Libra by Don Delillo JFK 50TH

libra_first_ed

Libra by Don Delillo 

US fiction 

Source – personnel copy 

Well today is the 50th anniversary of the shooting of JFK and I have chosen two books to remember or mark the occasion this is the first that I did read a year or so after it came out in 1988 the year of the 25th anniversary.Don Delillo is probably alongside Paul Auster my favourite American writer. I have read most of his books and even read his huge Underworld twice I loved it so much ,If you fancy try that book Jackie and a few others have done a read-along that starts in two weeks .Don Delillo grew up in an Italian part of the Bronx , New York .He has written more 15 novels . 

Earlier that day a young man walked into the outer office at Guy Banister associates in New Orleans .Delphine Roberts was at her desk typing a revised list of civil rights organizations for Banisters files .The young man stood patiently waiting in jeans with rolled cuffs two days stubble on his chin .

Oswald in Guy Banisters office where he also meet David Ferrie both big character in the film JFK . 

Well Libra is a fiction account of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald the man who shot JFK .from his early life ,joining the marines ,his journey to Russia to become a defector  where he met and married  his Russian wife Marina and then his return to the US with his wife  .Then he settled in Dallas after spending time in New Orleans working for the Free Cuban Movement and pro Castro causes .He finally start working at the book depository in Dallas where he Shot JFK from .Now he comes across as a strange man , almost outcast ,a man who  is never really part of anything a man who has communist leanings ,but he  can also be  easily be swayed by others it seems .The book has a similar feel to the film JFK by Oliver stone that did actually come out a few years after the book ,but isn’t based on the book and actually the book is far more in-depth and connects the dots a lot more in regards to Oswald’s life .

Well it is fifty years to the day ,since the events in this book The death of JFK at the hands of Oswald .So reading this book brought the events of that day and what lead to the assianation ,things like the Cuban crisis ,JFK personnel views .On the other side is Oswald this guys life is strange to say the least a man who was not once but twice a traitor ,the first time is his decision to escape the Us and to become a Soviet citizen ,where he is suspected of giving away secrets to the U2 spy plane .But even after doing this he returns to US and has no real action taken against him and has his wife allowed to be with him .He even appears of TV as a communist .I still wonder who he was Delillo has lifted the lid on his life a bit more in this novel but Oswald is still one strange man and his history just in my mind seems very strange .The book is of course a novel so what is real and what is made by Delillo mix but we get a real feel of the man and the times he lived in .Also a look at what drove this man who shot the president ,almost like he is destined to do this one thing as he gets more and more desperate .

Have you read Delillo ?

What are your thoughts on JFK and the Assassination ? 

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A naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Naked_Singularity-398x600

A Naked singularity by Sergio De La Pava

US fiction

Source – review Copy

A Naked singularity  definition

A singularity is, roughly speaking, a region of extremely high density into which matter or light is attracted. While Steven Hawking Eric Weisstein’s World of Biography has proposed that physical singularities can occur only inside Black holes where they cannot be seen, physicists Kip Thorne and John Preskill believe observable (“naked”) singularity can exist

Source Wolfram 

Sergio De La Pava

Is a New york based Public defender ,he had spent nearly a decade writing this book and then five years and numerous rejections from publishers lead to him getting  a self publishing deal ,then the book grew slowly as word of mouth til first Us publisher Chicago university press last year and now Maclehose press have given the book a full publishing deal .The book arrived wrapped and with a letter from Mr  Maclehose telling  me ,how important they felt this book is ,this started me worrying ,was I worthy to review this book  ,but I was chosen so must have been .

“Fine ,if you define proof stringently enough ,I suppose I can’t really prove that unicorns don’t exist ,yet I perfectly reasonable in not believing in them .But all that is beside the point as it relates to our rat friend .Because whether god exists or not ,there is still such a thing as justice .Justice exists ,and this rat is getting what it deserves under its mandates .This rat is evil .

I loved this passage summed up a lot .

The book itself follows the life of one man Casi he is a public defender in New York rather like the writer himself .Casi is 24 ,his caseload as a public defender is mainly immigrants ,their case give him much sorrow ,but he has also won all his cases .He is a sensitive soul ,but is slowly losing faith with the system ,The book like the definition is heading to a point a situation  where his perfect life may take a twist ,where Casi and Dane  his friend  try to work out how to talk about the perfect crime and how to do it .Then we also see his home life the neighbours including one that endlessly watches the Honeymooners just restarting every time he reaches the end of the show as he feels all life is in this one show  . Which leads to numerous discussions about the characters in the show particularly Ralph the main character played by Jackie Gleason .Here is a clip of that show for those unfamiliar with it  which I was but loved watch a couple of episodes .

Then we also hear Casi  talk about philosophers and life in general like many 24 year olds do what is life ? What does it mean ? then there is  also Boxing and boxers particularly the Peurto Rican boxer Wilfred Benitez.I ve upload a link to one of his most famous bouts with Sugar ray Leonard .

There is also a collection of different styles of writing ,court records ,letters ,poems ,recipes in fact loads of content .

David hume was his favourite Alyona once said .This was during one of our first real conversations ,at the end of which I think we exchange keys to our respective apartments although I almost immediately misplaced his ,I said I guessed there was nothing wrong with Hume provided it was acknowledged that Descates was the man .At the end of the conversation I went home and made this list

1.Descartes

2.Kant

3.Wittgenstein

4.Kripke

5.Lewis

6.Hume

Casi’s favourite Philosophers fromstart of chapter 22

So as you see this book is complex ,this is the modem New York ,not the one I know from watching Woody all or early Spike Lee films .This city is huge and its hard to pindown So Sergio hasn’t he has tried to show ones man journey through it as completely as he can .There is a number of ways of writing huge books Epic sagas ,Catching a moment and expanding it out .Pava has chosen to use one mans life and use it .Sergio is the anti creative writing writer for me ,because this book does everything your told not to do ,not make your book to long ,don’t mix style and keep to a simple story arc .No this book  is long, it mixes styles in a mix tape way he uses the best of what he has ,what he knows you feel with a lot of the legal based documentation is very close to real life ,Given his job is also a public defender (one of the things I feel after reading this is a greater insight into the New York Justice system ).Digression is something that he does superbly and realistically ,I for one am a person that can easily go from point A  to point K then back to point A .So to the rub what is the book like as a whole well I tried to think of other books yes there maybe is something of Deillo’s underworld in the scope and Of course I have seen numerous mentions in review of Infinite  Jest but having not got far in that book I can’t say .I fell the book is neared the new US TV shows like breaking the bad ,The Wire and The Sopranos .I could see a show with Casi as the leader character ,but the only think they would have to dumb it down because this is more complex than any of those series and is maybe what America has been trying to grasp for a while the current Great American Novel (I always view this not a one book more as a collection of books that catch the current Zeitrgeist ,which this does ) America is now a mixing pot of people and De La Pava has caught this wonderfully .

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