Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Pleasures of Reading, Viewing, and Listening in 2009, Pt. 14: Wendy Walker

What I Read in 2009
by Wendy Walker

During 2009 I read in a rather scattershot manner, between editing jobs for Proteotypes (new website just launched, take a look!: www.proteotypes.org) but discovered some great things:


Stacey Levine’s The Girl With Brown Fur (this book is being held up by MacAdam Cage, the publisher, for reasons unknown, but is available in a bootleg edition).

Robert Walser’s The Assistant, translated by the wonderful Susan Bernofsky, New Directions.

Jimmy Crater (a pseudonym), Mars Needs Lunch, Spineless Books.

Per Olov Enquist, Downfall, Quartet Books.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, dazzlingly translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volkhonsky, Vintage.

Douglas G. Martin, Branwell, Soft Skull Press.

Nancy Mitford, The Blessing, Carroll and Graf.

Art and Art History:

Juan Antonio Ramirez, The Bee-Hive Metaphor from Gaudi to Le Corbusier, Reaktion Books.

James Walsh, Foundations, Left Hand Books.

Balthus and Vircondelet, Vanished Splendors, Ecco Press.

Biography and Letters:

Lyndall Gordon, Charlotte Bronte, A Passionate Life, Norton.

Edmund White, Genet, Vintage.

Michael Swanwick, Hope-In-the-Mist, Temporary Culture.

History and Politics:

Carolyn Fick, The Making of Haiti: The Saint-Domingue Revolution from Below, University of Tennessee Press.

E. Benjamin Skinner, A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face with Modern-Day Slavery, Free Press.


My major discovery this year was the director Marco Bellocchio, and everything I recommend everything he has done. Fists In the Pocket, The Wedding Director, The Prince of Homburg and Good Morning, Night display an astonishing range. Films to see and immediately view again.

Other film favorites: Wall-E, and a selection of samurai movies by less well-known contemporaries of Kurosawa-- Sword of the Beast, Sword of Doom, Samurai Rebellion.


“The Art of the Samurai” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“The Coney Island Psychoanalytical Society” at the Coney Island Museum.

Wendy Walker is the author of a poetic nonfiction, Blue Fire (Proteotypes), and four volumes of fiction: The Secret Service, The Sea-Rabbit, or The Artist of Life, Stories Out of Omarie (Sun and Moon Press), and Knots (Aqueduct Press). She is a core collaborator at Proteus Gowanus, an interdisciplinary gallery/reading room in Brooklyn, and the editor of its publishing arm, Proteotypes.

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