infraground literature (mostly), musikk, philms and filosofy
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Kassten Alonso - a dystopian fable of science, rebellion, humankind’s inhumanity, and the struggle for identity and survival in a post-human world
Kassten Alonso, The Pet Thief, Fiction Collective 2, 2013.
The Pet Thief is a dystopian fable of science,
rebellion, humankind’s inhumanity, and the struggle for identity and
survival in a post-human world.
the government, and venture capitalists conspire to hybridize humans
with animals—cats, specifically—for organ harvesting, drug testing, and
military applications, the experiment is an irredeemable failure,
producing human-like beings with uncanny abilities who are nonetheless
fundamentally defective. Oboy and his mentor/tormentor
Freda are two wayward hybrids, “cat people,” who have escaped
with others to the depths of a rundown European city being leveled for
reconstruction. They are members of a street gang led by an ominous
leader called Swan.
Oboy is unable to think or speak
except in mimicry, but he is a physical savant, which serves Freda’s
mission. Enraged at what has been done to her, Freda wants to “rescue”
every pet she can. When Oboy returns with a human baby after his first
solo outing, their world and the truths of their existence come
“Just as the characters found in The Pet Thief are deranged biological recombinants, so is the formidable form of this dystopic novel: worsted, unzipped, reraveled, and hooked. Kassten Alonso frack’s the mother tongue. This book is one mean meaning.”—Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter
Kassten Alonso, Core: A Romance, Hawthorne Books, 2005.
This intense and compact novel crackles with obsession, betrayal, and
madness, and is an Oregon Book Award Finalist for fiction 2005. As the
narrator becomes fixated on his best friend’s girlfriend his precarious
hold on sanity rapidly deteriorates into delusion and violence. This
story can be read as the classic myth of Hades and Persephone (Core)
rewritten for a twenty-first century audience as well as a dark,
foreboding tale of unrequited love and loneliness. Alonso skillfully
uses language to imitate memory and psychosis putting the reader
squarely inside the narrator’s head. In addition, deliberate misuse of
standard punctuation blurs the distinction between the narrator’s
internal and external worlds. A sense of alienation and Faulknerian
grotesquerie permeate this landscape where desire is borne in the bloom
of a daffodil and sanity lies toppled like an applecart in the mud.
Kassten Alonso’s first novel Core: A Romance was an Oregon Book Awards finalist in 2005. He has previously published in the Portland Mercury, Portland Monthly, and The Oregonian, and was a contributor to Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon's Sesquicentennial Anthology, A Merging of Past and Present Oregon Voices and Stories. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, author Monica Drake, and daughter, Mavis.
Behold: a body, mind, and voice situated in place, in time and space—moving, moved, and immovable. Steven Seidenberg’s SITU is a hesitant unfolding of demise, a text occupying the interstices between diegesis, philosophy, and poetry. The narrative’s tension finds form in an indeterminate subject’s relationship with a bench: an anguished site of rest and motion. Proving and parodying an epistemology of volition, the unstable narrator imbues their wildly despairing circumlocutions with great poetic urgency. This “thinking thinking” moves in and out of the thinking body it observes, displaying a devastating portrait of the paradoxes at the basis of all willful or inadvertent representation. SITU is a dramatic intensification of Seidenberg’s career-long blurring of fiction, poetry, and philosophy—an accomplishment recalling the literary contributions of Blanchot, Bernhard, and pre-impasse Beckett.
Leon Forrest, The Bloodworth Orphans, University Of Chicago Press, 2001.
Leon Forrest, acclaimed author of Divine Days, uses a remarkable verbal intensity to evoke human tragedy, injustice, and spirituality in his writing. As Toni Morrison has said, "All of Forrest's novels explore the complex legacy of Afro-Americans. Like an insistent tide this history . . . swells and recalls America's past. . . . Brooding, hilarious, acerbic and profoundly valued life has no more astute observer than Leon Forrest." All of that is on display here in a novel that give readers a breathtaking view of the human experience, filled with humor and pathos.
If you plow through (or skip over) Forrest's unreadably dense, ten-page ""List of Characters,"" you'll reach the slightly less convoluted now-and-flashback story of ""Mother-Witness"" Rachel Flowers, the children she bore, the children she adopted, and the orphans and bastards around them-…
Norman Levine, I Don't Want to Know Anyone Too Well, Biblioasis 2017.
Norman Levine's stories, so spare and compassionate and elegant and funny, so touching, sad, fantastic and unforgettable, rank alongside the best published in this country. Celebrated abroad, his work was largely unknown in Canada, except among the generations of writers he influenced, from André Alexis and Cynthia Flood to Lisa Moore and Michael Winter, who passed his work among themselves and learned much of their craft from studying Levine's own. His work long out of print, his entire output of short stories are collected here together for the first time, to be discovered by a new generation of Canadian readers and writers.
Norman Levine was a permanent outsider, by temperament and by choice — as Polish born immigrant, as resident alien, as writer, as Jew — and he observed life from the margins with an unsentimental eye. Raised in Ottawa after immigrating, Levine served in the Royal Air Force during t…