(1966 - 1999)Ian wandered the neighborhood. It would be cool, he decided, if someone tried to fuck with him, and he scanned the street for a young drug dealer to humiliate. He was ready for a fight. A dealer with peach fuzz riding a bicycle, it would be nice to break the kid's nose and steal his drugs. Ian walked down the middle of the sidewalk. People got out of his way. He walked and walked until he found himself in front of the video store. On a nearby tenement doorstep he rested. His beer was nearly empty, and he dug in his pocket and pulled out a badly mangled pack of cigarettes and a lighter he did not recognize. There was one cigarette left over from last night. He took this as a sign but what the sign meant he did not know. The cigarette was crooked, losing tobacco, thoroughly like himself, slightly moist. He lit it, took a long drag, and made a plan. There was vodka in the freezer, and now he knew where she kept the Valium. Already he was thrilled. All the ingredients for a recovery were there. He decided to make a party of it. -- from Robert Bingham's ''This is How A Woman Gets Hit'
'On November 28, 1999, six months after his marriage and in the same November week that page proofs of his first novel came off the press, Robert Bingham was found dead from an accidental heroin overdose in the bathroom of his New York City apartment. He was 33 years-old. The scion of a storied Kentucky newspaper family, Bingham had a reputation for being different from other rich people. "He was without a snobbish bone in his body, able to empathize with people completely different from himself and extraordinarily generous with anyone he loved, believed in, pitied, admired, or was flattered by persistently enough," wrote Samantha Gillison on the Web magazine Salon.com. Bingham's death was an abrupt ending to a writing career still brimming with promise. After an early start - the New Yorker published his first story when he was twenty-six - Bingham earned a reputation for poignant portrayals of disaffected and burned-out rich young men. He also published the work of other similarly brilliant-yet-bizarre writers in Open City, a witty, provocative, and often dark literary magazine that Bingham cofounded and bankrolled.' -- obit
Samatha Gillson: 'Bingham loved rock music and his aesthetic sensibility was punk, vintage East Coast, early 1980s. As an artist (and person) he was much closer to, say, Dee Dee Ramone than to people like Michael Chabon or Jeffrey Eugenides (writers whom he has been compared to). He adored the work of Robert Stone, Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene but he reveled in Pavement. He became close friends with Pavement's Stephen Malkmus who wrote a song in memorium to Bingham, 'Church on White', which appears on his first solo album. Bingham believed that what he was looking for could be found in the hardest, ugliest places in our culture and psyche. And when he couldn't stand what he saw there, he sought escape in pure adrenaline-saturated sensation by (for just a few examples) driving too fast, moshing too enthusiastically at hardcore shows, inserting himself into politically unstable Third World countries, telling people what he thought of them to their faces, gambling huge sums of money, shooting guns and taking drugs.'
'I read Bo Huston's The Listener 3 yrs ago and have been waiting anxiously for Mr. Huston to write something else. He masterfully, deftly renders characters. Jane would have been 2 dimensional and awful in the hands of any other writer, but she seemed wonderful and alive and completely insane. "Freud's Big Trouble" was my favorite, though; it seemed one of the most complete and well done short stories I've read in a long while. I'm very tempted to compare Mr. H. with Flannery O'Connor, and to my mind there would be no higher compliment. Does anybody know when/if he will publish again?' -- amazon review, 1999
'Just now, while engaged in the endless moving of my books from pile to pile (not unlike Sisyphus; but why does it seem like such an achievement?), I found a cache of all of Bo Huston's books. I had met Bo Huston years and years ago, during that short-shock burst of cocky youth that compels one to publish zines and do performance art. I read his novel Remember Me and arranged for Bo Huston to give a reading. The reading was postponed a few times because Bo, who was HIV-positive, was undergoing a variety of treatments; at one point, he'd gone repeatedly to Switzerland to have his entire blood supply removed and exposed to nitrogen; he went temporarily blind for a bit, but on the whole recommended the procedure for those seeking a different kind of vacation.
'Bo Huston didn't write like John Rechy or Genet or Proust -- none of the ostentatious fireworks of style (Kenneth Anger's roman candle! ah, no) nor incantatory invocations of that thin membrane pulsating between spirit and infection -- oh, none of the radical subversions I'd associated with "queer texts" after carrying and holding conspiciously aloft stuff like Reinaldo Arenas and Notre Dame des Fleurs and the like. Nor was Remember Me like the somewhat facile and doggedly friendly Armistead Maupin or David Leavitt, no; oh, Remember Me was a sustained breath before an eternity of weeping; it's about--- oh, read it yourself if you want to know. Parts of it remind me of Angels in America: Perestroika, it's that strange and vibrant. (Then again, a boy who read Remember Me based on my romanticised advocacy returned it to me, puzzled and dismissive. "It's like Raymond Carver or Chekhov," he shrugged. What a strange dismissal.)
