If a gal's going to read, John Fante, Chuck Bukowski and JD Salinger ain't a bad place to start.
Dane Reynold’s is jazzy. I meant to speak with him about Fante’s semi-autobiographical creation Arturo Bandini. (John Fante is an American author, 1909-1983, who wrote, impressively, about depression era life in Los Angeles without being hard-bitten. He was not as recognised in life as he has been in death. He lost both his legs to diabetes.) I meant to get real specific about scenes in the books Ask the Dust, The Road to Los Angeles, Dreams from Bunker Hill and Wait Until Spring, Bandini. Dane and I had spoken before, briefly, about Dane resonating with Arturo and I wanted to get real specific.
In the books, Arturo Bandidi does things. He masturbates in a closet full of art photos. He kills crabs and falls in love with the crab queen, before killing her. He has crazy delusions of grandeur. He goes to the beach with a Mexican waitress and can’t get it up and she mocks him. He later cares for her as she is overcome by a craze for marijuana and runs off to the desert to die.
I wanted Dane to give me his interpretation of such scenes and how they reflect back on him. But we didn’t get real specific. Dane riffed on other topics and I didn’t want to stop him.
“Ummmm. Oh. Holy shit. I just had puppies and I found some shit in the corner. Oh. Ummm. Arturo Bandini? I don’t know. A friend, Jamie Tierney, recommended The Road to Los Angeles and I was really put off by Arturo at the start. But about 50 pages in he started making sense I guess.
“I guess his craziness.
“I guess there is a crazy dynamic going on but it’s not always that. He is kind at different times and honest in a strange way. And I don’t know. I don’t like to analyse this bullshit. I just like reading it.
“Holden Caufield, but we’ve already talked about that. Both of them are crazy but likable. Sweet, sugary villains. No, not villains. Bad kids.
“I was really put off my Arturo at the start. But about 50 pages in he started making sense. He is kind at different times and honest in a strange way. I don’t like to analyse his bullshit. I just like reading it.”
“Yeah sure, there are parts in Arturo and Holden I find in myself. I find little parts of myself in reading all kinds of stuff that has nothing to do with me. There are always parts.
“I hate watching movies. There have been three movies I’ve ever enjoyed. Movies kind of creep me out. They take too much commitment. They tell you all the information and you can’t find it for yourself. Reading is different.
“There’s this roachy dude at Rincon who gave me four books. I picked one to read based soley on the cover art. The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker.
“No it wasn’t really good. It was by John Keats.
“Any random book you read trips you out. There is always something in there that makes sense, that you see reflected, like, back to yourself.
“Bukowski make a big influence on me. That’s what I needed at that time.
“Yeah, I don’t know what I think about reading being fashionable now. I mean, I don’t know. For every one kid that reads there are 100 who aren’t interested. Who aren’t interested in anything at all. It’s cool that a kid like Kolohe (Andino) is into reading though. He is in a position to actually influence what people do and how they think.
“I trip out on how many people are not interested. I don’t mean interested in bad shit. I mean people not interested in anything.
“Shit, I don’t really like cities.
“I’ve had some good experiences in Melbourne.
“I don’t even need good surf.
“I don’t need perfect reef breaks.
“Ummmmmm deeeeeeedadeeeedaleeeeee ba ba ba ba boooooooooooom ummm ummmmmmmmmmmm. Yeah, like, yeah.”