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Christine Brooke-Rose
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unBURIED Authors A-D > Christine Brooke-Rose

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R." (last edited May 18, 2013 09:59AM) (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Christine Brooke-Rose is a BURIED author. Read her BOOKS, please.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...

To the top, the MJ-provided complete list of novels:

The Languages of Love (1957)
The Sycamore Tree (1958)
The Dear Deceit (1960)
The Middlemen: A Satire (1961)
Out (1964)
Such (1966)
Between (1968)
Thru (1975)
Amalgamemnon (1984)
Xorandor (1986)
Verbivore (1990)
Textermination (1991)
Remake (1996)
Next (1998)
Subscript (1999)
Life, End of (2006)
The Christine Brooke-Rose Omnibus: Four Novels: Out, Such, Between, Thru (1986)


message 2: by Nathan "N.R." (last edited May 03, 2013 08:11AM) (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Brooke-Rose's NYT obit: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/boo...

The Guardian obit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/...

A reader's RIP: http://htmlgiant.com/author-news/r-i-...

A worthy piece by Frank Kermode in London Review of Books, 6th April, 2006: http://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/scr...

Her Dalkey page with a link to a CONTEXT Converstion
http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/book/?GC...

Review of Contemporary Fiction issue featuring Brooke-Rose, Acker, and Young: http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/book/?GC...

Brian McHale, in his Postmodernist Fiction discusses her novel Thru, but you'll want The Christine Brooke-Rose Omnibus: Four Novels: Out, Such, Between, Thru.

OMG! From TLS, as recently as 22 April 2013, we have THIS from Michael Caines: http://timescolumns.typepad.com/stoth...

obits are the only thing BURIED authors deserve: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obitu...

For doctoral students, her archive an The Ransom Center: http://research.hrc.utexas.edu:8080/h...

And Friend Rob dug up this review piece, one I failed to find convincing, perhaps because he used the word "utilize" instead of use; but, as to her book Xorandor: http://www.waggish.org/2011/xorandor-... And some excerpts of her critical writings: http://www.waggish.org/2012/the-criti...

Death and The Archive and Dalkey, which is all the internet provides us; sufficient evidence that she has been BURIED by an unbelievable literary incompetence in some quarters somewhere. Had the NYT or Guardian EVER reviewed her books?


message 3: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Danke.


message 4: by nostalgebraist (new)

nostalgebraist | 2 comments David Auerbach of Waggish has a few posts on her.


message 5: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Her books are at the more unreadable and inscrutable end of 60s avant-gardery. I doubt anyone but the most theory-saturated (NR?) minds on GR would be able to make sense of her.


message 6: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Yes, exactly. The worst example was Witz (which several GRers had started and have gone strangely silent ever since). The plot synopsis bares absolutely no relation to anything on the page, but makes the book sound riotous. As to Brooke-Rose, I have skimmed through her Omnibus and holymolymoly. It really is some of the most cryptic and nigh-unreadable stuff I have seen in the avant-garden. As to it being funny and inventive, probably not to anyone born after 1970 and without a PhD.


message 7: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments I say this not to dissuade her reDISCOVERY. Only to air necessary criticisms before anyone rushes out to buy her books, lest they end up with more hip shelf-padding.


message 8: by Jim (last edited May 03, 2013 05:27AM) (new)

Jim MJ wrote: "I say this not to dissuade her reDISCOVERY. Only to air necessary criticisms before anyone rushes out to buy her books, lest they end up with more hip shelf-padding."

Hip shelf-padding!!? Sign me up!

PS. I was born before 1970 and my PhD is from a small Caribbean college/travel agency/mail drop...


message 9: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Thanks for the link, Rob.

I've read an excerpt from her Thru in The Wake of the Wake, which was plenty fair warning of what was to come and, warned, I could make neither a head nor a tail of it and so here I am still waiting for more more more, please.

MJ, those ain't necessary criticisms. Just complainin'. Complainin' I guess that you got no PhD and were born too late?

Theory saturated or Theory Porn; tomAto, tomaTO.

