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Showing posts from March, 2012

Mark Leyner - Hyperkinetic shaman, he has invented a language with which to render the insanity and self-referentiality of our contemporary culture

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Mark Leyner, Gone with the Mind, Little, Brown and Co.,2016.                                                                                                   ,

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The blazingly inventive fictional autobiography of Mark Leyner, one of America's "rare, true original voices" - Gary Shteyngart
Dizzyingly brilliant, raucously funny, and painfully honest, GONE WITH THE MIND is the story of Mark Leyner's life, told as only Mark Leyner can tell it. In this utterly unconventional novel-or is it a memoir?-Leyner gives a reading in the food court of a New Jersey shopping mall. The "audience" consists of Mark's mother and some stray Panda Express employees, who ask a handful of questions. The action takes place entirely at the food court, but the territory covered in these pages has no bounds.
A joyride of autobiography, cultural critique, DIY philosophy, biopolitics, video games, demagoguery, and the most intimate confessions, GONE WITH THE MIND is both a soul…

Kathleen Ossip's poems occur in the charged space between journal entry, social history, philosophical treatise and dream: Do we want to understand poems, or do we want poems that understand us?

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Kathleen Ossip, The Cold War, Sarabande Books, 2012.

"The Cold War, Kathleen Ossip's second collection of poetry, is a work of startling breadth and wit. From the powerful drama and formal boldness of "The Status Seekers" to the post 9/11 trauma of "Document:" to the various theories of criticism in "The Nervousness of Yvor Winters," Ossip takes up the crazed threads of modern experience and all its contradictions. Each poem, each new approach is an attempt to extract something concrete from an era not yet past—a truly unique thought, a new theme, a personal memory. Yet as the poet probes and wonders, she gradually reveals another narrative, built on strangled emotion and subdued lyricism. "We're sliding aren't we" she remarks. The Cold War is jagged and thought-provoking. It questions the origins and premises of contemporary American culture."

The history it weaves—that of the second half of the twentieth century, a histor…

Bruno Jasieński - An exquisite example of literary Futurism and Catastrophism, the novel presents a filthy, degenerated world where factories and machines have replaced the human and economic relationships have turned just about everyone into a prostitute

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Bruno Jasieński, I Burn Paris, Trans. by Soren A. Gauger & Marcin Piekoszewski, Twisted Spoon Press, 2012.


"I Burn Paris has remained one of Poland's most uncomfortable masterstrokes of literature since its initial and controversial serialization by Henri Barbusse in 1928 in L'Humanité (for which Jasienski was deported for disseminating subversive literature). It tells the story of a disgruntled factory worker who, finding himself on the streets, takes the opportunity to poison Paris's water supply. With the deaths piling up, we encounter Chinese communists, rabbis, disillusioned scientists, embittered Russian émigrés, French communards and royalists, American millionaires and a host of others as the city sections off into ethnic enclaves and everyone plots their route of escape. At the heart of the cosmopolitan city is a deep-rooted xenophobia and hatred — the one thread that binds all these groups together. As Paris is brought to ruin, Jasienski issues a rallyin…

Marosa di Giorgio locks the natural and supernatural in a perilous dance, balancing humor and violence, beauty and danger, simple childhood memory and complex domestic drama

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Marosa di Giorgio, The History of Violets, Trans. by Jeannine Marie Pitas, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010.


"THE HISTORY OF VIOLETS is a collection of poems by Marosa di Giorgio, one of the most prominent Uruguayan poets of the twentieth century. Her unusual style, which attempts to recapture the magic of childhood while creating a new world populated by gods, angels, monsters, and the sublime presence of nature, has attracted much critical attention in Latin America. While some critics have categorized her as a surrealist, she herself denied membership in any literary movement or school. Although she was relatively unknown outside the Southern Cone, she is now becoming more and more widely read throughout Latin America and Europe."

"Originally published in 1965, The History of Violets (Historial de las violetas) twists the familiar face of a family farm, populating the fields and grounds with gods, monsters, and a whole "foamy army" of extras. Di Giorgio—whom Kent…