Jacob Wren

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Jacob Wren

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member since
May 2010

About this author

Jacob Wren makes literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include: Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed and Polyamorous Love Song. As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created the performances: En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize (1998), Individualism Was A Mistake (2008), The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011) and Every Song I’ve Ever Written (2012). International collaborations include: a stage adaptation of the 1954 Wolfgang Koeppen novel Der Tod in Rom (Sophiensaele, Berlin, 2007), An Anthology of Optimism (co-created with Pieter De Buysser / Campo, Ghent, 2008), Big Brother Where Art T ...more


Every time I have an argument about art and politics it strikes me anew: how weak I am at engaging with people I disagree with. And how little experience I actually have with the task.

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Published on November 25, 2015 16:57 • 1 view
Average rating: 4.30 · 161 ratings · 33 reviews · 8 distinct works · Similar authors
Polyamorous Love Song
4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 67 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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Revenge Fantasies of the Po...
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 2010
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Families are Formed Through...
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 15 ratings2 editions
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Unrehearsed Beauty
4.67 of 5 stars 4.67 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1994 — 2 editions
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Les familles combattent le ...
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 4 ratings
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If Our Wealth Is Criminal T...
4.5 of 5 stars 4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2015
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Oh, Canada: Contemporary Ar...
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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The Coming Envelope: Issue ...
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2010
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The Limits of Autobiography by Leigh Gilmore
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Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen
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Destruction as the Cause of Coming Into Being by Sabina Spielrein
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O, A Prayer Book by Samuel Hasler
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The Empire Within by Sean Mills
"Really good history of radical movements in Montreal in the 60s and early 70s. pretty fascinating"
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“I’ve always said that my ideal reader would be someone who after finishing one of my novels would throw it out the window, presumably from an upper floor of an apartment building in New York, and by the time it had landed would be taking the elevator down to retrieve it.”
Harry Mathews
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“There is a difference between literature and just writing in your diary. I think perhaps the difference can be measured in degrees of pain. Hard work is also a factor. When I abandoned poetry there were so many questions lost to me as well. It remains astonishing to me the degree to which poetry has lost all value and meaning within the conditions of what I loosely refer to as corporate capitalism. Absolutely amazing.”
Jacob Wren, Families are Formed Through Copulation

“But no, I’m sorry. I can’t end there. I haven’t yet said everything I want to say. A little girl is at school, out in the playground with her friends, and she sees a flower and says to her friends, just thinking out loud, wondering gently to herself: Do you think flowers have feelings? And for the rest of the day her friends tease her relentlessly, with every new opportunity that arises. Do flowers have feelings, that’s so stupid. Right, flowers have feelings. All day and for the rest of the week: stupid flowers have stupid feelings and that little girl feels she is never going to say anything like that ever again. She has already learned that when you open your heart or express genuine, innocent curiosity or wonder about the world, your friends will pounce on the opportunity and use it to hurt you as viciously as possible and there is nothing anyone can do to protect her. It’s simple stories like that that really break my heart.”
Jacob Wren, Families are Formed Through Copulation

“Often the idea of survival is mentioned in relation to capitalism, as in the phrase ‘economic survival’ or the thought ‘I need to earn money to survive.’ However, in our endeavour we hoped to sever survival from economy, striving for a purer form of modernized surviving. Our fight would be a fight for survival and the fighting itself would be our life, not in the sense of employment but in the sense of a full reality with all of the inherent risk, complexity and completion that living implies.”
Jacob Wren, Polyamorous Love Song

“My philosophy is fundamentally sad, but I’m not a sad man, and I don’t believe I sadden anyone else. In other words, the fact that I don’t put my philosophy into practice saves me from its evil spell, or, rather, my faith in the human race is stronger then my intellectual analysis of it; there lies the fountain of youth in which my heart is continually bathing.”
Antonio Machado

