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

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.


  • Nostalgia June 15, 2014
    Few habits are as prone to affliction, or as vulnerable to an ordeal, as the bent of a peddler’s consciousness. Placeless, the peddler completes an untold number of transactions; there are ideas to conduct (through language, which can transact a mind) and feelings to certify (through tasks, repeated interminably). […]
  • Why Literary Periods Mattered by Ted Underwood June 15, 2014
    There are some writers who are, and likely always will be, inextricably linked to the “period” with which their work is associated, and in many cases helped to define. Surely Wordsworth and Keats will always be “Romantic” poets, while Faulkner and Woolf will remain modernists, as the term “modern” has been fully appropriated to describe the historical era be […]
  • Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz June 15, 2014
    August 1939. You sail to Buenos Aires on the Chombry as a cultural ambassador of Poland. Why say no to a little holiday on the government’s tab? Soon after arriving you sense that something isn’t right. You emerge from a welcome reception and your ears are “filled with newspaper cries: ‘Polonia, Polonia,’ most irksome indeed.” Before you’ve even had a chance […]
  • Accepting the Disaster by Joshua Mehigan June 15, 2014
    The first collections of most young poets, even the better ones, carry with them a hint of bravado. Flush with recognition, vindicated by the encouraging attentions of at least one editor and three blurbists, the poet strikes a triumphant pose and high-fives the Muse: “We did it, baby.” When Joshua Mehigan published his impressive first collection, The Optim […]
  • The Histories of Herodotus, translated by Tom Holland June 15, 2014
    Two of the greatest of Tom Holland's predecessors in translating Herodotus are Victorian scholar George Rawlinson and Aubrey de Selincourt; the former translated Herodotus in 1860, making an enormous hit (despite the fact that its detractors often referred to it as “dull and prolix"), while the latter's 1954 Herodotus was another enormous hit, […]
  • Bullfight by Yasushi Inoue June 15, 2014
    The premise of Yasushi Inoue's debut novella Bullfight, celebrated in Japan as a classic of postwar literature, is unassuming enough: an evening newspaper sponsors a tournament of the regional sport of bull-sumo. As practical and financial issues arise, the paper's young editor-in-chief, Tsugami, soon realizes he has taken on more than he can handl […]
  • Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones June 15, 2014
    Sworn Virgin was made to be translated. Elvira Dones wrote this book not in her native language of Albanian but in Italian—a necessarily fraught and complicated decision. In an Italian-language interview with Pierre Lepori, Dones speaks about her choice of language: “Sworn Virgin was born in Italian . . . I’ve lived using Italian for nineteen years, it has s […]
  • On the Letters of David Markson June 15, 2014
    Knowing these narrators and how their lives paralleled David’s own, it’s difficult to deny his being a recluse. I certainly held that image of him, and nursed it, secretly cherishing it because it meant I was one of the few people with whom he corresponded, and with whom he would occasionally meet. Arranging our first meetings in person was something of a ni […]
  • Storm Still by Peter Handke June 15, 2014
    Storm Still (Immer Noch Sturm) does not necessarily represent new terrain for Handke. Originally published by Suhrkamp Verlag in 2010 and now available for English-language readers thanks to Martin Chalmers’ fluent translation, the play chronicles the dissolution of the Svinec family, a family of Carinthian Slovenes—a quasi-fictionalized version of Handke’s […]
  • Red or Dead by David Peace June 15, 2014
    David Peace's novel Red or Dead is about British football, but it partakes in the traits of Homer's epic. This is a novel about the place of myth and heroes in modern society, about how the cyclical rhythms of athletic seasons reflect the cyclical patterns of life. It is a book about honor and fate, and one which bridges the profound, dreamlike ter […]

LINKS

Ladders
The NY Times profiles library-ladder makers Putnam Rolling Ladder Company

News

* Not exactly news, but could someone with greater influence than I possess help The Guardian understand that they’re not obliged to cover every single Harry Potter-related story that comes down the pike?

* The Millions discusses anticipated books left to publish in 2008. And if you want more hot forthcoming books action, you can check the catalogs I run down regularly on Fridays and my two BEA roundups

* FC2 is getting dropped from the University of Florida. Guess innovative fiction is too much for a university to support these days.

