Friday, September 22, 2017

Make a note of it

Finished reading: 'What is it all but luminous; notes from an underground man' / Art Garfunkel.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Knopf (September 26, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0385352475

If you don't expect an autobiography and realize this book is, kind of, an experiment; you will enjoy the dazzling series of handwritten notes and thoughts written during more than three decades.

The lack of chronology (dates are hardly mentioned) and the numerous (sometimes annoying) poetic intermezzos kept me from reading the book quickly. The lists of books read by Garfunkel would have been more interesting if he dared to explain why those books were the ones he appreciated the most; while the lists of records ('25 records in the order they changed my life' as well as  'songs on my i-pod') are missing an explanation on why those records influenced him so much.

All though the break-up between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel is hardly discussed, you will find enough clues throughout the book that make you understand their relationship. During a meeting with The Beatles, George Harrison expressed the vibe he perceived by telling Garfunkel: "Your Paul is to you exactly as my Paul is to me." The actual unfolding split started way before, in 1958. Paul had released a record behind Art's back: "Or so it felt. Perception? He's base, I concluded in an eighth of a second, and the friendship was shattered for life."

His preferences obviously give an insight to his personal world. As do the notes. It's not a diary; not even a blog, bit mostly a compilation of thoughts and experiences telling us briefly about Art's personal life; his work as an actor; the success of Simon and Garfunkel; touring; the loss of a friend and the love of his life. All items discussed shortly, creating a mystifying patchwork or scrapbook. Then again it is what it is: notes from an underground man.

The digitized version of Art Garfunkel's handwriting was created especially for this project by North Market Street Graphics in 2016. Most of the images are from the author's personal archives. A 'must have' for every fan. A 'nice to have' book for everyone else.

Order your copy here.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Enjoying the 'advanced reader's edition' of Tom Hanks' book 'Uncommon Type: some stories'. Got to get my review done soon; the book will be released October 17, 2017. I can assure you: he's not only a great actor...!