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Showing posts from September, 2017

Richard Makin - Owing much to Nouveau Roman particularity and the decadence of fin-de-siècle prose, privileging arcane objecthood over organized personhood, MOURNING is richly dark and thick with corporeal and writerly materialities

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Richard Makin, Work,Great Works, 2003-06.


We're not going to forget it, the opening screen: poultry, jack or tin and paper case, ditto section. You have to move in close to read all this, using negatives, saying what is not—torn in a seacup, eye full of clipse. First the green line. One thing I am certain about: the language filched from passers by. Immaculate simplicity of narrative. It's a method known to stop anything in its tracks. She is born with her head wrapped around a name, a big chunk of it. (Opening moves of St Leonards, Chapter 6)
For the last few years Richard Makin (the "A" seems to be optional) has been publishing in monthly instalments on the Great Works site run by Peter Philpott. Work in Process began publication in 2004. It was supposed to run for a year, but in the event it carried on for more than two, so the complete text runs to 30 parts, separated by photographic images. St Leonards followed immediately and is, as I write, on its seventh instal…

Holly Tavel - The 18 stories in this collection offer a kaleidoscopic view of childhood's forgotten tropes and dizzying leaps of logic, and are by turns hilariously paranoid, discombobulated, claustrophobic, and filled with yearning

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Holly Tavel, The Weather in Fritz Bemelmans Park, Equus Press, 2015.
hollytavelediting.com/


If the past is a foreign country, childhood is a vanished civilization filled with mysterious monuments and charming ruins, and always colored by our own wildly unreliable memories. The 18 stories in this collection offer a kaleidoscopic view of childhood's forgotten tropes and dizzying leaps of logic, and are by turns hilariously paranoid, discombobulated, claustrophobic, and filled with yearning. A parrot regales his new owner with an increasingly outrageous story of his own picaresque past; a woman taking care of her aging mad-scientist father is alarmed by his new teenage sidekick; a dying superhero recalls himself and his archnemesis as lonely grade-school outcasts; coma victims become the unwitting vessels of a shadowy weather-control project; suburbanites, menaced by their material possessions, regress to a prelapsarian state; a trio of bumbling fools in a near-future dystopia try to d…

Jean-Jacques Schuhl - Consisting of memories, mixing real and invented people and events, Ingrid Caven reveals the cold heart of the European counterculture of the 1970s, an era of celebrity glitz, cocaine-fueled excess, gay bathhouses, and young idealists-turned-terrorists

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Jean-Jacques Schuhl,Ingrid Caven: A Novel, Trans. by Michael Pye, City Lights Publishers, 2004.


A novel about the life of German cabaret singer and film actress Ingrid Caven, who was once director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's star, and his wife, muse to Yves Saint Laurent, and a protege of Pierre Berge. Consisting of memories, mixing real and invented people and events, Ingrid Caven reveals the cold heart of the European counterculture of the 1970s, an era of celebrity glitz, cocaine-fueled excess, gay bathhouses, and young idealists-turned-terrorists. Ingrid Caven was an immediate bestseller in France, where it sold over 235,000 copies in its first year of publication. It has been translated into 18 languages.




"Adolf Hitler, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Yves Saint Laurent – German-born cabaret singer Ingrid Caven's life flowed around these icons of 20th century European counterculture.... a collage of that strange postwar period in Europe of high artifice, drugs, terrorism, l…

Brian Willems at how nonsense and sense exist together in science fiction, the way that language is not a guarantee of personhood, the role of vision in relation to identity formation, the difference between metamorphosis and modulation...

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Brian Willems, Speculative Realism and Science Fiction, Edinburgh University Press, 2017.


Imagines the end of anthropocentrism through contemporary science fiction and speculative realism
A human-centred approach to the environment is leading to ecological collapse. One of the ways that speculative realism challenges anthropomorphism is by taking non-human things to be as valid objects of investivation as humans, allowing a more responsible and truthful view of the world to take place.


One of the reasons that speculative materialism challenges anthropomorphism is that a human-centred approach to the environment is leading to ecological collapse. Therefore, when non-human things are taken to be as equally valid objects of investigation as humans, a more responsible and truthful view of the world takes place. Brian Willems draws on the science fiction of Cormac McCarthy, Paolo Bacigalupi, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Doris Lessing and Kim Stanley Robinson alongside speculative material…

Russell Persson - The Narváez expedition continues to be a failed one, of course, but getting lost in Russell Persson’s strange language feels like a beautiful and hallucinatory triumph

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Russell Persson, The Way of Florida, Little Island Press, 2017.

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www.russellpersson.com

Relentless, urgent and above all musical, this expertly crafted début novel recasts the tragic story of the failed Narváez expedition – a calamitous attempt to establish Spanish colonies along the Gulf Coast – in bracing, beautiful language. A timely narrative of botched colonialism, The Way of Florida radically reimagines the parameters and responsibilities of the historical novel.
Russell Persson revisits the ill-fated Narváez expedition of the sixteenth century, which saw a group of some 600 Spanish, Greek, and Portuguese explorers arrive on the coast of Florida intent on establishing preliminary colonial settlements and garrisons. Of the 300 sent inland to explore, only four survived an eight-year ordeal: three minor members of the Spanish nobility and an enslaved Moor. Their story comes down to us via La Relación, the official report compiled by one of the nobles, published in 1542, as we…