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Showing posts from April, 2015

Raymond Bock - an original and unsettling portrait of Quebec, from the hinterland to the metropolis, from colonial times to the present, and beyond. Here is a group portrait of the individual lives that together shape a collective history

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Raymond Bock, Atavisms, Trans. by Pablo StraussDalkey Archive Press, 2015.

Atavisms is an original and unsettling portrait of Quebec, from the hinterland to the metropolis, from colonial times to the present, and beyond. These thirteen stories, though not linked in the traditional sense, abound in common threads. Like family traits passed down through the generations, the attitudes and actions of a rich cast of characters reverberate, quietly but deeply, over generations. Here is a group portrait of the individual lives that together shape a collective history. Atavaisms has been shortlisted for the 2014 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature.

“These thirteen ‘histories’—an unlucky number—can be read as individual stories. But they also bear a troubling family resemblance and a collective unity.” —Le Devoir

“Bock’s striking stories traverse Quebec history to reveal the DNA of our collective unease.” —La Presse

Bruce F. Kawin - Brilliantly pitching the aesthetics of novelty against those of repetition, Kawin shows that the connections and rhythm of repetition offer revelations about literature and film, nature and memory, and time and art.

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Bruce F. Kawin, Telling It Again and Again: Repetition in Literature and Film, Dalkey Archive Press, 2015.

How do writers and filmmakers use repetition? It is useful when accenting an idea, but, in this original and thought-provoking book, Bruce F. Kawin argues that it serves a more important function as a manipulator of our sense of time and of the timeless. Brilliantly pitching the aesthetics of novelty against those of repetition, Kawin shows that the connections and rhythm of repetition offer revelations about literature and film, nature and memory, and time and art.

Pedram Navab - disturbing and provocative story of Tess, a third-year medical student whose compulsive desire to feel her patients’ pain leads her to destruct her own body by methods both horrific and creative

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Pedram Navab, Without Anesthesia, Jaded Ibis Press, 2015.“Dear Tess, we cut you up today.”  So ends and begins the disturbing and provocative story of Tess, a third-year medical student whose compulsive desire to feel her patients’ pain leads her to destruct her own body by methods both horrific and creative. In this highly original medical thriller, Tess’s narrative intersects with similarly obsessive characters. As a result, the distinctions between fiction and reality, between art and medicine, are called into question. Without Anesthesia spans time periods and settings — from 1920’s Hollywood to late 1990’s New York — and culminates in an ending that Alfred Hitchcock himself would approve. “Vivid, grotesque and whip-smart.” – Rosalind Galt


Without Anesthesia is an original, sobering, and haunting visceral contemplation of love, anguish, morbidity, obsession, knowing and unknowability, the seen and the felt. The intense desire for intimacy and commune on the part of cha…

DEVOURING THE GREEN anthology of cyborg/eco-poetry questions the increasingly porous border between the world of machines and the world of nature.Organized around a series of questions drawing attention to how the 21st century has complicated our experiences of nature, the body

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DEVOURING THE GREEN: fear of a human planet: a cyborg / eco poetry anthology. Ed. by Sam Witt. Jaded Ibis Press, 2015.
The inspiration for DEVOURING THE GREEN anthology arose from the editor’s and publisher’s own investigations into new technologies and ecological disasters as related to the art of language.
We invited a diversity of writers to submit poems addressing the ecological, technical and spiritual related to these questions relevant to the world today.
Jaded Ibis Press searches for provocative poetry that maintains a thread to the past while exploring concerns related to human sentience in an increasingly non-sentient world. To this end, DEVOURING THE GREEN anthology of cyborg/eco-poetry questions the increasingly porous border between the world of machines and the world of nature.
Organized around a series of questions drawing attention to how the 21st century has complicated our experiences of nature, the body, and human activity, Devouring the Green pushes an…

Patricio Pron - a purposefully fragmented mystery narrative, unconstrained by the conventions of that or any other genre. Told “in whispers and with laughter and with tears,” it is a complex look at the legacy and mandate of social struggle in Argentina

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Patricio Pron, My Fathers' Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel, Trans. by Mara Faye Lethem, Vintage, 2014.story Rhododendron, Tradescantia, Tillandsia, Bromelia


The American debut of one of Granta’s Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists, My Fathers’ Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain is a daring and deeply affecting story of one Argentine family’s buried secrets. When a young writer returns home to visit his dying father, he finds himself drawn into an obsessive search for a local man gone missing. As the truth—not only about his father but an entire generation—comes to light, the narrator is forced to confront the ghosts of Argentina’s dark political past, as well as long-hidden memories about his own family’s history. Powerful and audacious, this semi-autobiographical novel is a thoroughly original story of corruption and responsibility, of history and remembrance, from one of South America’s most important new writers.
Pron’s American debut can best be described as a pur…

Michel Butor - a classic of first-generation French postmodernism, a nouveau roman.Butor weaves bits and pieces from these diverse sources into a collage resembling an abstract painting or a patchwork quilt that by turns is both humorous and quite disturbing

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Michel Butor, Degrees. Trans. by Richard Howard. Dalkey Archive Press, 2005. / Simon and Schuster, 1961.


On Tuesday, October 12, 1954, Pierre Vernier, a teacher in a Paris lycee, begins setting down an account that is to be a complete record of the life lived by himself, his students, and his fellow teachers. He begins by meticulously recording what he already knows of his students, their relationships to one another, and the books they're studying. Then he's forced to enlist his nephew—who's in his class—to report on the private lives of the other boys. To record all reality, he must know all that has passed, is passing, and will pass through his pupils' minds. Degrees is an extraordinary novel exposing one man's obsessive project, the impossibility of its completion, and the damaging effect this obsession has on both Vernier and those who surround him.




It is painful to report as much, especially here at the outset of this review, one of whose ostensible purposes …