Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Steven Wells – Princess Diana is exhumed, re-animated and killed again on a weekly basis in order to keep the public docile with grief

Image
Steven Wells, Tits Out Teenage Terror Totty (Attack! Books, 1999)

Avant-Pulp & Social Surrealism:
Novel writing isn’t an "art form". It’s typing on drugs.

«He sets out his stall in the opening pages, describing an England where Princess Diana is exhumed, re-animated and killed again on a weekly basis in order to keep the public docile with grief. He then overturns his stall by revealing this to be merely the drug-induced fantasy of Jello Cobain, publisher of a whole string of hyper-pulp novels such as the one we're about to read. From that point on there's a vague semblance of a plot, involving assorted revolutionary acts perpetrated by the members of Karen Skull's Anti-Crap Jihad: but it's established fairly quickly that this is just an excuse for Wells to line up everything and everyone he hates, so that he can kick, blast and sodomise the shit out of it.
If you're familiar with Wells' journalism, then TTTT is the same only more so, without the requ…

Can Xue – Quicksand Mirrorbox: What happens if you use your own spear against your own shield?

Image
Can Xue, The Last Lover, Trans.by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen. Yale Margellos, 2014.

The best descriptor for Can Xue’s latest novel, The Last Lover, is that it is unlike, well, anything else. The Beijing-based author calls her fiction “soul literature.” It probably sounds audacious; it’s more audacious than it sounds. Nor does she shy away from what the term implies about the stakes of the numerous short stories and several novels she has published since the 1980s. Her “stereoscopic stories” are not just one more postmodernist innovation in narrative; the cognitive adjustment they require from readers, she says in a 2010 interview, is nothing short of an epistemological revolution: “Every reader of modernist literature,” if the reader is qualified, “must do what Copernicus did in his time, which is turn one’s direction of thinking around by looking for the structure of time and space in one’s soul when you are reading a work. Only in this way can you enter into the work and g…