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Scott Heim

Autor(a) de Mysterious Skin

14+ Works 1,423 Membros 32 Críticas 10 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Scott Heim

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Obras por Scott Heim

Mysterious Skin (1995) 973 exemplares
We Disappear: A Novel (P.S.) (2008) 222 exemplares
In Awe (1997) 142 exemplares
Best Gay Erotica 1996 (1996) — Editor — 40 exemplares
Loam (Disorder collection) (2019) 22 exemplares
Saved from Drowning (1993) 4 exemplares
The First Time I Heard Joy Division / New Order (2012) — Editor — 4 exemplares
The First Time I Heard Kate Bush (2012) — Editor — 2 exemplares

Associated Works

Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories (1996) — Contribuidor — 399 exemplares
Best American Gay Fiction 1996 (1996) — Contribuidor — 117 exemplares
Best American Gay Fiction 3 (1998) — Contribuidor — 88 exemplares
Obsessed: A Flesh and the Word Collection of Gay Erotic Memoirs (1999) — Contribuidor — 56 exemplares
Mysterious Skin [2004 film] (2006) — Original book — 56 exemplares
Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium (2000) — Contribuidor — 41 exemplares
Something Inside: Conversations with Gay Fiction Writers (1999) — Contribuidor — 35 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



What a great name for a series -- it's an announcement and, at the same time, a question to the reader: what was your first time like? I must have encountered the Smiths as the last song on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack (the wonderfully maudlin "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want"), or by way of "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now," played on NU 107, a Manila-based FM radio station that specialized exclusively in the alt-radio format and forever changed my life.

But the first time? I have no idea; all I have are associated Smiths moments with particular songs, and I would tag people if this were on Facebook:

"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want:" two memories, really. One is of sitting next to a portable Toshiba cassette player and hitting the pause / play / rewind buttons to transcribe the lyrics onto a TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer. The other associated memory is, I regret, of my teenage self turning off all the lights and, with my headphones on, lying on the bedroom floor, in despair, over those twin torments of acne and female rejection.

"How Soon Is Now:" played during the intermission of an Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians concert sometime in the early nineties, right after Aztec Camera opened. Said my concert buddy, presumably at a loss for words: "This is a great song." I agreed.

"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out:" the living room of an apartment in Ithaca, NY that I shared with some dear grad student friends. Pretty sure I was singing along to this with one of my housemates.

"I Know It's Over:" wallowing in despair just wouldn't be the same without this song to accompany the wallow.

Still, how did the Smiths speak to me, in 1985? I can't remember. As a young teenager in the Philippines, I had no concept of Manchester, Wilde, or Thatcher, for that matter. I wouldn't have recognized Jean Marais or Joe Dallesandro on the album covers, nor the cinematic reference in "a jumped-up pantry boy." In those pre-internet days, I don't think I even knew what Morrissey looked like until he appeared on the cover of Viva Hate; for the longest time I thought that was him on the cover of Hatful of Hollow. But I recognized a good guitar riff when I heard one, and I thrilled to the language.

Perhaps that was it, the language. Think of the vocabulary sprinkled throughout the Smiths' oeuvre and the last time you heard them in pop music: Miserable. Handsome. Flatulent. Frightening. Bucktoothed. (That internal rhyme of "bucktoothed girl in Luxumbourg" -- brilliant, though it should really have been "buxom.") Humdrum. Gruesome. Privilege. Complexities. Certainly for the mid-eighties -- a time when "Say Say Say" and "Ghostbusters" ruled the Philippine airwaves -- the Smiths sounded remarkably literate, and therefore appealing to a snotty adolescent like me.

But back to The First Time I Heard The Smiths. At first glance, the collection seems a little slight. One doesn't come to these essays for a primer on the '80s, or the Smiths themselves -- no discography trivia here, or historical context -- but those decade's details are worked in by accretion: other bands, the politics, the hair.

This slow accumulation of detail fascinates, as it builds a shared memory united, for the most part, only by music. The materiality of the music, and how people remember it, is remarkable; the act of possession, for instance, is forever lost to the mp3 generation. (So is staring at/into an album cover.) Whether on tape or vinyl, the album itself carried a physical heft in the writers' memories, whether on a shelf, or as one cassette in a Converse shoebox full of tapes. Craig Wedren (from Shudder to Think) remembers lying in the back of an Econoline, listening to his Walkman, with the first Smiths album "on Side Two of a red-and-white BASF cassette." Even the very act of riding a bus and going to a record store is recalled with great detail. (We can't be all as lucky as Zack Linmark, who actually discovers the Smiths in an underground dance club in Hawai'i.)

Nonetheless, all this, alas, doesn't make for the most varied reading. How many times, really, can you describe Marr's guitar lines and Morrissey's voice? (I'll use "sinuous" and "crooning," respectively.) Some of the pieces are mere snippets, more suitable for a quick blog entry. Perhaps I'm used to the creative nonfiction convention of having these insights structured around a narrative, following some arc of discovery. The best essays here, at least to my mind, are those that hew closer to the latter, and those are unfortunately few. Heim's own introduction to the anthology, for one, stands out for its precise detail and evocation of longing.

But there are gems of insight all throughout. Miki Berenyi, who made my heart skip a beat back in the early '90s -- introduced here, alas, as having "zero interest in ever making music again" -- smartly observes that the received wisdom of the Smiths playing music for depressives wasn't quite deserved; the lyrics were, in fact, humorous, and that the music was "irrepressibly full of light and air."

What's most remarkable about the anthology, in the end, is the seeming uniformity of experience, how the Smiths spoke to different people in a common tongue and was intelligible, sometimes, instantly, to all.
… (mais)
thewilyf | Dec 25, 2023 |
deep book and very well written looking forward to finally watching the movie to see how they did.
maddogish | 21 outras críticas | May 9, 2022 |
This was... pretty disturbing to me, but in a way that was compelling? I did have to cheat and look up the ending on Wikipedia because I didn't feel I could finish the book if I didn't know how it ended ahead of time. Heim does this incredible thing with his narration where these details of the scenes he paints become so deeply haunting--not just the obvious ones, but all of them.

Enormous trigger warnings for detailed sexual abuse of children and a rape sequence which I didn't know going in and would have approached with more caution if I did.… (mais)
aijmiller | 21 outras críticas | Jul 17, 2021 |
Three siblings (who are triplets) reluctantly return to their hometown after many years away to attend their estranged father’s funeral. The three of them are confronting bad and unwelcome memories from back when they were first-graders--when the children in their class (themselves included) were coerced into lying about their teacher and her adult son, which resulted in destroying two lives. This short story was on the dark and depressing side, but it held me captivated, nonetheless. Well-written and atmospheric, this made for a good quick read.… (mais)
PaulaLT | 2 outras críticas | Mar 29, 2021 |



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