[Fwd: Re: [Jandek] Jandek: the Book?]

Lauren Ciechanowski ciechano at stolaf.edu
Tue Sep 5 08:44:18 PDT 2006

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: [Jandek] Jandek: the Book?
From:    "Lauren Ciechanowski" <ciechano at stolaf.edu>
Date:    Mon, September 4, 2006 5:22 pm
To:      "Frank Hardy" <soccerdude219 at yahoo.com>

Good post, Frank. I was penning a response to this before I even received
it (before you wrote it?) this morning. Danen sent his work out to a few
of us on the list he's closer to, before he even looked for a publisher,
and I have been privileged enough to read Niagra Blues already.

You are absolutely right in saying that the book is not at all about OUR
Jandek, nor Danen's impression of OUR Jandek, but merely a 'how does
someone become someone like Jandek?' story. It reads much more like
Faulkner or Woolf than it does a Corwood release - and because I happen to
be a fan of both of the aforementioned authors, I really, really enjoy
Niagra Blues.

The story takes place mostly in the South (NOT Texas south, but south-east
south, if that makes sense), drawing upon true Jandekian references (i.e.
the discography and items we know from Jandek on Corwood to be true).

Danen is about as close to painting an Oliver Stone story as he is to
curing cancer. Nancy, Eddie and John are all characters, and are explained
with a mix of fact and fiction, though the truth is VERY well-shielded.
Does that make sense? I don't even know how much Danen actually knows
about the 'real' Jandek that we order Corwood releases from - I honestly
have NO idea. I do know that some elements of characters are derived from
truth and other elements are pure imagination. However, the line is VERY

You should not read this (it bears repeating) you should NOT read this as
a guide to Jandek, but rather as a story that bears a name you know
(Jandek - which honestly is not even referenced frequently at all).

Again - think Faulkner, NOT Corwood. A well-composed, sophisticated and
imaginative read. I urge you all to read before you judge.


> Okay, so my posts this weekend were my typical
> jackass-hiding-behind-the-veil-of-the-interenet-because-there's-no-way-I'd-have-the-balls-to-say-this-to-your-face
> sort of thing. And, though it's barely an excuse, I was kind of drunk for
> the second post. I'm sorry I was rude. I tend to get swept up the thrill
> of writing in an acusatory and inflamatory style without realizing how
> damaging it can be to my actual point, not to mention the person I'm
> attacking (though I should mention that when I said I thought the project
> was a waste of time, I meant that I thought it would have been a waste of
> time for ME, not Danen. Even drunk I'm not so dim to think that I know
> what's best for other people). SORRY. I pray for forgiveness in the name
> of the Jandek, the Sterling, and the Holy Corwood.
>   So, stop if I'm wrong, but let me get this straight: Niagara Blues is
> not about Jandek at all, rather about Danen Jobe's impression of what
> the narrator of the Jandek songs might be like. So there's Danen's
> Jandek and Corwood's Jandek, and they're kind of like alternate
> dimension versions of the same person, and this is different from, say,
> the portrayal of Virginia Woolf in "The Hours" who is a fictionalized
> impression of a real person doing fictionalized versions of things the
> real Virginia Woolf did, or and different from the story "Treatment" by
> Juan Martinez, which features a mostly metaphorical Jandek writing songs
> the real Jandek never wrote. Right? In that case there's been a
> misunderstanding. I thought Danen was trying to mix what we know of the
> real Sterling Smith with his fictional Jandek in some frustrating Oliver
> Stone-ian mess. If this Jandek is entirely fictional, I'm cool with it.
> Which leads me to a few questions for Danen:
>   1) Does your Jandek live in Houston?
>   2) Is his name Sterling Smith?
>   3) Did he grow up in Providence or spend time in Ohio?
>   4) Is Nancy a character? John? Eddie?
>   5) Did he record the songs starting in 1978 or before?
>   6) Are any of the journalists and DJs he's been in contact with also
> used as characters? I'd love to hear your fictionalized versions of the
> phone conversations with Irwin Chusid or George Parsons, just to name a
> couple.
>   7) Does your Jandek ever end up performing live?
>   8) Does he write seven novels and burn them?
>   A few more thoughts: Is Corwood's sanctioning of the project a signal
> that we should all make up our own Jandeks? He's hinted at that idea in
> the past- remember he told one guy "your imagined story would likely be
> more interesting than anything we could provide" or something to that
> effect. Perhaps that's how we wants people to look at his art. And
> that's cool- really cool. In fact, I think we should follow Danen's lead
> and all write Jandek books, or make Jandek movies, or a Jandek play.
> Jesus has multiple different biographies, why not Jandek?
>   I've been hashing around my head a coming-of-age tale in which two young
> friends venture off to Houston one dull summer day determined to find
> Jandek and get them to autograph their copies of Six and Six...
>   F. Hardy
> ---------------------------------
>  All-new Yahoo! Mail - Fire up a more powerful email and get things done
> faster._______________________________________________
> jandek mailing list
> jandek at mylist.net
> http://mylist.net/listinfo/jandek

More information about the jandek mailing list