The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:


Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

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Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

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Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.


Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


  • A Legacy by Sybille Bedford March 15, 2015
    Sybille Bedford had the benefit—or bad fortune, however you see it—of being born into the German aristocracy in 1911. Her father was a retired lieutenant colonel and art collector from the agrarian south, from a Roman Catholic family in fiscal decline. Her mother came from a wealthy German-Jewish family from Hamburg. A widower from his first marriage, Bedfor […]
  • Reviving Antal Szerb March 15, 2015
    Antal Szerb’s lithe, lively, and wholly endearing fiction is peopled by male dreamers on spiritual journeys of self-discovery. Each one sets out on his respective mini-mission with good intentions but knows from the outset that there are only so many harsh truths he can withstand. In this respect, all Szerb’s protagonists seem to have heeded the advice of Gr […]
  • 39 Africans Walk into a Bar March 15, 2015
    New anthologies of African fiction seem to materialize virtually every year, if not more often in recent years. When presented with the physical fact of yet another new anthology of African fiction, the immediate question, one which I was asked when I pressed the warm, bound pages of the Africa39 anthology into the even warmer hands of a new acquaintance, wa […]
  • The Country Road by Regina Ullmann March 15, 2015
    This collection of short stories, her first to appear in English, counters material poverty with a fulfilling and deeply spiritual relationship with the natural world. Ullmann herself was no stranger to hardship. A depressive, she was plagued by personal and professional crises. Financial constraints forced her to send her illegitimate children to the countr […]
  • The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura March 14, 2015
    The Fall of Language in the Age of English stirred up debate upon its publication in Japan in 2008, and it’s possible it will do so in the U.S. with its arrival in Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter's translation. In their introduction, Yoshihara and Winters Carpenter, point out that Japanese reviewers accused Mizumura of being a jingoist, an e […]
  • Another View: Tracing the Foreign in Literary Translation by Eduard Stoklosinski March 14, 2015
    Another View demonstrates exciting potential in translation study and praxis. It is especially significant in deconstructing assumptions about fluency and linguistic identity. The author makes some persuasive arguments for considering and even preferring non-native translation of texts, the most controversial of which is the possibility that linguistic compe […]
  • The Latest Five from Dalkey Archive’s “Library of Korea” Series March 14, 2015
    Despite South Korea having the kind of vibrant literary scene you'd expect from a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world, we're still not exactly inundated with English translations of South Korean fiction. Given this dearth, Dalkey Archive Press's Library of Korean Literature series, twenty five titles published in collab […]
  • B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman March 14, 2015
    here’s a conspicuous history of books that simply should not work: Books like U & I by Nicholson Baker, a book-length exercise in “memory criticism,” where Baker traces Updike’s influence on his own writing life while studiously not actually re-reading any of Updike’s books. Or books like Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s book that procrastinates away from […]
  • The Valerie Miles Interview March 14, 2015
    The idea was to uncover the secret life of these texts, why do their creators consider them their best work? What’s the clandestine, the underground, the surreptitious meaning or attachment? Where’s the kernel, the seed from which a body of work grew, what the driving obsession? Is it something sentimental, something technical, maybe even something spiritual […]
  • On Being Blue by William H. Gass March 14, 2015
    Look up at the sky, or down into the ocean, and what color do you see? We see blue, but not Homer—he never once employs the term throughout The Iliad and The Odyssey, famously calling the sea "wine-dark" and the heavens "bronze." Neither did the Greek philosopher Xenophanes say blue—he described the rainbow as having only three colors. Th […]

Foreign Policy on Film

From a review of J Hoberman’s Film After Film in the LARB:

In November 2011, a few months before Hoberman was laid off, the Verso Books website posted a page announcing his forthcoming book, Film After Film, or What Became of 21st Century Cinema. According to this website, the book, which featured a crisp still from the Pixar film Wall-E on its cover, ran a little under 200 pages and was scheduled to hit stores in February 2012. As it turned out, however, this promise was never fulfilled. Instead, in late August 2012, Verso released a book under the same title that ran nearly 300 pages and featured, on its cover, a parody of the 20th Century Fox logo superimposed over a New York City skyline with the Tribute in Light 9/11 memorial in the background. This busy image is a little on the nose (especially given Verso’s recent taste for gorgeously minimalist graphic design), but it gives an accurate preview of what lies inside. Film After Film is a sloppy, brilliant, patchwork statement about the future of the cinema — spoiler alert: there is a future — in the face of reports of its imminent demise.

It’s foolish to speculate about what precisely transpired during this time that led Hoberman and Verso to decide to expand the book, but, at some point around January 2012, Film After Film transformed from a slim volume with a modest film still on the cover to a pretty sizable work of criticism with an awkwardly argumentative cover image. I don’t think it’s crazy to imagine that, newly freed from the shackles of his weekly Voice column, Hoberman was feeling a little moved by the spirit of Siegfried Kracauer to make a statement. That said, the book is, like his previous publications The Magic Hour and Vulgar Modernism, a collection of essays representing his journalistic output over the course of a decade. Unlike those collections, however, this one has loftier ambitions. It is clear from the start that Hoberman very much wants his reviews and essays to stand as as a cohesive history of American foreign policy’s influence on world cinema since 2001. In other words, he wants the book to tell a story.

That story, which is centered around the emergence of an aesthetic trend that Hoberman calls “the New Realness,” is synthesized most pointedly in “A Post-Photographic Cinema,” the first of the book’s three numbered sections. . . .

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  1. Wallflower Press Film Books Those with more than a passing interest in cinema will want to take note of some new books from Wallflower Press (distributed in the U.S....
  2. We Say Translate This Book!–Foreign Policy Responds Foreign Policy has put together a nice portfolio of untranslated literature for its current issue. It's excellent to see a publication like Foreign Policy giving...
  3. Film Blogs Dan Green unearths this: . . .technology’s greatest gift to film culture may be the blogosphere, which has seemingly ignited a passionate audience for auteur...
  4. Subtitles: On the Foreignness of Film Film is one of the arts I find almost as interesting as literature, and Subtitles: On the Foreignness of Film looks like a gorgeous,...
  5. Film and Writing In the Guardian, David Hare opines that a film’s visual impact flows from a good script. To jump back into the world of Pinter’s movies...

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