By Yoram Kaniuk
Susan Sontag writes: “Of the novelists i've got found in translation . . . the 3 for whom i've got the best admiration are Gabriel García Márquez, Peter Handke, and Yoram Kaniuk.“
A whirlwind of paintings, track, and lust, Life on Sandpaper is Yoram Kaniuk’s overwhelming autobiographical novel detailing his years as a tender painter within the long island of the ‘50s. Wounded and alienated, a battle veteran on the age of 19, Kaniuk arrives in Greenwich Village at its height interval of inventive creativity, and reveals his method between such giants as Charlie Parker, Billie vacation, Willem de Kooning, and Frank Sinatra. In terse prose, encouraged by way of the associative and breathless force of bebop, Kaniuk’s stories race among the ecstatic devotion of his liked Harlem jazz golf equipment, during the ideological spats of the death Yiddish international of the reduce East part, to the volcanic gush of ardour, soreness, paintings, dance, alcohol, and medication that used to be Greenwich Village. Kaniuk’s tales roll and tumble right here with hypnotic urgency, as though this have been his final chance to recollect, and inform, prior to all is obliterated.
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Additional info for Life on Sandpaper (Hebrew Literature)
Dad told us we were having something special for dessert—a flaming ice-cream cake. The waiter wheeled out a tray with the cake on it, and the woman with the gloves lit it with a taper. Everyone stopped eating to watch. The flames had a slow, watery movement, rolling up into the air like ribbons. Everyone started clapping, and Dad jumped up and raised the waiter’s hand above his head as if he’d won first prize. A few days later, Mom and Dad went off to the blackjack table and then almost immediately came looking for us.
Then Grandma would make a snide comment about Dad being shiftless. Dad would say something about selfish old crones with more money than they knew what to do with, and soon enough they’d be face-to-face in what amounted to a full-fledged cussing contest. ” Grandma would scream. ” Dad would shout back. ” Dad had the more inventive vocabulary, but Grandma Smith could outshout him; plus, she had the home-court advantage. A time would come when Dad had had enough and he’d tell us kids to get in the car.
Mom, however, told us that the FBI wasn’t really after Dad; he just liked to say they were because it was more fun having the FBI on your tail than bill collectors. We moved around like nomads. We lived in dusty little mining towns in Nevada, Arizona, and California. They were usually nothing but a tiny cluster of sad, sunken shacks, a gas station, a dry-goods store, and a bar or two. They had names like Needles and Bouse, Pie, Goffs, and Why, and they were near places like the Superstition Mountains, the dried-up Soda Lake, and the Old Woman Mountain.