The latest Bolaño, reviewed at M&L.
In one of the monologues that make up the long middle section of Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, the eccentric architect Quim Font attempts a taxonomy of reading. There are books, he tells us, for when you’re happy and when you’re sad, for when you’re bored and when you’re calm. There are books for the mature, imagined as staid, proper men who frequent novels and literary magazines (“a cool-headed, mature, educated man leading a more or less healthy life”). And then there are the opposite, books for the puerile, which are not . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I don’t really think poetry written for print works in the electronic format. You can make an argument that there isn’t a whole lot of loss when prose is digitized, but with poetry that argument is a lot harder to defend. (Of course, nothing should stop poets from writing poetry that plays with the limitations/enhancements of electronic media, and that would suck if it were to be printed out.)
That said, bless them for trying this hard to make poetry work on e-readers.
“The first impression you have of a poem is looking at the shape on . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Here it is. If you’re the kind that doesn’t like to just jump into things, full TOC after the jump.
Continue reading Issue 37 of The Quarterly Conversation
I wonder if, given the minuscule amount of translated books published each year, but the relative regularity of a bestseller every year or so, if translations aren’t actually more likely to be bestsellers than native lit.
Cool idea. Edouard Levé would have been a fantastic participant.
A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of . . . continue reading, and add your comments
You all should really be reading Juan Jose Saer (if you’re not already). His books have a very particular feel . . . I could spend a long time trying to describe it exactly. It’s light but heavy, metaphysical, quotidian, Argentine, provincial, cosmopolitan.
Anyway, read the two-part interview between Jeremy Davies and Saer-translator Steve Dolph.
Read them: The Witness, La Grande, Scars . . .
The doubt begins with the prose style. On the formal level, the narration in many of his novels, especially after Glosa, is hesitant, unsure. There’s quite a bit . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Jill Schoolman, interviewed at BOMB. Hope everybody reading this in the Bay Area will come out to the event with Scholastique Mukasonga at City Lights on the 18th. Jill will be there.
BD It’s vital to read literature from around the world. For those of us striving to find more international literature, which books would you recommend or deem unmissable?
JS Oh, there are so so many books that I feel close to. For starters, the novels by Céline and Ondaatje and Krasznahorkai and Nabokov, Hrabal, Rulfo, Elias Khoury and Magdalena Tulli; and stories by Jergović, . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Okay, I know it’s wrong to respond to clickbait, but—the thing that pisses me off about this is that it’s somehow a humblebrag to say you were inspired by a great book of literature. Because we know that the only reason someone would bother finishing a book like Infinite Jest, much less try to share the excitement of reading it with others, is out of a stuffy desire to impress someone else with your intellectual might.
It never seems to cross Alexis Kleinman’s mind that people read great literature because . . . to them that’s more fun . . . continue reading, and add your comments
It’s kind of amazing that the NYRB published Frederick Seidel’s lazy review of The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner, one of last year’s “it books.” Not that I think Seidel is so far off with a lot of what he says, but he clearly couldn’t be bothered to write anything that attempted to be persuasive, instead just rattling off a series of boorish assertions. Seriously, this is borderline comical:
It doesn’t convince.
The book keeps being entertaining (except for the really bad bits) and keeps being unconvincing.
They are not very convincing motorcycles . . .
. . . . . continue reading, and add your comments
A few months ago when Knausgaard fever was sweeping these States, I saw some people promulgating the argument that if a woman had done what Knausgaard did, no one would have cared. Or even worse, she would be derided as self-indulgent and banal.
To my ears that argument has always had a bullshitty ring to it for various reasons, and, well, now I think we have the closest thing possible to proof that it’s wrong. The Italian author Elena Ferrante (a pseudonym) is beginning to catch on big time in the States (see her in The New . . . continue reading, and add your comments