I have my doubts about the validity of science like this, but maybe at least an interesting novel will come out of it.
Over the past two weeks, Mr. Grunberg has spent several hours a day writing his novella, while a battery of sensors and cameras tracked his brain waves, heart rate, galvanic skin response (an electrical measure of emotional arousal) and facial expressions. Next fall, when the book is published, some 50 ordinary people in the Netherlands will read it under similarly controlled circumstances, sensors and all.
Researchers will then crunch the data in the hope of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Today’s Washington Post carries my review of Seiobo There Below by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. What can I say? This is one of the most amazing, most important, most notable books to have been published in 2013. Full stop.
I kinda feel like people are reading this book in the wrong way. In the reviews of Seiobo I’m seeing a lot of hell, damnation, apocalypse, etc. Now, of course, this is Krasznahorkai, so those aspects are in evidence, but I really don’t think this is what Seiobo is about, at least not in the way that Satantango, The Melancholy . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Support a great nonprofit and help yourself out.
Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years celebrates the first decade of Words without Borders. Contributors include Kader Abdolah, Adolfo Albertazzi, Justyna Bargielska, Lúcia Bettencourt, Carmen Boullosa, Horacio Castillo, Ismat Chughtai, Vijay Dan Detha, André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Louis de Paor, Nicholas Dickner, Ernest Farrés, Gabriella Ghermandi, Marek Huberath, Akinwumi Isola, Etik Juwita, Ilya Kaminsky, Rivka Keren, Nomura Kiwao, Fatos Lubonja, Leila Marouane, Mohammad Hussain Mohammadi, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Ambar Past, Tomaž Šalamun, Teresa Solana, Andrés Felipe Solano, Abdellah Taïa, Goli Taraghi, Jyrki Vainonen, Lawrence Venuti, Najem . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I think Tim Parks may need a little break from blogging.
The question arises: Is all locution inevitably circumlocution (as Beckett tended to think), and will the West perhaps slowly and voluptuously choke itself in a mounting tangle of red tape, meantime entertaining itself to death with a mountain of literature that describes and charmingly castigates the whole scandalous process? Wouldn’t it be strange, in the end, if there were not a continuity of vocation between these two major facets of the same culture? Here am I, after all, writing about other people writing about things, and with . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Here it is, unveiled in an interview between Steve Moore and Jeff Bursey in Music & Literature. Need any more be said?
JB: When you found those first works, did life open up in some Romantic way? Did life suddenly make philosophical sense?
SM: Oh sure, which I’m guessing is the case for most young readers. Novels unveiled new worlds and attitudes, not only the countercultural novels mentioned above but the ultra-sophisticated world of Proust (whom I read while still an undergraduate), the eldritch world of H. P. Lovecraft (another writer I discovered because a band had named . . . continue reading, and add your comments
My review of Marías’s latest, at The American Reader. Didn’t like this one as much as some of his previous books.
Still, Mr. Marías should not be expected to out-James James, for he has developed his own form of literature with its own peculiar aims and successes. Indeed, his virtue as a novelist rests not on the architecture of his sentences, but rather on his ability to fashion a prose that, in its anxious, haphazard inelegance, makes palpable the incessant prevaricating endemic to bourgeois neuroticism. His protagonists’ lengthy soliloquies—parsing minutely the advantages and disadvantages to any potential action; . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Maggie Nelson (author of the excellent Bluets) just had her latest book acquired by Graywolf. Great news, & wonderful that Ethan Nosowsky will be editing it.
Major Acquisition News Alert! We’ll be publishing Maggie Nelson’s next book!
From Publisher’s Lunch: Poet, art critic, cultural theorist and author of Bluets and The Art of Cruelty, Maggie Nelson’s THE ARGONAUTS, a hybrid personal account and theoretical exploration of language and art, “good enough” mothering, queer identity, love, sex and family, to Ethan Noswosky at Graywolf, by PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit (World English).
Solid piece on Russian outsider outsider outsider writer Leonid Tsypkin in the current New York Review. Kinda amazing something this good can be in the same issue as that Zadie Smith thing on Knausgaard.
During these years, Tsypkin’s interest in the life and writings of Dostoevsky became obsessive. He would spend many hours in the Professors’ Hall of Moscow’s Lenin Library, studying materials on the writer’s life and work. “Why was I so strangely attracted and enticed by the life of this man who despised me and my kind?,” he would ask in Summer in Baden-Baden. After he . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I’m a big Kobo Abe fan, so I’m intrigued to see The Frontier Within: Essays by Abe Kobo.
From the publisher:
Featuring twelve essays from his prolific career—including “Poetry and Poets (Consciousness and the Unconscious),” written in 1944, and “The Frontier Within, Part II,” written in 1969—this anthology introduces English-speaking readers to Abe Kōbō as critic and intellectual for the first time. Demonstrating the importance of his theoretical work to a broader understanding of his fiction—and a richer portrait of Japan’s postwar imagination—Richard F. Calichman provides an incisive introduction to Abe Kōbō’s achievements and situates his essays . . . continue reading, and add your comments