Having read the new issue of Action, Yes while listening to Slayer’s Reign in Blood — except for when I got to “sounds for soloists” by Sebastian Eskildsen and Cia Rinne, which required me to pause Slayer — I continue to return to the final line of “Winter Diary” by Lidija Praizovic, translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson. The conjunction of the profane with the rhythmic beauty of its iambic tetrameter (da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM) really appeals to me. I back up and re-read the second half of the final stanza:
i simply say this: and i’ll stick to it
over my dead body
over my dead body
over my dead body
i’ll fuck before the winter’s out
1. Best nonfiction books of all time, etc.
2. A list of novels about lonely people.
3. Shelia McClear interview about psychology, sexism, stripping, memoir.
I just totally want to defend someone’s right to do that sort of work whether it’s a peep show or prostitution. I mean, I don’t want to be a prostitute. I would just defend it, because I’ve had a lot of jobs, and many of them were more demoralizing than the peep show.
11. WTF? Murakami wrote yet another story about cats…
The sounds Stafford make at 4:05-ish are pretty epic. Also enjoyed, “Yeh. Get the fuck off me!”
12. Barf bag collector site. Enjoy.
This week: You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily. You will attain the highest levels of intelligence. You should enhance your feminine side at this time. Your financial situation will soon be improving. Remember 3 months from this date! Your lucky star is shining. -TD
The Sextine Chapel
by Hervé Le Tellier
Dalkey Archive Press, 2011
104 pages / $14.95 Buy from Dalkey Archive Press
The Sextine Chapel, a book about the sexual interlocutions of 13 males and 13 females, stands upon the mathematical bedrock of Oulipo. The algorithm: (A)nna has sex with (B)en who has sex with (C)hloe who has sex with (D)ennis all the way until (Z)ach has sex with (A)nna who then skips six letters to (H)arry who skips another six to (O)riane and so on until, in close, (P)hilippe is having sex with (A)nna finishing the corporal turntable. Each hook-up is a paragraph on a page. Not everyone has sex with everyone else, but sayings are passed and settings repeated, creating a finite kaleidoscope of vagina and penis inside of which these strangers are connected.
August 30th, 2011 / 12:06 pm
I know Christopher Higgs just posted his superb fall semester reading list, so I’m being a sort of copycat perhaps, but also, would just love to get some thoughts and ideas from you all.
I’ve been teaching a class called Graphic Texts: Looking at Text and Image Combined on and off for a couple years now, and am always looking for new material to fold into the class.
The class is basically a survey class that looks at various different kinds of “graphic texts” in all senses of the world. Students read, have critical discussions, and create graphic text projects of their own.
The Flame Alphabet
by Ben Marcus
Knopf, Jan 2012
304 pages / $26 Buy from Amazon
Ben Marcus wrote this book, which is to say he either typed it into a computer or used a stylus, pen or pencil to scratch pigment into a page or roll of paper—the tools available to us humans at our particular anchor in time.* He did this in roughly a year, after developing the concept: a man—through his own somewhat distorted lens on reality—relates his recent experiences in a world wherein language, spoken and written, is discovered to harm its producers and recipients. I will try not to ruin it for you, but the inhabitants of this world eventually determine that the formation of meaning itself—the moment of insight, in which the gestalt of the lexeme coalesces in the mind of the listener/reader—is the problem; i.e. when you understand a word, you become sick: and more words, more understanding makes you sicker.
August 29th, 2011 / 12:00 pm
Starting next week, I’ll be teaching two sections of an undergraduate course in Postmodern American Literature. For those who might be interested in what we’re reading, here’s the list:
John Barth – Lost in the Funhouse (1968)
+ excerpts from Metafiction by Patricia Waugh
+ “Mapping the Postmodern” by Andreas Huyssen
Joanna Russ – The Female Man (1975)
+ “A Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Haraway
+ “Change of Dominant from Modernist to Postmodernist Writing” by Brian McHale
Clarence Major – My Amputations (1986)
+ “Postmodern Blackness” by bell hooks
+ “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” by Jacques Derrida
David Markson – Wittgenstein’s Mistress (1988)
+ “The Precession of the Simulacra” by Jean Baudrillard
+ “Poetics of Postmodernism” by Linda Hutcheon
Lara Glenum & Arielle Greenberg, eds. – Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics (2010)
+ “The Laugh of the Medusa” by Hélène Cixous
+ “The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” by Frederic Jameson