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.

You Say

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

Shop though these links = Support this site


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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 countryside to […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 competence may in fact constitute an act of […]
  • 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 collaboration with […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • 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 […]

Friday Catalogs: New Directions

cover

Published in hardcover last year but still worth mentioning is the paperback release of Roberto Bolaño’s Amulet. (May) If you haven’t read it yet, this is a good one to tide you over between the publication of Nazi Literature in the Americas and 2666, currently slated to come fro FSG in November. (As a sidenote, I really like what New Directions is doing with the covers to Bolaño’s paperback releases.)

cover

As mentioned earlier on this blog, B.S. Johnson’s famous "book in a box," The Unfortunates will be published by New Directions in its originally intended format. (May)

I’m intrigued by Senselessness, forthcoming from the Honduran Horacio Castellanos Moya. (May) The book has to do with a bohemian author hired by the Catholic Church to tidy up a 1,100 page report documenting the massacre and torture of thousands of indigenous in an unnamed Latin American country.

Notable in light of the recent publication of Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is the release in paperback of Julio Cortazar’s Final Exam. (July) One of his earlier novels, it’s billed here as his "allegorical, bitter, and melancholy farewell to Argentina" with "daring typography, shifts in rhythm," and general stream-of-conscious mayhem.

cover

And lastly, I am intrigued by Lands of Memory by Uruguayan Felisberto Hernandez, which New Directions is publishing in paperback. (July) This NYT review sums up what makes me intrigued:

He published sparsely; one story first saw print in the almanac of the State Insurance Bank. He read Freud and Proust and made memory his particular subject, but in tiny, idiosyncratic works that sometimes have to be either pieced together or filleted before they can be read. Some of his work is in shorthand that has yet to be deciphered. His first novel is 21 paragraphs long. Even without the enthusiasm of the likes of Borges, Calvino and Cortázar, and the dubious title ”father of magic realism,” he’d be a shoo-in for the avant-garde academy: seriously unsuccessful, randy, individual to the brink of solipsism, a textual challenge and sometimes literally unreadable.

You Might Also Like:

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Friday Catalogs: Soft Skull/Counterpoint Here’s what caught my attention as I browsed Soft Skull and Counterpoint’s Winter 2008 catalog. Lydia Millett fans will be happy to know that she...
  2. Friday Column: Proud to be Anachronistic As part of n+1‘s roundtable on American fiction, Benjamin Kunkel offers an essay on the future of the novel. It’s a good piece and he...
  3. Friday Column: On Translations or the Pursuit of the Domino Effect (Today we have a guest Friday Column by author Neus Arqués. Neus lives and writes in Barcelona and holds an MA in International Affairs from...
  4. Friday Photo Innovative design or brand destruction? The books, released as Tales to Take Your Breath Away at the start of the cigarette ban in pubs...
  5. Friday Column: DFW, Reissued Alert: This is Barrett posting, not Scott. The following embarrassments are completely my own. The word on the street is that David Foster Wallace’s mega-novel...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

2 comments to Friday Catalogs: New Directions

  • New Directions has had some magnificent lists in recent seasons, continuing their long tradition. Looks like this one is no different.

  • Mauro Javier

    Senselessness is a fantastic book. I read it in Spanish last year. Horacio Castellanos Moya seems to be a Thomas Bernhard fan, by the way, and his long sentence prose style reflects that.
    You can read an excerpt here:
    Senselessness
    And you can read the wonderful rant, El Asco, with an intro from Roberto Bolano, in the Words Without Borders anthology:
    >El Asco

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>