But on the other serious side, not so much a question of the inscrutability of Brooke-Rose, but the general edge of a feminist writing which demands itself become inscrutable and which may or may not have a justification (cf Judith Butler, Spivak, etc) or for the shading off of genre distinction as performed by THAT OTHER writer ALI just the other day brought to our collectivity and consciousness. The demand for clarity (clarus et distinctus IS DESCARTES, PEOPLE!! and he's evil, you know, because he SPLIT the mind/soul/spirit/cogito from the fleshy body etc) etc (I've heard folks with an eighth grade education demand that Kant, Hegel, et al, write "clearly" so that they might be understood by the average joe-man on the street). Absurd.

Mostly I'm upset that she's so BURIED that she NEVER turns up on the shelves of my Local Book Emporium.

AND THEN there's Brooke Rose: http://www.mybrookerose.com/ I'll take inscrutable, cryptic, nigh-unreadable, and anything COMPARED to WITZ anyday of the week.


message 10: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Nathan "N.R." wrote: "MJ, those ain't necessary criticisms. Just complainin'. Complainin' I guess that you got no PhD and were born too late?"

My mistake, I forgot this was the everything-BURIED-is-a-work-of-neglected-genius-beyond-reproach group. Brooke-Rose's book of doodles has also been painfully ignored by those unhosed illiterate dolts. A travesty!


message 11: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments I'm warily interested here. Xorander sounds potentially fun.


message 12: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "A travesty! "

Indeed! A Travesty.

MJ got stuck in my unseen complaints about things sometimes called criticisms and critiques which sometimes sound more like complaints. I'm complainin' that she's not complained about enough. I'm complainin' cuz there ain't enough reviews like "This is the rare experimental novel that makes me ask, 'Why the fuck did you bother?'" which would tell me more about her. I'm complainin' that I ain't read more than a handful of pages from her hand.

more hip shelf-padding

I would be happy were she recognizable enough to impress anyone seeing her on a shelf.

genius-beyond-reproach

This GROUP is nothing but a giant COMPLAINT.


message 13: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments ^ True dat. I retract my snark.


message 14: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "^ True dat. I retract my snark."

You shall retract nothing!!!!

Look, I don't care so much that unwashed, illiterate members of the masses prefer Sorrentino over an obfuscator like Brooke-Rose, it's just that but, I'm always on the look out for a reader who will read someone like Brook-Rose ON HER OWN terms, a reading from within and eschewing the carrying to her books such external demands as "plot" or "character" etc etc. It goes without saying that "she's not for everyone" but somewhere there is or should be a community of readers of Brooke-Rose's books and those like hers. I wanna know what it is that she is saying, not what someone else would like her to have said. My presupposition, my bias, my prejudice is that she's REALLY SMART and is probably not just "showing off" etc, but that it's up to folks like myself to get off my ass (collectively) and read her damn books.

I like this quote from her which is in one of the links Rob provided: "Now knowledge has long been unfashionable in fiction. If I may make a personal digression here, this is particularly true of women writers, who are assumed to write only of their personal situations and problems, and I have often been blamed for parading my knowledge, although I have never seen this being regarded as a flaw in male writers; on the contrary. Nevertheless (end of personal digression), even as praise, a show of knowledge is usually regarded as irrelevant: Mr X shows an immense amount of knowledge of a, b, c, and the critic passes to theme, plot, characters and sometimes style, often in that order. What has been valued in this sociological and psychoanalytical century is personal experience and the successful expression of it. In the last resort a novel can be limited to this, can come straight out of heart and head, with at best a craftsmanly ability to organize it well, and write well."


message 15: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments Travesty! I've been meaning to read that soon!


message 16: by nostalgebraist (new)

nostalgebraist | 2 comments A blog post about C B-R's Textermination.


message 17: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Rob wrote: "A blog post about C B-R's Textermination."

thnkuthnku, Rob. It would appear that my declaration of her obit-and-archive-only fate dealt out by the electronical world was not quite fair to the few folks who have indeed provided her with a little electronical attention. thnks.


message 18: by MJ (last edited May 10, 2013 04:36PM) (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments My review of Amalgamemnon. I feel a revival coming on.


