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Showing posts from February, 2017

Michel Leiris pursues his heroine, Aurora, through a visionary landscape shot through with catastrophes — and his lucid yet baroque language, with its incredible descriptions and ever more extravagant metaphors, is only just able to keep pace.

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Michel Leiris, Aurora and Cardinal Point,Trans. by Anna Warby, Terry Hale. Introduced by Anna Warby. Atlas Press, 2014. [1925.]



This volume collects two classics of Surrealist fiction, both long out of print, by the writer and ethnographer Michel Leiris (1901–1990). Close to Georges Bataille, Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre and Francis Bacon, and a director of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, Leiris was a pivotal figure in postwar France. He wrote important works in the fields of ethnology and anthropology, as well as a sequence of autobiographical works regarded as classics of modern French literature (most famously Manhood [1939]). "There is scarcely a literary opus today that can compare in authenticity and stature to that of Michel Leiris," Maurice Nadeau wrote of him. In Aurora, Leiris pursues his eponymous heroine through a visionary landscape shot through with catastrophe. His lucid yet baroque language, with its rich descriptions and ever more extravagant metaphors, is only …

Nat Baldwin - The blades, the rust, the dirt, the mouth, the meat, the blood, the sun, the glass, the skin, the word, the lake, the graves; it's a pristine and elemental form of fiction that Nat Baldwin renders, distilling language and image to its most primal animation

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Nat Baldwin, The Red Barn, Calamari Archive, Ink., 2017.








excerpts:
Fanzine
The Spectacle
Alice Blue
Timber 
Deluge
Pank
Sleepingfish



"In THE RED BARN, Nat Baldwin decomposes narrative's safe spaces. The symbols in the nightmare landscape are nothing other than themselves. Nails. Boards. Tubs. Chains. Buckets. Teeth. A story of boys is stripped sentence by sentence. What's left is the brutal music of language laid bare."—Joanna Ruocco



"The blades, the rust, the dirt, the mouth, the meat, the blood, the sun, the glass, the skin, the word, the lake, the graves; it's a pristine and elemental form of fiction that Nat Baldwin renders, distilling language and image to its most primal animation. Like seeing slides of color pass before your face in darkness. Like remembering how to read." —Blake Butler

Jane Wong - Animal, vegetable, mineral, mothers, grandmothers, continents, bugs and blood and guts—the poems in Overpour are bodies of vibrant and vibrating matter that constellate across biography, family history, and geography

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Jane Wong, Overpour, Action Books, 2016.
janewong.tumblr.com/




Jane Wong’s first collection makes a brilliant entrance. Animal, vegetable, mineral, mothers, grandmothers, continents, bugs and blood and guts—the poems in Overpour are bodies of vibrant and vibrating matter that constellate across biography, family history, and geography. They see widely and feel deeply and subtly; they tumble out with a wondrous, now-reverent, now-frenetic, ever-keen sense of the sense-memories that carry us.




“Jane Wong’s powerful first book weaves together seemingly disparate topics such as war and child’s play, language and exile, debt, animals and nature. By doing so, Wong creates a space between—for the reader to enter. At the same time, by creating this space, she makes a space for possibility… Montage-like, the poems are also a kind of philosophy by which I mean they are curious. They ask questions of the world. Not afraid of being earnest, Wong’s voice is both playful and cerebral, weaving in and o…

Soren Melville - It begins with Laura, a barren modern gothic, a vampire story without any vampires, a mystery of misdiagnoses and misgendering in the bleakness of polar night. It ends with Black Sands, a love story lost in time

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Soren Melville, S/N/D, Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2017.


excerpt


Soren Melville’s debut is a novella and a novel. It begins with Laura, a barren modern gothic, a vampire story without any vampires, a mystery of misdiagnoses and misgendering in the bleakness of polar night. It ends with Black Sands, a love story lost in time between two people who keep dying and coming back to life. Together they are S/N/D, a world of gentle surrealism and emotional wastelands haunted by undeath and the ever returning tide.




