An Edge In His Voice

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Will Dockery

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Dec 27, 2012, 7:54:53 AM12/27/12
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An Edge In His Voice... A Voice From The Edge.

"...Etiquette tips on how to talk to a writer, to wit: 1) never inform the
writer you can't find his or her books; 2) don't share your personal needs
and problems; 3) take care of personal hygiene, please; and 4) don't read
the writer's personal life into the stories..." -Harlan Ellison

An Edge in My Voice / Harlan Ellison
Edition: Donning, 1985

Nice find at Columbus Library, one of the few Harlan Ellison books to be
found there, or anywhere (Ellison as quoted above won't be happy with that
observation but it is too sadly true as most of his writing is out of
print), "An Edge In My Voice", literally a Talisman for me in the late
1980s, some of the finest essays ever written, that put you right into
Ellison's brash, brilliant world.

Almost just as good as the book itself is the online play-by-play by David
Loftus:

http://harlanellison.com/review/edge.htm

Get the book for the pure "But I digress" poetic mind and life of Ellison,
but check out Loftus' almost equally mind expanding distillation of
Ellison's thoughts and adventures circa 1982 in as Lou Reed would deem
"Those were different times.", as we learn of to the moment slices of life
as Susie Rabin's singing debut at a little club that Ellison invites
everyone reading to come check out, as Ellison reminds the reader of Pasteur's
"Chance favors the prepared mind," and says "there is a lot less
roll-of-the-dice in what happens to us than we care to admit.", even in the
moment reporting and commentary of changes in the culture shock of the era
such as his dead-on anti-gun screed inspired by the assassination of John
Lennon. The collected columns, from August 1980-August 1984 are beautiful
prose poems of that bittersweetly beloved era, in which Elliosn vividly
paints a self portrait of his little "treehouse" in the hills, his 1967
Chevy Camaro, purchased new for cash and then with about 165,000 miles on
the odometer, in which he could brave any LA traffic since the car was
covered with a force field-like "protective layer of crud", refers to the
open mic and jazzy scene and singers at a little joint called At My Place in
Santa Monica (as well as other hangouts of circa 1980), no doubt long since
defunct and demolished. As most of the 1980s are, except for our memories
and writings.

And, obviously, these are real and on target shots at immortality... those
of the poet, and in the end, for us all.

--
Music, poetry & art from Will Dockery & friends
http://www.reverbnation.com/willdockery


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