Paul Di Filippo (pgdf) wrote in theinferior4,
Paul Di Filippo
pgdf
theinferior4

Sixties Novels, Part 35


THE CIRCLE GAME, Joel Lieber, Simon & Schuster, 1970.

Savant, fan, critic, and all-round genius Jess Nevins did a neat blog post recently about the fleeting nature of literary fame:

http://nofearofthefuture.blogspot.com/2007/08/care-and-feeding-of-your-dead-writer.html#links

For most writers operating in the early part of the twentieth century, the process of fading into oblivion is well under way. But even those midlist working hacks of a mere 35 years ago are already up to their chins in the quicksands of all-devouring entropy. Consider today's case, Joel Lieber.

Scouting around the internet, we find only the barest scraps of biographical information on him, such as this:

Lieber, Joel 1936–1971
Lieber was an American novelist, critic, and screenwriter. (See also Contemporary Authors, obituary, Vols. 29-32.)

Sometimes the marketplace can function inadvertently as a historical archive, though. Turning to Abebooks, we can start to assemble a kind of bibliography for the man, although dates are approximate, based on what might not be first editions.

HOW THE FISHES LIVE, 1967
MOVE!, 1968
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: A MODERN GUIDE TO SEX, SECURITY AND THE SOFT BUCK, 1968
[Appears to be non-fiction, with JL as editor.]
DEEP BLUE, 1968
THE CHAIR, 1969
THE CIRCLE GAME, 1970
TWO-WAY TRAFFIC, 1972

So Lieber lived a mere 35 years. At age 31 he published his first book, and was fairly prolific till his death. His novel MOVE! even became a film with big-name stars, which Lieber scripted.

http://imdb.com/title/tt0066102/

Here's the cover to the tie-in edition:



THE CIRCLE GAME--a novel about an academic who's wronged a writer, and the writer's revenge through "a bizarre scene of drugs and psychosexual encounters"--comes with a nice blurb from THE SATURDAY REVIEW, a top-notch journal of the time which we discussed once before.

Yet in 2007, all this accomplishment avails naught. Lieber and his reputation are as non-existent as Ozymandias.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 7 comments