message 19: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments Excellent news! I wonder if she's at the library because this group is already inducing me to buy far too many books.


message 20: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "For reference, her complete novels:"

Muchy thanks. I added it to the initial post above.


message 21: by Rand (last edited May 18, 2013 10:42AM) (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments She has a short story in The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Ghost Stories. Excerpt from the single in-depth review of that on this site:
The two stories I was less than enthusiastic about here both derive from the modern literary-establishment, "artsy" camp. Christine Brooke-Rose is described as primarily an "experimental" writer; in "On Terms," she experiments with not bothering with punctuation. Since punctuation was developed for a purpose, and the effect of abandoning it is deliberate loss of clarity in communication, I'm not able to regard this as a constructive experiment. Since, as a writer, she couldn't be bothered to use techniques kids learn in grade school, I as a reader couldn't be bothered to do more than skim what she wrote.
gotta love that (overly-punctuated &purple;) snooty-snark!
the local library has that one on hold for me (that volume being the single book in their holdings in which her words appear)

Also, her novel Verbivore appears to be a sequel of sorts to Xorandor, using the same characters Hip and Zab. It's about something called negentropy and a copy will run upwards of 50 USD (!!!)


message 22: by Nate D (last edited May 23, 2013 04:51PM) (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments I'm quite enjoying Xorandor so far -- it's all written as an alternating dictation from a pair of genius twins debating how best to tell the story. Another from the Brooklyn library vaults.


message 23: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Since I have no life, I just tided up her bibliography on here, and added the missing books. You're welcome:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/...


message 24: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Yes. Thanks.


message 25: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments If people have the time and inclination, could they send off this begging email to Carcanet, please:

michelle [AT] carcanet.co.uk

Dear Michelle,

The work of Christine Brooke-Rose is almost entirely out of print. A group of us at the website Goodreads are rapidly becoming fans of her work, so is there any possibility Carcanet may make it available in e-format at some stage in the future?

Regards,

[Name]

Power in numbers!


message 26: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Carcanet reply: two of her books are in e-format, the Omnibus and Life, End Of. No plans to release any more in this format. Boo. :(


message 27: by Rand (last edited Jun 14, 2013 09:04PM) (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments critical reception: Utterly Other Discourse The Texts of Christine Brooke-Rose. along with essays, this includes a selection of her autobio, REMAKE.


message 28: by Rand (new)

Rand (iterate) | 99 comments CBR's Thru is somewhere in the middle of this goodreads list of Books with an Innovative Design ( around number 35 or so). it is a nice list.

the first few pages of textermination are good.


message 29: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Via the good nature of Jonathan Morton, Ali Smith on CBR, The Times Lit Suppl :: ; {The Armchair, The World}, from 2006 regarding The Omnibus & Life, End of

//\\

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/a...


message 30: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments That article might be the best piece on CBR I've read yet. And I say that as one totally biased in favour of everything Ali writes.


message 31: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan (nathandjoe) | 138 comments Glad you are enjoying it, I stumbled over it while doing some CBR research, as she definitely has caught my attention. The article may also be the push I need to read Ali - I lumped her in with writers I suspect I should not have. I think "there but for the" may be my first...


message 32: by Declan (new)

Declan | 42 comments There's a fine appreciation of CBR's work here: http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/b... . But I wish the author hadn't been so determined to stick to the point and had instead wandered off around the paths and tracks of Cabrières-d'Avignon  photo images1_zps7141a987.jpg and forgotten what it was she was there for.


message 34: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments Whenever I open this thread, I'm amused all over again at the progression from "unreadable" to all the excitement further down. 2.5 books in now, I'm willing to say she's one of the very best. Flirts with a tantalizing confusion at points, granted, but too simultaneously playfully engaging and intricately conceptual to ignore.


message 35: by Nate D (last edited Aug 25, 2013 11:54AM) (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments Incidentally the first time I ever heard CBR mentioned was not here, but in a favorite article about Anna Kavan (very buried a couple years ago, now quite reanimated). The author of the article was noting how more readily ignored female experimentalists are, setting Brooke-Rose's grammatical restrictions in the 60s against much better-recognized oulipo work that actually came later. Included was the following quote, direct from CBR herself:

