Tuesday, April 22, 2003

After getting the aforementioned email from Scott Heim this morning, I went to the library to pick up and re-read his Mysterious Skin. The branch I went to doesn’t have it (it’s at another), so in lieu of that, I grabbed In Awe; I’ll re-read both this week. I then realized that for all my praising of his partner Michael Lowenthal’s 2002 novel Avoidance, I’ve never read his first published novel, The Same Embrace. I am, now. Wow. The way Lowenthal uses language, in ways I’ve never heard nor thought of them, is magnificent. Like in just this once sentence, regarding a kiss:

[His] tongue wrestled his, pinning the wet muscle to the side.

Fuck me, that’s gorgeous. And unexpected. That’s what the best writers do, using language in the most deliciously unexpected ways. Sure, the tongue is a muscle, and it’s wet, but I’ve never heard it described in quite that fashion. What I feel is nearly the highest praise I can give Embrace is this, just what I’m feeling: not only are these characters so richly drawn as to be inhabitable, this novel makes me want to learn more about Judaism. I want to understand. Michael Lowenthal writes like a the best sex you’ve ever had, and reading him makes me (mentally) multiply orgasmic.

Now playing – and funny how sometimes just the perfect music is on when you’re reading, something that matches so innately and works: 4 Hero’s “The Paranormal in 4 Form,” from the ’95 Macro Dub Infection – Volume One compilation.

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