“I want to say something about bad writing. I'm proud of my bad writing. Everyone is so intelligent lately, and stylish. Fucking great. I am proud of Philip Guston's bad painting, I am proud of Baudelaire's mamma's boy goo goo misery. Sometimes the lurid or shitty means having a heart, which's something you have to try to have. Excellence nowadays is too general and available to be worth prizing: I am interested in people who have to find strange and horrible ways to just get from point a to point b.”
Ariana Reines

“Living together/ is one move closer/ to living apart”
Kristi Maxwell

“People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called *character,* a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to the other, more instantly negotiable virtues.... character--the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life--is the source from which self-respect springs.”
Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

“The right to pursue happiness sends me and other Americans, even here where we are meant to resist outside temptation, on a hunt for it. If I’m not hungry, I might seek other forms of happiness, or pleasure, which is part of my American birthright, though the most misconceived notion of them or the most difficult to realize; I can pursue several means and ways to be happy, if I am able to forget what makes me habitually sad.”
Lynne Tillman, American Genius

25x33 Q&A with Jacob Wren — 2 members — last activity May 08, 2010 07:57PM
Feel free to ask Jacob any questions you might have and he will answer them at his leisure.
134909 Revistas & Antologias — 21 members — last activity Dec 15, 2014 02:40AM
Este grupo destina-se a falar sobre as muitas revistas sobre literatura que andam por ai, antologias que vão sendo editadas e e-zines/fanzines que pos ...more
94250 The Melville House Group — 202 members — last activity Jan 05, 2015 06:21AM
We rather like our books. Just a bit, maybe. A little. Naturally, we want to talk about them with fellow readers. Join us in discussing our books or a ...more
25x33 A Short Course on Resistance — 8 members — last activity May 08, 2012 11:06AM
“We refuse the general alternative proposed by infinite representation: the indeterminate, the indifferent, the undifferenciated or the difference alr ...more
54679 Red Lemonade — 48 members — last activity Sep 18, 2013 05:44PM
Red Lemonade titles and other Alternative Literature books.
57079 Authors Lounge — 1047 members — last activity Nov 02, 2015 04:38AM
A place for authors to exchange ideas and share information on Goodreads. Or otherwise, unwind, relax and meet other authors. This is our place where ...more
6926 Black Oceanographers — 245 members — last activity Dec 14, 2010 12:38PM
This group is designed to discuss books published by Black Ocean, receive updates on publications and get news on author events. All are welcome, only ...more
34096 ECW Press — 137 members — last activity Feb 02, 2015 12:47PM
ECW is Entertainment. ECW is Culture. ECW is Writing. Publishers Weekly recognized ECW Press as one of the most diversified independent publishers in ...more
41096 Historical Tour de Genre — 82 members — last activity Jan 29, 2014 01:44PM
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge Sometimes the title 'historical' sounds stuffy, or boring and stiff, but it doesn't have to be. Actually, the gen ...more
27766 Hyperstition — 5 members — last activity Dec 15, 2009 01:52PM
Useful distinctions from the Hyperstition Blog: One difference is that superstitions don't necesarily involve a becoming-real. It's true that supersti ...more
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Comments (showing 1-9)    post a comment »
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Pamela Hey Jacob...Thanks for accepting my friend request.

message 8: by Laura

Laura Thanks for the friend request. It's great meeting fellow Montreal writers.

message 7: by Helna (last edited Oct 31, 2010 01:04AM)

Helna HI, Jacob :)
Thanks for inviting me.. Nice to know you

 Δx Δp ≥ ½ ħ Thanks Jacob for inviting me :)
Happy reading ;)

message 5: by Aloha

Aloha Jacob, thank you for befriending me. I like performance art. I'm interested in seeing what your work is like. You're definitely creative with your book titles! LOL

message 4: by Beth

Beth Hi Jacob,
Thanks for befriending this fellow Goodreads author!

Rowland Bismark Hi Jacob (woow great name), how are you?

message 2: by Rick

Rick Thanks for adding me, Jacob. I see you're in Montreal, a city I visit frequently (and love) because my son lives there.

message 1: by W.B.

W.B. Thanks for the add. Jacob. I find your profile fascinating. I'll have to search out some of your books. I love works skewed towards performance art. Cheers.

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