TEXTISM

I keep track of the books I read, read then abandon, or do not actually get to. Net 154 printed books for ’017. All but about five were atrociously typeset, and almost anything “LGBT+”-related was packed to the walls with lies.

  1. Nonetheless, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me revealed that Billy Hayes is the best gay writer I’ve ever read. It was said that every page of Leni Riefenstahl’s autobiography contained a stunning fact of her life (“does not contain a single unspellbinding page”). Hayes’ memoir of his life with Oliver Sacks, such life circumscribed by Sacks’ fatal illness, shows that no matter where you look in Sacks’ books, Hayes’ book, or any part of their lives together, everything is fascinating.

    How could one beat On the Move? Sacks’ (again) not-unspellbinding and fascinating memoir, with its recollections of riding motorcycles stoned, powerlifting on Venice Beach, yet also spending a lifetime suppressing his homosexualism after what sounded like a pretty good sexual encounter, showed how much more about Sacks was estimable and unique than we already knew. All this from a British Jew with, to paraphrase, a brain the size of a planet.

    Sacks would interview his patients and typewrite 500 words about each of them, their conditions, their lives. (Almost my exact approach when I meet anyone from another nation, tribe, or language group. I just don’t jot anything down.) Now, if only I could put my hands on the article that showed Sacks appearing last onstage at a neurological conference, after everyone else had recited dry “case histories,” and asking the attending doctors “Why aren’t any of you telling us what your patients are like?”

    Billy Hayes tells us what Oliver Sacks was like. And, elsewhere, what happened to the two of them when they dropped by a gay bar on Oliver Sacks Night.

  2. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Douglas Thomas’ well-researched, readable, comprehensive, and beautifully presented Never Use Futura is one of the rare actually valuable typography books published in the 21st century. Quite the shame I’ve been run out of the field on a rail, but that’s true of all my fields, and my aggressors have not quite killed me off yet.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2017.12.29 14:53. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
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