I don’t read as much fiction as I used to these days. But there are a few current authors that no matter what they publish, I’ll buy their books sight unseen.
British author Geoff Dyer is one of the few, along with Paul Auster. I first discovered Dyer about twenty years ago with one of his very first novels, Paris Trance, his modern take on expats living in Paris, which I found to be Hemingway-esque. It was well observed and just a really good book. I think I just happened to pick up the book at a book store – because I liked the cover. But that’s how life works sometimes – accidental discoveries.
I’ve since read most of all of Dyer’s books (he has many), some of which are non-fiction. Some of my personal favorites are Missing of the Somme, Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, which I consider his best fiction novel.
His 2012 book, Zona, which is a reflexive meditation on Andrei Tarkovski’s film, Stalker, is one of the best books I’ve ever read on film analysis from a viewer perspective. It’s brilliant. It should be mandatory reading in any film theory class in college (alongside Transcendental Style in Film by Paul Schrader).
I got the chance to meet Geoff Dyer back in 2013 here in Austin (at a screening of Stalker) and he kindly autographed one of his books for me.
Because I had nothing else better to do today, I’ve listed some of his best quotes below. Enjoy.
“But you cannot wind the clock back in this life, not even two seconds. Everything that has happened stays happened. Everything has consequences.” – Geoff Dyer
“Nine times out of 10, the most charming thing to say in any given situation will be the exact opposite of what one really feels.” ― Geoff Dyer, Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush
“I’ve always liked things I can just trance out to. Because what that means is that you’ve escaped the chafe of time. Often when you’re bored, it’s that friction between you and time.”
― Geoff Dyer
“Life is bearable even when it’s unbearable: that is what’s so terrible, that is the unbearable thing about it.”
― Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence