TQC Favorites of 2012: Scott Bryan Wilson

Scott Bryan Wilson is a contributing editor to The Quarterly Conversation.

*Death of a Hero (1929) – Richard Aldington – Penguin Classics is issuing a new edition of this next year; think Stoner-level bleak/intense about war

*The Keys to Tulsa (1991) – Brian Fair Berkey – the author completed this one novel before dying of a brain tumor; it’s incredibly funny and sharply written

*Crime and Punishment (1866) – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – you see, this guy commits a senseless murder OKAY I KNOW I KNOW I should have read this years ago

*Fathers and Sons (1862) – Ivan Turgenev – see above, except for the murder part

*The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759) – Samuel Johnson – a weird fucking book

*Satantango (1985) – Laszlo Krasznahorkai – heresy alert: I like the film better; also, I really wish New Directions had had it proofread

*Charles Olson: Allegory of a Poet’s Life (2000) – Tom Clark – an excellent biography of the great poet; Clark is really fighting to hide his dismay with Olson toward the end of the book

*Herman Melville: A Biography (2 volumes – 1996 & 2002) – Hershel Parker – 2000+ pages of awesome minutiae on the master

*The City and the Mountains (1901) – Eca de Queiros – about a rich, young, bored Peruvian living in Paris and it’s still awesome

*Pamela (1740) – Samuel Richardson – jesus christ

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To Scott Bryan Wilson
A correction concerning *The City and the Mountains (1901) – Eca de Queiros: The rich, young, bored gentilmente living in Paris is Portuguese, definitely not Peruvian!


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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