A little known writer, Shane Levene shines out the junk/lowlife literary scene like a jewel all of his own. Scenes of outright perversity are effortlessly sewn together with heart-crushing descriptions of modern city life, its people and their aspirations - of a disillusioned mass staring out into a distance that we can never quite see but all know of and recognize immediately. In many ways the author's words and the tales he relates resonate with the kind of moral decay and sexual deviancy which have previously been attributed for toppling empires, but Levene never preaches such grand warnings, and indeed, often seems to celebrate what many would consider immoral, justifying his faith in the degeneracy he writes about with a sudden and deft turn of the pen and phrase, giving us a poetical and breathtaking glimpse of humanity which is suddenly shining out from the bowels of hell itself. And that's a great part of Levene's magic and allure, what stands him head and shoulders above the genre he is associated with. It's where the reader suddenly realises that the words they are reading are mighty, and where the writer succeeds in making us have empathy with even the most lowliest of scoundrels. Suddenly we are left asking ourselves: "is this really hell?" or "is it a great mass of suffering of the innocent?" The nearest Levene ever comes to sounding any kind of a warning is in his rather melancholic words "the sick dog we've become" which close out one of his finest pieces. All things considered Levene is a talent in the making and it is only a matter of time before his poetry overgrows his genre like weeds do a garden before making their way out into the street. Here are ten littlle weeds in the form of quotes taken from various online texts and comments of the author.
10 BEST SHANE LEVENE QUOTES
My advice to writers is to sell your kidney first and your heart last.
It's not easy to kill yourself in France... especially on a Sunday.
It's not junkies who need rehab; it's the world.
Love is a mental illness.
The wife: In turkey anal sex is valid grounds for divorce.
Me : That's weird, in England it's valid grounds for marriage.
(the author's response on learning that the huge golden statue of the Virgin Mary which stands atop the Fourviere Hill in Lyon had been removed for restoration purposes):
Let's just hope she doesn't turn back up pregnant... look at the trouble it caused last time!
It's what's known as 'Great Writer Syndrome': we appear to have small cocks but really it's just our balls are big.
In Love's Down Tango, in that fleeting mystic twirl, I opened my eyes, and for a moment, I saw it all.
It was one of the rare occasions where the people were darker than the shadows they cast.
(from 'So Dog We Were Too)
I thought of the disabled deformed beggar girl, wondering if she was still there, if the offer was still open. I imagined her stripped to the skin, towering over her, angry and frothing at the mouth, speaking only with the force of my hands, her crippled legs forced wide apart, to have her be reviled by herself through the sheer greed and repulsion with which I fucked her with. I thought of stooping lower than any other man, eating her pussy and gagging on the filth of Europe's immigration problem.
50 euros! Not even a meal in a half-decent restaurant.
50 euros! Half a pair of half-decent shoes.
50 euros! To possess someone entirely, to fuck and buck away with only my own orgasm to worry about.
I imagined her fear, her lack of desire, the pain that sex would cause her, the perverse light in which she'd view western sexual practices - ungodly acts which even at the height of her understanding she'd never be able to make sense of. I imagined fucking her with the hatred and sadness of an entire life, reimbursing myself of all the money I'd had robbed, really getting down to work, getting my full fifty euros worth out of her, mirroring all the horrors of our world in one brutal selfish barebacked violent fuck, a complete detox of all the rottenness of life.