Los Angeles Noir & Mapping the Brain
The Scene: Los Angeles
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 12:00 AM
From Los Angeles Review of Books on KCRW, hosted by Tom Lutz
Los Angeles doesn't get its due for being intellectual, especially when it comes to publishing. Yet LA is home to many bookstores, publishers, and authors. The new Los Angeles Review of Books hopes to change that. Founding editor and University of California, Riverside, professor Tom Lutz joins KCRW's Lisa Napoli to highlight two new titles.
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, Lutz says, "can write with the precision of a scientist, but he's got the flair of a poet." Damasio's Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain suggests that the brain is a born cartographer, charting the body in which it is housed, then ultimately the world it perceives.
Lutz also recommends a new collection of work by the pulp fiction author Paul Cain — The Complete Slayers: Fast One and the Complete Short Stories of Paul Cain. The collection actually includes a novel and 14 stories that consider the darker side of humanity, set against a noirish LA backdrop. The author went by several pen names (Paul Cain being one of them), claimed to be a Russian poet, and ultimately disappeared. "He is the kind of character he wrote about," Lutz says.