“S/N/D is beautiful in its calm. Divvied up into two separate pieces the stories work together to harp upon similar themes. Longing is a prominent theme. The loss of a something pined for and never gotten hurts. People go through it all of the time no matter what the age or setting. Each story works hard to avoid any specific reference to time. Fragments of modernity come through (puffy jackets, glitter, and cars) yet these are mere adornments. Put into a vacuum the stories exist in ano…

Orikuchi Shinobu - At once a work of innovative fiction, written in an evocative and poetic style, as well as a remarkably astute recreation of the natural, mental and spiritual world of Japan’s ancient civilization

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Orikuchi Shinobu, The Book of the Dead, Trans. by Jeffrey Angles, University Of Minnesota Press, 2017.


excerpt(Granta)


First published in 1939 and extensively revised in 1943, The Book of the Dead, loosely inspired by the tale of Isis and Osiris from ancient Egypt, is a sweeping historical romance that tells a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth-century Japan. Its author, Orikuchi Shinobu, was a well-received novelist, distinguished poet, and an esteemed scholar. He is often considered one of the fathers of Japanese folklore studies, and The Book of the Dead is without a doubt the most important novel of Orikuchi’s career—and it is a book like no other.
Here, for the first time, is the complete English translation of Orikuchi’s masterwork, whose vast influence is evidenced by multiple critical studies dedicated to it and by its many adaptations, which include an animated film and a popular manga. This translation features an introduction by award-winning tran…

Ludic Dreaming - Dreams do not distort reality, so much as they are the reality of that distortion. Ludic Dreaming puts dreams in contact with electronic sounds, and digital devices more generally, in order to trace out the exotic topology of our post-everything society

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Ludic Dreaming: How to Listen Away from Contemporary Technoculture, by David Cecchetto, Marc Couroux, Ted Hiebert, Eldritch Priest,Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.


read it at Google Books


Ludic Dreaming uses (sometimes fictional) dreams as a method for examining sound and contemporary technoculture's esoteric exchanges, refusing both the strictures of visually dominated logic and the celebratory tone that so often characterizes the “sonic turn.” Instead, through a series of eight quasi-analytical essays on the condition of listening, the book forwards a robust engagement with sounds (human and nonhuman alike) that leverages particularity in its full, radical singularity: what is a dream, after all, if not an incipient physics that isn't held to the scientific demand for repeatability? Thus, these studies declare their challenge to the conventions of argumentation and situate themselves at a threshold between theory and fiction, one that encourages reader and writer alike to make later…

Louis Levy - Combining elements of the serial film, detective story and gothic horror novel, Kzradock is a surreal foray into psychoanalytic mysticism.

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Louis Levy, Kzradock the Onion Man and the Spring-Fresh Methuselah: From the Notes of Dr. Renard de Montpensier, Wakefield Press, 2017. 


read it at Google Books


Originally published in Danish in 1910, Kzradock the Onion Man and the Spring-Fresh Methuselah is a fevered pulp novel that reads like nothing else of its time: an anomaly within the tradition of the Danish novel, and one that makes for a startlingly modern read to this day. Combining elements of the serial film, detective story and gothic horror novel, Kzradock is a surreal foray into psychoanalytic mysticism.
Opening in a Parisian insane asylum where Dr. Renard de Montpensier is conducting hypnotic séances with the titular Onion Man, the novel escalates quickly with the introduction of battling detectives, murders and a puma in a hallucinating movie theater before shifting to the chalk cliffs of Brighton. It is there that the narrator must confront a ghost child, a scalped detective, a skeleton, a deaf-mute dog and a manipula…

Michel de Ghelderode - By turns mystical, macabre and whimsically humorous, and set in the unsettled atmosphere of Brussels, Ostend, Bruges and London, Spells conjures up an uncanny realm of angels, demons, masks, effigies and apparitions, a twilit, oppressed world of diseased gardens, dusty wax mannequins and sinister relics

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Michel de Ghelderode, Spells, Trans. by George MacLennon, Wakefield Press, 2017.

Hitherto unavailable in English, Spells, by the Belgian dramatist Michel de Ghelderode, ranks among the 20th century’s most noteworthy collections of fantastic tales. Like Ghelderode’s plays, the stories are marked by a powerful imagination and a keen sense of the grotesque, but in these the author speaks to us still more directly. Written at a time of illness and isolation, and conceived as a fresh start, Spells was Ghelderode’s last major creative work, and he claimed it as his most personal and deeply felt one: a set of written spells through which his fears, paranoia and nostalgia found concrete form.By turns mystical, macabre and whimsically humorous, and set in the unsettled atmosphere of Brussels, Ostend, Bruges and London, Spells conjures up an uncanny realm of angels, demons, masks, effigies and apparitions, a twilit, oppressed world of diseased gardens, dusty wax mannequins and sinister relics.Co…