While any experiment with the language or the conventions of the novel is at first automatically overlooked, this applies much more consistently and durably to a woman experimenter than to a man. A man experimenter, once he does attract attention, is innovative, bold, original, and so on, in articles that show a knowledge of development from precedents; a woman experimenter is just, well, an experimenter, the term often slightly perjorative, without further exploration. Indeed, any noticed or imagined development from precedents is mentioned only for dismissal as imitation.



message 36: by Nate D (last edited Aug 29, 2013 06:45AM) (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments If needed, here're all the non-novels in the CBR bibliography. Including, intriguingly, a book of stories:

Gold (1955) poetry
A Grammar of Metaphor (1958) criticism
The Dear Deceit (1960) novel
Go When You See the Green Man Walking (1970) stories
A ZBC of Ezra Pound (1971) criticism
A Structural Analysis of Pound's Usura Canto: Jakobson's Method Extended and Applied to Free Verse (1976) criticism
A Rhetoric of the Unreal: Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic (1981) criticism
Stories, Theories, and Things (1991) literary theory
Poems, Letters, Drawings (2000)
Invisible Author: Last Essays (2002)


message 37: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments The Harlan Ellison book is a mistake. It's a Wiki fluff, she has nothing to do with it. Who is man enough to read A Structural Analysis of Pound's Usura Canto: Jakobson's Method Extended and Applied to Free Verse? Nathan? Come on, I challenge you, noble warrior.


message 38: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "I challenge you, noble warrior. "

Well, yes, but as much as that name "Jakobson" makes some kind of response respond, I've only currently got here ZBC at hand; and am curious about it mostly because I'm not at all curious about Pound, but why not arrive at Pound via CBR? And there's that eye-glaze phenomenon which is always a pleasure which accompanies the exercise of reading.


message 39: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments Odd, I even tried to verify the Harlan Ellison book on other book sites, and found it to be real. But presumably written by a different CBR, or else simply misattributed? Strange.


message 40: by Steve (new)

Steve | 31 comments "I wanna know what it is that she is saying, not what someone else would like her to have said."

This is going on my wall...

In any case, I've started Textermination and it's a gas (pre-1970 terminology from a Ph.D.).


message 41: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Rare recording unearthed by Lady Verbi of Christine in conversation with A.S. Byatt.

http://sounds.bl.uk/Arts-literature-a...


message 42: by Nate D (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) | 354 comments I got you some things, CBR thread.




Cover and author photo from the Norton first (only?) American edition, 1958.


message 43: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Like'd.


message 44: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Sensational. I have a similar young CBR pic, will upload later . . .


message 45: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King | 28 comments Fantastic thread!


message 46: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Anyone have any sights on CBR's The Middlemen: A Satire? MJ? I see you've been mousing around behind the librarian-scenes... do you have a hook in this one yet?


message 47: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) | 209 comments Scrib has a copy but a scan has yet to materialise me-wards. Her verdict is not favourable in comparison to the other early werks.


message 48: by Gregsamsa (new)

Gregsamsa | 94 comments MJ wrote: "Who is man enough to read A Structural Analysis of Pound's Usura Canto: Jakobson's Method Extended and Applied to Free Verse?"

If my librarian can interlib-borrow this, I'll give it a shot since I still have a soft spot for those mad-sciency structuralists and Roman used to be a fave (I assume it's Roman?), but ohh ho ho ohhhh how I loathe Pound.

But when she finally emerges from buried status and achieves broader acclaim, it would be funny to be able to state this title as the first of CBR's books I ever read, woodenit?

A perverse plus is the suspicion that Pound himself would mightily disapprove of Jakobson, *snicker*.


message 49: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments MJ wrote: "Scrib has a copy but a scan has yet to materialise me-wards. Her verdict is not favourable in comparison to the other early werks."

Maybe we can arm-twist her into blurbing something onto that terribly lonely looking page.


message 50: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King | 28 comments I love the writing style of the pair of you and I love CBR...Thanks to Scribble of course.


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