Archive of Thad Weitz

Thad has contributed 4 brilliant piece(s).

Frederick ExleyIn honor of what would have been the 84th birthday of American literary cult  icon, Frederick Exley,  Thad Weitz shares a review he originally wrote for Traffic East Magazine of Exley’s masterpiece A Fan’s Notes. Nearly 50 years since its publication, A Fan’s Notes  remains an astonishing meditation on broken dreams and the struggle to just hold on. TS

I cannot remember ever having been so blindsided by a writer I didn’t know, as I was when a friend lent me a copy of A Fan’s Notes by Frederick Exley. Published in 1968, the book is more lauded by a cult following than recognized as a Great American Novel, which it most definitely is—sort of.  Frederick Exley writes of the misadventures of a character who simultaneously amuses, confounds, enrages, and saddens him.  This character is himself.  Though he asks to be “judged as a writer of fantasy,” the story he tells is unquestionably his autobiography.  And what a funny, strange, and heartbreaking autobiography it is.  While most authors, in writing their life story, can explain how their decisions shaped a certain life trajectory, Exley seems to have no agency over his own life. Bewildered, he cannot fathom his actions in the past, and writes of himself as if he were discussing a mad stranger (which, at times, isn’t far off the mark).  In an exquisite and fluid prose, Exley attempts to analyze why he is who he is.  By the end of the novel,  he has come to understand, tentatively, the stranger within. Read More…

What Followed

by Thad Weitz December 3, 2012

It was around the second mile into the woods that Jack Dowter knew that he was being followed.  Without any evidence, it was a gut feeling so certain he knew he was right. He employed the tricks he had seen in movies: he would suddenly stop, so he could hear footsteps.  He heard nothing. He […]

FICTION Read more →

In Praise of Robert Altman

by Thad Weitz November 20, 2012

November 20th  marks the anniversary of the death of  Robert Altman. Thad Weitz discusses the director’s legendary work. (7 video clips) Perhaps Scorcese, Coppola, Peckinpah, and Woody Allen were his only contemporaries who rivaled his artistic achievements. Even so, his name doesn’t have quite the same widespread recognition as these peers—he is more of a […]

ESSAYS Read more →

Cover Letter from Frank Palace

by Thad Weitz October 15, 2012

To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to express my interest in the opening you listed for the Comptroller position. I am especially enthusiastic for the salary that goes with the job—I could live large off 150k. Seriously, I have some gambling debts with a disreputable and no-nonsense bunch, and 150 grand would really […]

COMEDY Read more →