Black Swans

Black Swans Babitz s talent for the brilliant line honed to a point never interferes with her feel for languid pleasures The New York Times Book Review On the page Babitz is pure pleasure a perpetual motion ma

  • Title: Black Swans
  • Author: Eve Babitz
  • ISBN: 9780517144459
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Babitz s talent for the brilliant line, honed to a point, never interferes with her feel for languid pleasures The New York Times Book Review On the page, Babitz is pure pleasure a perpetual motion machine of no stakes elation and champagne fizz The New Yorker The liveliness of Babitz s portraits and plates in the air precariousness of her storytelling reach thr Babitz s talent for the brilliant line, honed to a point, never interferes with her feel for languid pleasures The New York Times Book Review On the page, Babitz is pure pleasure a perpetual motion machine of no stakes elation and champagne fizz The New Yorker The liveliness of Babitz s portraits and plates in the air precariousness of her storytelling reach through the decades to entertain a completely new audience The ultimate effect of this Angeleno s writing is to cast her beloved, glamorous town in the main role And what a performance it is ELLE A new reissue by the writer acclaimed by The Boston Globe as a true original and by the San Francisco Chronicle as marvelously witty and wildly observant, and of whom Joseph Heller has said, Her words are worth one hundred moving pictures Black Swans is a collection of nine stories that look back on the 1980s and early 1990s decades of dreams, drink, and stoned youth turning Republican Babitz prowls California, telling tales of a changing world She writes about the Rodeo Gardens, about AIDS, about learning to tango, about the Hollywood Cemetery, about the self enchanted city, and, most important, about the envy and jealousy underneath it all Babitz s inimitable voice propels these stories forward, corralling everything that gets in their way sex, rage, the Ch teau Marmont, youth, beauty, Jim Morrison, men, women, and black swans This exciting reissue further celebrates the phenomenon of Eve Babitz, cementing her reputation as the voice of a generation.

    One thought on “Black Swans”

    1. This may be my favorite. It's now the 90s. Jim Morrison is dead in Paris, Babitz has given up drugs and drinking, and the nine stories collected here are reminiscent. Marvelous reflection. Aging, AIDS, friends with big houses with children. Tango. Obsessions remembered, abandoned, revisited. L.A.'s temperature is hot and hazy and so is the prose.

    2. I have this book posted twice here, reviewed it once, and now I've an advance reading copy from Counterpoint Press. This book is still my favorite Babitz, and one of my top 5 favorite books overall. Babitz is an extraordinary observer of the human condition, and writes with uncanny clarity, as though living an out of body experience. Or living in this realm as a visitor from a parallel universe. Reading a book after decades of reading gives an extra dose of author writing language recognition. B [...]

    3. Why should you read this book?I have to admit that until I read Sex and Rage, Eve Babitz was unknown to me. After reading it, I had that magical and transcendental feeling that I had just discovered an unforgettable and unique writer. Black Swans: Stories left me with no doubt: I am sold. But who is Eve Babitz? Born in Hollywood, in 1943, Babitz is an American author and artist. Los Angeles plays a main role in her fictive memoirs, but so do the men, the artists, and the drugs. And, if we’re t [...]

    4. A geography of youthful love and the promise of its later-life renewal derived from the city of Los Angeles. Babitz skates through time, arcing a contemporary affair as something arising from a previous one, and a previous LA. Unlike her writings about the 60s and 70s, Babitz avers the alienation and neglect that characterizes the 80s and early 90s. There's still plenty of celebration and spirited advocacy for the cultural phenomena that she loves, and amusing critique of what she does not love, [...]

    5. still digesting but I found it really compelling and so singular. She's a gem. Disturbed that she now seems to prefer Miami.

    6. "But to be corrupt, you must once have been innocent"This collection is the last anthology of Babitz's stories to be published, (1993), and is my favorite. Babitz is the person who told Steve Martin to put on a white suit, and who told Jim Morrison that "The Doors of Perception" was too pretentious a name for a band and had to be shortened. So, as far as I'm concerned, she is the ultimate chronicler of 70's and 80's L.A. and every single important thing that ever happened there, then.Babitz is s [...]

    7. I really enjoyed this book. Babitz’s voice is captivating. I loved hearing her perspective of Hollywood of her past into the 90s - the AIDS epidemic, heat waves, rioting, sex, drugs, and the literary life.

    8. I'd been given the impression that Babitz was an obscure gem of an author, but I became quickly exasperated after only 50 pages and 4 of her execrable short stories. Her writing is awful, lacks rhythm and doesn't sing, the characters utterly flat and boring as a result. The wealthy elites living the low life are not portrayed in any way that has validity, and she seems to laud them all merely for having inherited money and being fabulous. She derides many male characters for being shallow, yet t [...]

    9. "Tangoland" was my favorite story out of this collection. The others got repetitive: a pithy observation about Life, followed by heavy drinking at the Chateau Marmont. Babitz's characters all seem to have a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles; the distinction between author and narrator is fuzzy.

    10. I didn't intend to write a review of this book, but assisted by Suzanne Ridgway, I sort of did anyway, per the comment thread below.

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