2004 04 28 Selby


A Scream Looking for a Mouth:

One of my favorite authors, Hubert Selby Jr. passed away. He was the author of “Last Exit to Brooklyn” and “Requiem for a Dream” and others.

His books were huge for me when I was in college. “The Demon” was just pure hell ripping through the pages. One of the most honest looks at stupid male behavior, it always served as a great reminder to me of how capable everyone is of self-destruction.

I got into Selby from Rollins, and have a few books with Selby’s signature. His most recent writings didn’t capture the full-on fury of his early works, but if I remember correctly, ‘Last Exit to Brooklyn” took something like 6 years to write, working every night. The section featuring Tralala, took 2.5 years just to properly develop the character.

Selby left school at 15 and joined the merchant marines. He contrated tuberclulosis and lost one of his lungs. He went through alcohol and heroin addiction. He body was so ravaged, Lou Reed described him as looking like a crouched letter ‘S’. He was one of the most intense writers I’ve ever come across, no one writes like ‘Cubby’, I’ll be re-reading some of his books soon.