'The day Bo finally read, I bought all his books and brought them to the reading. There were only a few people there, but Bo didn't seem disappointed. The demeanour he projected, his voice, was unlike the meditative proto-Hamlet's-father's-ghost's-like voice with which I'd read Remember Me; it was, rather, a sardonic, bitter voice, veined with bemusement and resignation; Bo's still-handsome face, thinned with travail, skin heroin-ravaged and scarred again by treatment, as he read resembled that of a much-weathered cowboy's: eyes that had seen miles and miles of work. After the reading our small group adjourned to a bar, where Bo, hyping up his Pity-Me-I'm-Dying cred, got the management to allow us to chainsmoke.
'So this was years ago, as I was saying; Bo, whose books had been previously published by small queer-oriented houses, finally sold a novel, The Dream Life, to St Martins Press, a mainstream publisher; and, as if the effort of playing it straight had taxed the sense of zut dolour that had tethered him to life, Bo Huston died.' -- dumb-john.diaryland
(1971 - 2005)"... The Railway-Miscarriage/River-Rat Theory would have it that John was prematurely miscarried into a stainless-steel toilet bowl on a high-speed express train cutting through the woods due southwest of Baker, and that he ended up, battered and disoriented, though still alive, face-down on the Patokah railroad tracks with half a rail tie in his ass and two pounds of afterbirth scattered through the gravel for a mile to the south. His mother, reportedly a wealthy heiress from Chicago who was seven months into term, had gone to the lavatory after developing acute stomach pains. Ten minutes later a passing conductor heard a series of screams and a thrashing about in the commode. After trying the handle and finding it jammed, he kicked down the door. He found the lady in question in a bloody awful mess. She was straining and lurching with one leg hiked up on the sink and both fists wrapped around a pustulating umbilical cord leading from between her drawn legs downward into the bowl. The conductor flew into a panic. He squeezed through the doorway and grappled for a hold on the cord. He could make out the misshapen infant jammed in the chute and howling in a high-pitched wail on the other side of the drop flap, just over the tracks. The screams sounded out all over the passenger car. The mother finally lost her footing in the sauce and pitched over into the hallway. She lost consciousness, leaving the rest in the conductor's hands, literally. The conductor made one last effort at dislodging the maimed infant, but the cord soon snapped, and up came the broken end. It was a terrible scene. By the time the young mother came to her senses with a crowd of passengers standing over her, she wanted nothing more than to turn her back on the whole dreadful affair. Of course, no one thought for a second that the child might have actually survived..." -- Tristan Egolf's 'Lord of the Barnyard'
'Tristan Egolf's brief life story reads like a fairy tale. A punk rocker who dissolved his band Kitschchao when they were about to be become successful turned street busker in Paris, he struck up an acquaintance with the daughter of Patrick Modiano, a prominent French author and screenwriter (''Lacombe Lucien"). Modiano helped publish Egolf's first novel, 'Lord of the Barnyard, in France after it has received 76 rejections from American publishers. Subsequently published in Britain and the United States, Barnyard received gushing reviews. Le Monde likened Egolf to Mark Twain, J.P. Donleavy, and Cormac McCarthy. The French paper Liberation and the Times of London both compared Egolf -- presciently, it turned out -- to John Kennedy Toole, the talented New Orleans novelist who killed himself at age 32.
'With the subtitle of Killing The Fatted Calf And Arming The Aware In The Corn Belt, Lord of the Barnyard is seemingly rough, even formless. It tells of Kalten- brunner, whose father dies before his birth. The boy shows a knack with chickens and sheep on the family farm, raises hell at school - so much so that the homestead falls victim to predatory Methodists and he is consigned to work on a barge. But that is only a quarter of it, mildness itself compared with Kaltenbrunner's subsequent work at a poultry plant, veritable sweetness beside garbage collecting, which sets in motion a strike, and more uproar. The book is not perfect, its manic energy precludes tidiness; it has its own volition, and editorial neatness would have made it sludge.
'In 2002, Egolf published his second novel, The Skirt And the Fiddle, which was less successful and received mixed reviews. Kornwolf, his third novel, which was published post-humously in 2005, was written amid Egolf's activities with the Smoketown Six, whose anti-war protests in Lancaster, Philadelphia, included burning an effigy of George Bush and posing, near-naked, in a pyramid similar to that of the Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. They were arrested, released, and their subsequent lawsuit for violation of civil rights is yet to be resolved. According to Egolf's friends and family members, that, and a loss of inspiration as a writer, was likely the upside of the manic depression which caused him to shoot himself in the head in his Lancaster, Pennsylvania apartment on May 7, 2005 at the age of 33.' -- obit
Kitschchoa 'Gone Sane'
p.s. Hey. Three writers, dead while young, new to you, or maybe not, all of them superb, whose works won't, I hope, just go, or, in most cases, stay o.o.p., and gradually disappear.