Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

Recently, when I had a chance to chew the fat with Jon Stubblefield, we talked a great deal about books as well as music, prose writers and poets mixed in our exchange about songwriters. Jon's writing lens is wider than mine as he writes songs as well as stories. He recommended I read stories by Breece D'J Pancake. I found Breece's thin volume of 12 stories at the library this week. Jon was right. This guy writes with crisp clarity and I can see how critics compared him to Hemingway. I hadn't heard of Breece D'J Pancake before. I really enjoy discovering writing. I gave Jon Peter Matthiessen's reworked single volume of his previous trilogy, "Shadow Country" and a collection of short stories by Anton Chekhov, my present favorite short story writer. Shadow Country has elements of that Frank Zappa concept, "conceptual continuity", that Jon explained to me. I'm only into the Pancake book a short way, but I'm sensing I've found a new mentor. Breece died young, so this is all there is in print. Like a small box of chocolates, a small plate of food, sometimes less is more. Thanks, Jon.

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