Showing posts from September, 2011

Keizo Hino - Had Tokyo's neighborhoods become such dreadful places that it was only here, on this artificial island, that these children could act out their fantasies?

Keizo Hino, Isle of Dreams, Trans. by Charles de Wolf, Dalkey Archive Press, 2010.

"Though it has a lovely name, the real "Isle of Dreams" is a hunk of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay where the city dumps its garbage... and yet, Shozo Saka, a middle-aged widower, does indeed find the place beautiful: gravitating more and more, since the death of his wife, toward the Island's massive piles of trash. One day, however, his refuge is invaded by Yoko, a mysterious woman in black, who visits the Isle on her motorcycle for no other reason than to treat it as her own private obstacle course. Soon Yoko has lured Saka away from his garbage-paradise, leading him back into a Tokyo far less benign than the things it's thrown away. Acclaimed on its first publication, Isle of Dreams is a sinister satire on urban decay."

"In this novel, the metropolis of Tokyo is a living creature. Within its inner workings, skyscrapers and massive overpasses alike are born and grow, cont…

Jack Saunders - The Madcap Titan of the Dustbin, The Salvage Archeologist of the Mall Builder Culture, The Swinette-Picker of American Letters, and America's Greatest Living Unpublished Writer, Perhaps the Greatest Unpublished Writer Ever

"Jack Saunders has produced a body of work, his stack, and invented a form to present it in, daily typewriting.

He has published fliers, pamphlets, chapbooks, books, and series of related books himself, through independent presses, and on the worldwide web.
He published his first chapbook, Playing Hurt, in 1976, after writing, and working as a laborer, for five years. His first book-length book, Screed, was published five years later, by Vagabond Press.
He first appeared on the worldwide web, at Out Your Backdoor, in 1996. He has had his own web site since 2000. He published 18 books at The Daily Bugle, 22 books at, and is currently publishing a book a month at The Daily Bulletin. Writing the Great American Novel on the Worldwide Web is part of JACK THE RAVER: THE CREATIVE NONFICTION BYLINED COLUMN NOVEL, his 238th book.
He has not sold a word to New York or Hollywood.
He calls himself, or has been called, The Madcap Titan of the Dustbin, The Salvage Archeol…

Jan Morris - An idiom of the impenetrable. An extraordinary place that never was, but could well be: its enigmas are part of its accuracy

Jan Morris, Hav, New York Review Books Classics, 2011.

"Hav is like no place on earth. Rumored to be the site of Troy, captured during the crusades and recaptured by Saladin, visited by Tolstoy, Hitler, Grace Kelly, and Princess Diana, this Mediterranean city-state is home to several architectural marvels and an annual rooftop race that is a feat of athleticism and insanity. As Jan Morris guides us through the corridors and quarters of Hav, we hear the mingling of Italian, Russian, and Arabic in its markets, delight in its famous snow raspberries, and meet the denizens of its casinos and cafés.
When Morris published Last Letters from Hav in 1985, it was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Here it is joined by Hav of the Myrmidons, a sequel that brings the story up-to-date. Twenty-first-century Hav is nearly unrecognizable. Sanitized and monetized, it is ruled by a group of fanatics who have rewritten its history to reflect their own blinkered view of the past.
Morris’s only nove…