A Smuggler's Bible. Very upset that you have started without me.

How can you read that and Porius at the same time? Won't your head melt? When I get to it - I'll comment.

Right now I am re-reading You Bright and Risen Angels - so amazing - and considering Porius for when I am through. I know I said I was out on that one, but the Porius discussion thread is just too damn good.

Edited: Jun 10, 2011, 7:08pm

Well I'm upset that you're upset. Perhaps I'll read something from The Rainbow Stories this weekend to pay my premature-reading penance.

Surprisingly, slick, Porius is neither laborious or borius.

Now it's time for a bit of exciting Joseph McElroy trivia!

Name the novel of his that has only been printed once. It came out in hardcover, and that was that, no paperback follow up. Sells today for three figures. Name it.

Jun 10, 2011, 7:14pm

WOmen and Men?

Jun 10, 2011, 8:11pm

The novel sounds great EF but am drowning in print at the moment. Will buy and read before too long.

Edited: Jun 12, 2011, 2:32pm

Nice try, slick. Praise be to The Dalkey Archive for keeping Women and Men in print. Dalkey, just this past fall, in fact, published his latest collection, Night Soul and Other Stories (2010). It was McElroy's second novel, Hind's Kidnap (1969), that's yet been reprinted.

Oh no pressure whatsoever, PorMan. The thread's not intended as a group read or even rebel read, but just to help bring some more exposure to an overlooked writer I admire a lot, who's long languished in the shadows.

Edited: Jun 12, 2011, 2:30pm

I posted the following article back in Jan., I believe, on the "Unknown Books" thread, but it's worth re-posting here, as it serves as an excellent introduction to him and explains far better than I can, why Joseph McElroy is a writer worth dedicating time to:

The Lost Postmodernist: Joseph McElroy.

Jun 16, 2011, 10:42pm

photo by Scott Bryan Wilson

Jun 17, 2011, 7:58pm

Joseph McElroy recently read at Powell's in Portland (see link). Wish I could've been there. I'm considering making a road trip there this summer anyway; hit Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights in Frisco on the way up, then Powell's -- the two west coast biggies -- along with any other local gems I can find. A Pacific Coast Indie Bookshop Road Trip celebrating the Independent brick and mortar Bookstores, amen.

Review of Night Soul and Other Stories his latest fiction, published by Dalkey Archive.

Edited: Jun 17, 2011, 8:38pm

I guess I blew that one! I haven't been to any since I dragged my wife and then-infant son to see Vollmann read from Poor People.

Edited: Jun 17, 2011, 9:43pm

He's easy to miss. Had I been paying closer attention sooner I'd of alerted you to his appearance.

Now that's what I call a real Vollmann fan, willing to involve loved ones! Is Poor People the one you got autographed along w/the little doodling flourish he added?

Is there any good reason we've not yet begun a Vollmann thread?