Gary Lutz: I Looked Alive


…Lutz is not so much writing as weaving a patch quilt.

What to say of whom so much has been said by some of the best Americans saying words about words today – George Saunders, Sam Lipsyte, Brian Evenson, others still – still harder to find a more descriptive description of reading Gary Lutz than a fragment from one of his own fragmented stories, one found in fact in this very collection which I have been carrying around with me for weeks,

. . . a heavyweight paperback I was not so much reading as working a different, less stable shape onto, putting leisurely violences into the turning of pages so that when I was through with a book it was a lopsided thing, something far atilt that could be pointed to, publicly, as an example of someone’s having stuck something out . . .

It’s a fragment from a sentence of epic length found in “My Final Best Feature,” excerpted in its entirety by John Madera on BIG OTHER.

Though this paperback reprint of I Looked Alive is not physically heavy but content-wise yes, and -rich like an expensive dessert at a fine restaurant, I could settle for that – my copy is pretty worn – but I won’t. Instead I will conduct a series of literary summersaults in which I will attempt to approximate the experience I’ve had reading this collection.

If you want to skip my blurb – which, it is what it is – skip ahead to page five. Anyway it’s done for me, me, and me. And we are usually looking out the window.