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Showing posts from June, 2015

Louis-René des Forêts - A series of connected, loosely chronological, imagistic reflections that form an emotional history, Ostinato is neither poetry nor prose. Rather, it is a kind of antibiography, in which the facts of this life are less important than the style in which they are rendered. What is there to tell that matters? Neither history, nor memory, but emotions. It is not the events that make this work possible to understand but the work that gives the life its form and its music

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Louis-René des Forêts, Ostinato, Trans. by Mary Ann Caws, Bison Books, 2002.       read it at Google Books



Written over an extended period, Ostinato is the long-awaited autobiography of Louis-René des Forêts, one of France's most beloved writers. A few sections of this remarkable text have been published in fragments over the years, and then, with some reluctance on the part of the author, as a series of fragments in France in 1997.
The ostinato-a persistently repeated musical figure or rhythm-is a continual, stubborn, and essential element of certain musical pieces and of the life that emerges in this book. A series of connected, loosely chronological, imagistic reflections that form an emotional history, Ostinato is neither poetry nor prose. Rather, it is a kind of antibiography, in which the facts of this life are less important than the style in which they are rendered. What is there to tell that matters? Neither history, nor memory, but emotions. It is not the events that mak…

Alisa Ganieva portrays the influence of political intolerance and religious violence in the lives of people forced to choose between evils. She tells an excellent story about the rise of Islam, the fate of the republics in post-Soviet Russia and the traditions of a people little known in the West

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Alisa Ganieva, The Mountain and the Wall, Trans. by Carol Apollonio, Deep Vellum, 2015.

"Never before has Russian literature produced such an honest and complete picture of today's Caucasus."—Kommersant Weekend(Russia)

"The Mountain and the Wall is a major event in contemporary Russian literature."—Ulrich M. Schmid

This remarkable debut novel by a unique young Russian voice portrays the influence of political intolerance and religious violence in the lives of people forced to choose between evils.
The Mountain and the Wall focuses on Shamil, a young local reporter in Makhachkala, and his reactions, or lack thereof, to rumors that the Russian government is building a wall to cut off the Muslim provinces of the Caucasus from the rest of Russia. As unrest spreads and the tension builds, Shamil's life is turned upside down, and he can no longer afford to ignore the violence surrounding him.
With a fine sense for mounting catastrophe, Alisa Ganieva tells the stor…

Lauren Ireland - Throughout the book, Ireland balances concerns with mortality, sadness, and other philosophical concepts with the celebration of hip-hop slang, poetic language, and irreverent juxtaposition. At her best, Ireland is able to draw on both snarky humor and genuine pathos at the same time;

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Lauren Ireland, Dear Lil Wayne, Magic Helicopter Press, 2014.

EXCERPTS: July 14 and July 18 2010 in NOÖ JournalApril 1 2011 in PaperOctober 13 2010 in Flavorwire

Bawling and ballsy, these postcard poems by Lauren Ireland can see Rikers from their fire escape. They want to go down in history as a secret horror. Lil Wayne: they like your new muscles. Everybody else: you know how even leaving a place you hate is sad? These poems report the sugar-flavored blood like almost everyone is lonely, almost no one's amazing, confessing to Weezy that all spirit animals are bullshit and theirs is a giant knife.

Dear Lil Wayne,
  I have hot ideas. I’m all in. This week I had a scary dream. Furst woke me up and told me everything is okay. Everything is. Everyone’s winning at Uno. Everyone’s in love. I am high on drugs and also on being a person. There is such a thing as hot tracks. I have heard you lay them, in other dreams. Lil Wayne, I like your new muscles. I like not being dead. Don’t you? I…

Justin Barton - A work of philosophy, an account of experiences, and a biography of a year, it is simultaneously a challenging cultural analysis, drawing on novels, songs and films. It argues for lucidity over reason, becomings over conventional gender and familialism, groups over state politics, and for an escape to wider realities in place of the delusions of religion

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Justin Barton, Hidden Valleys: Haunted by the Future, Zero Books, 2015.

scanshifts.blogspot.com/



The future is alongside us, sometimes closer, sometimes further away.
Hidden Valleys starts from the perception that the human world is an eerie place, particularly in relation to its stories and dreams. It also starts from events that took place in North Yorkshire, in 1978. A work of philosophy, an account of experiences, and a biography of a year, it is simultaneously a challenging cultural analysis, drawing on novels, songs and films. It argues for lucidity over reason, becomings over conventional gender and familialism, groups over state politics, and for an escape to wider realities in place of the delusions of religion. Most centrally it breaks open a view of a futural dimension that coexists with the present, and which intrinsically involves a heightened awareness and evaluation of the planet, of women, and of the abstract. Inseparably it is also a detective investigation into the ca…