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

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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

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


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  • The Walls of Delhi by Uday Prakash December 15, 2014
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  • The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation December 15, 2014
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You All Read the Incomplete Edition of 2666

The Literary Saloon informs me that they've discovered two new Bolano manuscripts–and a sixth section to the already massive 2666:

Two new novels by the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño have reportedly been found in Spain among papers he left behind after his death. The previously unseen manuscripts were entitled Diorama and The Troubles of the Real Police Officer, reported La Vanguardia.

The newspaper said the documents also included what is believed to be a sixth section of Bolaño's epic five-part novel 2666.

So, everyone read the wrong book.

Seriously speaking, the fact that there was another volume of 2666 found with these papers just underscores the fact that, well, they weren't meant to be published. Obviously if Bolano wanted part 6 in 2666 he would have said so, and if he wanted to publish these new manuscripts, as well as the so-called "The Third Reich," he probably would have let someone know before he died.

And with La Vanguardia reporting a "sea" of material still to be sifted through, I'm sure we'll be seeing lots more Bolano manuscripts on the market:

El futuro del archivo, un mar de libretas y cuadernos de todos los
tamaños, una vez inventariado, será seguramente una universidad.
Adentrarse en sus páginas requiere la paciencia del paleólogo o del
domador de pulgas.

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More from Conversational Reading:

  1. First 2666 Review Adam Kirsch in Slate has the first review I’ve seen for 2666. I imagine this kind of opening will become pretty standard fare in the...
  2. 2666 An Unanticipatable Success Picador in the UK has bought big on Bolano, snapping up the rights to 11 of his works. That's good to hear, but one wonders...
  3. 2666 The Literary Saloon and others report that there’s now an Amazon pub date for Bolaño’s opus, in English. I’m a little divided as to whether...
  4. 2666–The Big Book of BEA? Chad Post is declaring 2666 the "big book" of BEA Jeff’s comments about how they marketed The Savage Detectives and what they’re doing for 2666...
  5. Natasha Wimmer’s Notes on 2666 Although it’s somewhat buried, Macmillan has a page of useful annotations to 2666 made by its English-language translator, Natasha Wimmer. For instance: p.45:  “And speaking...

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3 comments to You All Read the Incomplete Edition of 2666

  • Amen. It surprised me to read people on a Bolaño listserv that i lurk on had people declaring that since Part 5 was there favorite, then Part 6 of 2666 must be even better. These didn’t seem to be facetious posts, but then again, my irony meter is lousy.

  • Matt

    Ha. I was actually the first dissenting voice on that listerv conversation. I think I can chalk that attitude up to supreme optimism.

  • I’m just as uncomfortable with the DFW novel that’s being shoved in our faces. If it was done, he would have said so to his editor, or at least there would have been a record of his editor saying, “Come on, buddy, you’re done. Let’s get it out there…”
    I remember reading in high school a Hemingway biography that contained a couple of unpublished early stories and thinking, “Why isn’t this in the Complete Stories?” A few years later I saw that biography again on a shelf in a bookstore, paged through those unpublished stories, and saw them for the flawed things they were. I immediately went home to pitch out several of my own earliest attempts at writing a story.
    (Not that I’m really expecting a literary executor to be muddling around in my stuff when I shuffle off, but just in case…)

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