As I feel like I regularly voice my discontent with poetry collections, in the sense that most of the time the book as a whole is not accounted for anAs I feel like I regularly voice my discontent with poetry collections, in the sense that most of the time the book as a whole is not accounted for and as such feel likes one poem to the next has little transition, etc, I’ll save myself from overindulging in that topic here. However, with that said, there’s a variety of forms on display here and Harris’s work functions best for me in two specific modes—in an inherent verticality (which reminds me of Bernard Noël’s thoughts on how poetry repositions speech into the vertical column, thus imposing a hierarchy over speech in terms of the artistic precedent this sets—and in terms of how this is positioning language visually on the page—we see poetry as much as we can hear it) and in the prose-poem blocks that make up most of the second half of the book. Overall, the poems that stick out most pair sense of contemporary living and the problems therein, but actively reconstructed into very well crafted lines, thus positioning this far away from the ghetto of Alt-Lit. Despite the fact that it doesn’t excite me as a book, the poems on their own make a fantastic read....more
I’m a fan of gnOme Press’s project of publishing “secret” and “pseudonymous” texts, especially in an age where the ego of the author regularly outweigI’m a fan of gnOme Press’s project of publishing “secret” and “pseudonymous” texts, especially in an age where the ego of the author regularly outweighs the work itself (and as such, refuses to allow the author to be consumed into the work, which is a mark of writing that is important when considering Blanchot’s approach to literature). This short volume of 31 poems, each one seven 3-line stanzas of almost uniform line-length presents itself as the once-lost work of a Romanian student in Italy. It wears its influences on its sleeves, but that’s not important, as the work of the saints, pushing for a sort of negative mysticism, is something that one should regularly interrogate. To write as the other is to lose the self, and the loss of self is an inherent element of mysticism. While the work herein does little of interest in terms of form (for what is poetry without an attention to form, even in a formlessness), the content is fascinating....more
I always forget the name of this shitshow (which I read after getting it from the library sometime in high school) so adding this here to help remembeI always forget the name of this shitshow (which I read after getting it from the library sometime in high school) so adding this here to help remember....more
This is amazing. I picked it up due to its relevance to the CCRU's essay on hyperstition & The Ghost Lemurs of Madagascar, and I'm very happy I diThis is amazing. I picked it up due to its relevance to the CCRU's essay on hyperstition & The Ghost Lemurs of Madagascar, and I'm very happy I did. It's a bizarre book, theory-fiction through and through, and there's a direct lineage between this title and many of the Ccru's experiments, essays, etc. On its own I love it for its utter heterogeneity, it's "formlessness"--it refuses to settle down into a single linear narrative, despite beginning in said way... after the scene is set we hop around through pure fragments of the Burroughsian imagination, never coalescing into true narrative, pure refusal. There's something inherently "practicing what you preach" about this mode, as half of the theory embedded in this book is against Time, and so of course narrative must lie outside of it....more
Pretty at times, but as usual, doesn't move me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have a very hard time with poems that are not book-lengthPretty at times, but as usual, doesn't move me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have a very hard time with poems that are not book-length....more
The novella & short story ("grotesque") herein present variations on a theme--and the theme is bonkers in a very studied way. Approaching, throughThe novella & short story ("grotesque") herein present variations on a theme--and the theme is bonkers in a very studied way. Approaching, through various post-Kantian, post-Marcusian applications of philosophy, the pseudonymous Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender) takes through various dream states towards a utopian goal where a couple in love can merge into a singular being, a hermaphroditic angel, through means of pseudo-scientific appliques. Both tales start slowly, but once they arrive at their feed, they move with a rapidity, oscillating back and forth between philosophic/scientific discussion & imagistic explications of the fantastique. A very fun read. ...more
For me, the interview with Jabès included in this makes the book as a whole more than worth it-- Jabès words are incisive and important, heavy as alwaFor me, the interview with Jabès included in this makes the book as a whole more than worth it-- Jabès words are incisive and important, heavy as always, sage-like. Beyond this though, there is much to pay attention to. I was particularly struck with Herbert Blau's essay on voice, as well as the look at the Codex Vienna. Strikingly, what one would assume would be an exegesis upon textuality/inscription, actually does, in total, a great job in providing the idea for the book as a literally performing instrument, placing attention on this voice. I think, in considering the book as a whole, as a book (an oft-mentioned interested of mine), is smart--the sounding, the way text performs, the body & the text, a unity....more
Shockingly, the second book of fiction by a formerly unknown (to-me) author that came out this year & I read shortly after release (not somethingShockingly, the second book of fiction by a formerly unknown (to-me) author that came out this year & I read shortly after release (not something that normally happens with me & contemporary fiction) which I found astoundingly fantastic--is contemporary fiction getting better? Have I just been dulled by the actual banality of most indie lit? This was released by FC2, while Jane Unrue's Love Hotel (the other book at hand here) came out on New Directions, both of which are relatively large presses (New Directions being bigger than FC2 of course, but in the pantheon of "smallish" publishers, even FC2 is comparable to Dalkey (in quality/known-ness, not in rapidity of releases).
With that said, there are reasons I find myself attractive to the content of the narrative here (and let it be said that while formally this book does interesting things, this is not a book that operates on the level of the sentence: it is more about narrative and form than language itself)-- it recalls, in different & vague ways The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels, The Plight House, Not Blessed...it also directly plays into a longterm project of my own, which is in many ways always a dangerous thing, but I'm of the camp that great art should make you want to get to work making art.
The narrative here unfolds through forms of untelling, whether in the telling of the frame story, the telling of memory, the way Lucy tells stories to children, the way that the women at the hospitals tell stories to Lucy, and beyond this, there are stories within stories, never winding to the point of disorientation, in a fantastic way where the stories depart but return, they refuse to dizzy in the sense that the narrative thread would be lost (and this I think is important to this book, as this is not the usual case)--an inversion of Kavan/Robbe-Grillet's slidings--you are never allows to depart fully, and there's a way in which the narrative functions as a trap, both for the reader and for the protagonist.
There's much more to say, perhaps, but my insistence would be to read this book, as it is very good....more