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Showing posts from April, 2010

Wolfgang Bauer - Microscopic schoolgirls, transvestite nuns, incompetent detectives, two ultimately bad poets, and a 3-eyed sailor inhabiting 2 bodies

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Wolfgang Bauer, The Feverhead, Trans. by Malcolm Green (Atlas Press, 1993)

"Wolfgang Bauer is best known in his native Austria as a playwright and director, and as the author of a single, oft-reprinted novel: The Feverhead, written in 1966.
The Feverhead is written in the form of letters between a couple of not-all-that-bright Austrians. Their correspondence is doomed to failure, nearly every letter crosses in the post and yet they succeed in their quest: the search for a perfect thermometer (and a serial murderer). In fact they both independently discover the secret of the universe in a remote spot thousands of miles from their intended (and different) destinations.Bauer’s comedy of errors is ennacted by an unusual cast that includes microscopic schoolgirls, ambigously sexed nuns, incompetent detectives, two ultimately bad poets, living steam engines and a venerable three-eyed sea-captain whose two bodies remain exactly 3.5 metres apart, not to mention: ULF."

"One of the …

Geraldine Kim - Constant notebook, humming with graffiti and gossip, bad jokes, great jokes, bodily functions, juvenile glosses, sudden sadnesses

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Geraldine Kim, Povel (Fence Magazine, 2005)

"Geraldine Kim, a young, first-generation Korean-American girl born into the most modern of all situations: the end of the 20th century in a small town in New England, from which she launches herself through venues urban and cerebral, academic and commercial. The book-length poem's stream of consciousness is just that: a stream, untrained and unleashed. Its form, however, is strictly, if arbitrarily regulated by another or our most modern conveniences: the "centered" stanza, which provides not only a container for the author's thinking, saying, and doing, but also a means of signification: This is a poem-novel - or "povel" - by virtue of its self-reliance and its bold marking of territory. Povel is, in the author's own words: "a successful merging between confessional verse poetry and the novel" - hence the coinage of its title. Povel is also a radical entry in the annals of the several genres. T…

Robert Walser - “A clairvoyant of the small”, the single most underrated writer of the 20th century: The gait of his language is quieter than a kitten

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Robert Walser, Selected Stories, Trans. By Christopher Middleton (New York Review of Books, 2002)


One should never lose the natural ground beneath one’s feet while dreaming, especially about people, for otherwise one soon arrives at the point of making one’s characters utter words like: ‘Go, kill yourself’ - Robert Walser

"How to place the mysterious Swiss writer Robert Walser, a humble genius who possessed one of the most elusive and surprising sensibilities in modern literature? Walser is many things: a Paul Klee in words, maker of droll, whimsical, tender, and heartbreaking verbal artifacts; an inspiration to such very different writers as Kafka and W.G. Sebald; an amalgam, as Susan Sontag suggests in her preface to this volume, of Stevie Smith and Samuel Beckett.
This collection gathers forty-two of Walser's stories. Encompassing everything from journal entries, notes on literature, and biographical sketches to anecdotes, fables, and visions, it is an ideal introduction to…