Kill All your Darlings

Kill All your Darlings

Pieces, 1990-2005

Book - 2007
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In his books and in a string of wide-ranging and inventive essays, Luc Sante has shown himself to be not only one of our pre-eminent stylists, but also a critic of uncommon power and range. He is "one of the handful of living masters of the American language, as well as a singular historian and philosopher of American experience," says the New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl. Kill All Your Darlings is the first collection of Sante's articles--many of which first appeared in the New York Review of Books and the Village Voice--and offers ample justification for such high praise. Sante is best known for his groundbreaking work in urban history (Low Life), and for a particularly penetrating form of autobiography (The Factory of Facts). These subjects are also reflected in several essays here, but it is the author's intense and scrupulous writing about music, painting, photography, and poetry that takes center stage. Alongside meditations on cigarettes, factory work, and hipness, and his critical tour de force, "The Invention of the Blues," Sante offers his incomparable take on icons from Arthur Rimbaud to Bob Dylan, René Magritte to Tintin, Buddy Bolden to Walker Evans, Allen Ginsberg to Robert Mapplethorpe.
Publisher: Portland, OR : Yeti, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781891241536
Branch Call Number: 306.0973 Sante 12/2007
Characteristics: 299 p. :,22 cm.


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Oct 07, 2014

While this sounds counter intuitive, sometimes being too intellectual can get in the way of being a good critic, especially when talking about music. It's appropriate that Greil Marcus contributes the introduction to this collection because he's a prime example of what I'm talking about. He never seems to enjoy rock and roll on the visceral level that it's meant to be enjoyed, but over-intellectualizes and conceptualizes it. You don't need references to transcendentalists to enjoy Bob Dylan. Anyway, Luc Sante, best known for "Low-Life," has something of the same problem, although he deals with art, literature, photography, and music in these pieces, as well as Tintin, who is from his native Belgium. Like Marcus, he's a Dylanologist, but has little new to say. The highlight is his chapter on the history of the blues. Interesting, if not always enlightening. The title comes from Faulkner.


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