Nate D's Reviews > No Colony 3

No Colony 3 by Ken Baumann
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's review
Feb 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, stories, html-giant, new-ecriture, favorites
Recommended to Nate D by: dead Dead Dog dogs
Recommended for: CEOs
Read from February 23 to 25, 2011

This appears to be some kind of lit journal for madmen, here in its third volume containing only long works (three) and a Pushcart-Nominated exquisite corpse by 65 people who each paid $10 to be here. (The deal (joke?) was: for $650 we will publish your story and nominate it for a Pushcart Prize. The deal was: 65 people got together over at htmlgiant and totally did it. The deal is: the story is published on pink pages in the middle of the journal and is openly mocked by the editors. Which may be amazing. And that is all I will say about that.)

There are three other stories here.

I picked this up entirely for the closing M. Kitchell novella Paul Garrior in Jacques Riverrun's "The Abyss is the Foundation of the Possible". Kitchell, also responsible for the cover photography, is a someone I am aware of as an essential critical presence around the web and here on goodreads. The books and films Kitchell seeks out and writes about triangulate a very particular territory, a haunted aesthetically-refined surrealism of austere forms and warped desire. It is precisely this uncanny territory mapped out in other media into which Kitchell's own fiction directly plunges, creating here a pristinely distorted meditation on terminal(?) obsession with that which exists between absence and presence, with ghosts of a metaphysical sort. Gracefully conveyed through several narrative layers (deft use of mis-en-abime, a phrase I learned through Kitchell writing about Zulawski, in fact) of film ephemera and dialogue dancing around cinema, pornography, design, and the desperate search for something inexpressible (and the means to express it). It's terribly good, in precisely the ways that (having read his criticism and a few shorter stories) I've hoped Kitchell's fiction would be good. This is his longest published work, I believe, and his most developed, and entirely worth seeking out.

Krammer Abrahams (also here) offers "CEOs" which appears to be about dismal prospects and extremely cracked out parents. If it is about anything at all besides the words it spews across the page. It might be a sort of broken version of that one twitter sitcom. It might have been unethically transcribed from the rantings of real schizophrenic ex-CEOs who regret having given up their MIDDLE CLASS NOSES. It might be the vomiting of an unblanced mind. It is a good opener in the sense that it completely unmoors whatever expectations might have been brought into reading this book.

Peter Markus, then, seems totally coherent in his bleak, minimal "Dead Dog Sleeps", which in its claustrophobic casual brutality, clipped affectless prose, and collective second-person-plural brother-narrators recalls The Notebook.

It was on a night like this when the sun rose up at dawn the next day that we saw for the first time that dog Dead Dog dead on the side of the road. When we first saw Dead Dog, there on the side of the road, the dog that we saw, we thought that it was a dog dead.

Interesting. As oddly pretty in its sleek prose as it is distinctly unappealing in consistent content. Hermetic unfeeling despair, rarefied.
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Reading Progress

01/07 marked as: read-in-2011

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Adam (new) - added it

Adam Speaking of pretty badass GIANT shit, this is something you should read.

message 2: by Adam (new) - added it

Adam Higgs also does this FANTASTIC thing.

Nate D This does intrigue! Thanks.

message 4: by Adam (new) - added it

message 5: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Is this available anywhere? :o

Nate D Supposedly yes: (scroll down a few entries).

message 7: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Much obliged!

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