* There’s a new Words Without Borders up.

* I just new they were going to start doing this sooner or later. Now custom agents have the power to randomly search your electronic media.

Reviews

* A number of reviews for The Book of Chameleons: Three Percent, The Complete Review, dailypress.com

* Ready Steady Blog uncovers a thorough, not-terribly-complimentary review of James Wood’s poorly titled How Fiction Works

Essays

* The LRB on Philip K. Dick

Video

* A Harvard study claims to have refuted the thesis of the book The Long Tail. (The author responds.)
 

The Rest

* Newsweek recommends summer reads, and their list is actually a lot better than you would expect. There’s Nathan Englander, Chatwin, and Hitchens before he became tired.

* Shane at eNotes discusses his pleasure with finding books for $1.00 and less at the Salvation Army store. I can beat that . . . I’ve been finding the best stuff lately just sitting in boxes on the sidewalk.

* Imperial America somehow managed to offer us all video of Christopher Hitchens being waterborded as part of some kind of proof to the beefy critic that it is indeed torture. Glad he’s convinced. And if you click the link and read Scott McLemee’s thoughts on the footage, perhaps you’ll ask yourself, as I did, "how does he know how ‘any dominatrix’s client’ is treated?"

* Is email losing its importance?

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. LINKS From the piece "Composition for Robert Walser," published at Words Without Borders News * Cody’s Books is now really, truly, and, one must accept,...
  2. LINKS Above: the art of light graffiti. More photos and info here. News * No difference between Calvino and Hemingway? Iranian translators do what the...
  3. LINKS * There’s a new issue of Bookforum online * The Guardian reports on digital short stories, utlizing blogs, Google maps, etc * Hitchens on Pound...
  4. LINKS * This is what The Sound and the Fury looks like on stage. Read more about the adaption, which doesn’t cut a single line...
  5. LINKS Yes, giant wood termites. Marcelo Ballve considers the art of Charles Juhasz-Alvarado. News * Twice as much fiction was published in 2007 as 2002. Of...

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5 comments to LINKS

  • Hey there- Thanks for the link to eNotes Book Blog. Only this blog was mine, Jamie, that’s right, J-A-M-I-E. Shane’s rival for the crown.

  • How do I know how a dominatrix’s client is treated? Perhaps it is a bad idea to generalize from a couple of scenes in “Sid and Nancy” and the recent British newspaper’s online posting of video of a public figure’s afternoon romp in a London dungeon. Then again, maybe that’s enough.
    Suffice it to say the fact Hitchens was given a “stop word” made the whole thing seem more like consensual roleplay than anything even distantly resembling a military interrogation.

  • FC2 is at FSU, not UF.

  • Trevor

    In regard to The Long Tail glance-over, both sides seem to be taking a short-sighted look at this phenomenon. There are major shifts occurring within the realms of media, and it’s apparent most with the literal changing of companies. Borders is on its last threads, Random House is playing musical chairs, and some of the major music publishers have simply stopped being around. There is a swing towards a broader market currently, and perhaps the “Internet Popularity” bump is slowing it down for a few years, as Lee Gomes refers to.
    The internet is changing things, it’s just that business isn’t adjusting their strategies to it. When they do though, it’s working. Amazon has an internet approach (as with the article awhile ago about how it’s not financially wise for Amazon to take on Borders), and it’s become the giant of sales. Publishers and vendors alike need to find ways to follow suit… or be left in the age of the blockbuster.

  • My fellow Gator Maud beat me to it, but you don’t confuse us with Seminoles. (Actually, I worked on a joint UF/FSU project when I was a staff attorney at the UF law think tank and have always been impressed with FSU — I was last there for a great writing and publishing conference in March 2005.)
    As someone who worked as an editorial assistant for the Fiction Collective at its beginning, when Brooklyn College provided us with space, first at a downtown building that was formerly St. Johns law school, and then on the main campus, I can tell you that somehow FC/FC2 has always managed to find an academic home (at the University of Colorado, for example) and am glad they’ll be at the University of Houston-Victoria for the 35th anniversary of its founding by Jonathan Baumbach, Peter Spielberg, Mark Mirsky, Ron Sukenick, Ray Federman and other terrific writers.

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