Ben Marcus

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in Chicago, Illinois, The United States
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Seemingly the most conspicuous aspect of Ben Marcus' work, to date, is its expansion on one of the most primary concerns of the original Surrealist authors -- perhaps most typified by Benjamin Péret, husband of the acclaimed painter Remedios Varo -- this being a very deep interest in the psychological service and implication of symbols and the manners by which those symbols can be maneuvered and rejuxtaposed in order to provoke new ideas or new points of view -- in other words, the creation of, in a sense, conscious dreams.

While Marcus' writing plays similarly with the meanings of words by either stripping them of their intended meaning or juxtaposing them with other words in critical ways, it also abandons the 'experimental' nature of so m
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Ben Marcus In the New York Times today (Nov. 7, 2014), the inestimably great writer Joy Williams, reviewing Denis Johnson's new novel, has this to say:

"A writer…more
In the New York Times today (Nov. 7, 2014), the inestimably great writer Joy Williams, reviewing Denis Johnson's new novel, has this to say:

"A writer should write in such a way that nobody can be ignorant of the world and that nobody may say that he is innocent of what it is all about. ...Life is ludicrous and full of cruel and selfish distractions. Honor is elusive and many find the copious ingestion of drugs necessary. Our ignorance is infinite and our sorrows fearful. We have made an unutterable waste of this world, and our passage through it is bitter and unheroic. Still, the horror can at times be illuminating, and it is necessary that the impossible be addressed."

I don't have much to add beyond that.(less)
Ben Marcus Good question. Influences are always so hard to determine. I tend to know who I'd like to be *more* influenced by: writers like Jane Bowles, Borges, K…moreGood question. Influences are always so hard to determine. I tend to know who I'd like to be *more* influenced by: writers like Jane Bowles, Borges, Kafka, Ishiguro, Helen DeWitt. Filmmakers like Guy Maddin. Musicians like Nicolas Jaar or Valentin Stip. But I don't really know how to make this influence stick. There are too many unknown forces acting on us. And I've never seen Tron, but I would like an illuminated suit. I think that would be a nice thing to wear when I drop my son off at kindergarten.(less)
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Ben answered Lydia's question: Ben Marcus
In the New York Times today (Nov. 7, 2014), the inestimably great writer Joy Williams, reviewing Denis Johnson's new novel, has this to say:

"A writer should write in such a way that nobody can be ignorant of the world and that nobody may say that he See Full Answer
Ben answered John Allen's question: Ben Marcus
There was a time, when I was 17 or 18, that surrealist painting felt like a huge revelation, and relief. A door opened to a massive territory that I realized I also contained within me, but hadn't known it was ok to release. Surrealism felt immensely See Full Answer
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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
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The Information by James Gleick
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Case Histories by Alexander Kluge
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Learning Processes with a Deadly Outcome by Alexander Kluge
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The Devil's Blind Spot by Alexander Kluge
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Cinema Stories by Alexander Kluge
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More of Ben's books…
“Without sound, celebration and grief look nearly the same.”
Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet

“The true elitists in the literary world are the ones who have become annoyed by literary ambition in any form, who have converted the very meaning of ambition so totally that it now registers as an act of disdain, a hostility to the poor common reader, who should never be asked to do anything that might lead to a pulled muscle. (What a relief to be told there's no need to bother with a book that might seem thorny, or abstract, or unusual.) The elitists are the ones who become angry when it is suggested to them that a book with low sales might actually deserve a prize (...) and readers were assured that the low sales figures for some of the titles could only mean that the books had failed our culture's single meaningful literary test.”
Ben Marcus

“To refrain from storytelling is perhaps one of the highest forms of respect we can pay. Those people, with no stories to circle them, can die without being misunderstood.”
Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet

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