What I’m Reading: Writer John Andrew Fredrick

  • Photo by Steve Keros

John Andrew Fredrick rests sometime. I mean, he probably does. I’m almost sure he has to now and again. The trouble is, it’s hard to prove he does, based on his output as a writer and musician (you may have heard of The Black Watch – if not, remedy this oversight).

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For the past several years in particular, he’s released either a book and an album, or two albums, or two books. 2017 sees a novel, Your Caius Aquilla, a comic epistolary novel set in ancient Rome, and Fucking Innocent, on Wes Anderson’s early films.

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You can preorder Your Caius Aquilla here, and Fucking Innocent here. Maybe I’ve not made myself clear: you should preorder them. It’s not an offer you can’t refuse or anything – I don’t have that kind of power – but it’s good sense to get them now, in all their first edition glory.

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Now, on the topic of his resting, we come to the fact that, no, not every minute of his time is devoted to making things. He spends a lot of it reading. So, when you ask him what he’s reading and why, you get good value for dollar. [Ed. note: no dollars changed hands between the writer and Mr. Fredrick. He gave generously of his own time]. For that matter, talk to him about pretty much anything. Take it away, John Andrew Fredrick:

1) I am reading everything–and thus I know, in trying to read everything key that’s ever been written, that I have, at last, lost my mind.  To wit:  Rachel Cusk’s Outline (she is the new Proust)

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Henry Green’s underappreciated Caught 

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Woolf’s Orlando (the only one I’ve not read), Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress (on account of David Foster Wallace posthumously told-me-so), three biographies of Keats (Gittings, Motion, Roe)–as I just spent a glorious month in Hampstead.

2).  See comment above.  Plus/also/too/as well:  Keats was one of my emphases in “rad” school–gotta keep that up, don’t you know.  Just like I must keep my streak going of reading Chaucer’s Troilus every other year (another specialty on the way to the superfluous PhD).   Oh!  Ulysses–my fifth and final try.  With the Stuart Gilbert crib.

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Wish me luck!!! Hahaha.  It’s do or die for old Jimmy Joyce.  And life’s too short to spend it living rather than reading.   Cheers, John Andrew

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