HTMLGIANT

Christopher Higgs

Thanks, Goodbye, & A Power Quote From Ronald Sukenick

This new thing is a style that we have come to call the Bossa Nova, an elaboration of the new tradition. Needless to say the Bossa Nova has no plot, no story, no character, no chronological sequence, no verisimilitude, no imitation, no allegory, no symbolism, no subject matter, no “meaning.” It resists interpretation because it doesn’t want to be interpreted, but is very easy to understand once you forget about analyzing it. The Bossa Nova is nonrepresentational — it represents itself. Its main qualities are abstraction, improvisation, and opacity. (pg. 211)

— Ronald Sukenick, In Form: Digressions on the Act of Fiction (Southern Illinois University Press, 1985)

 

***

I’ve had this power quote in draft mode for a long time. Since the end is nigh, I thought I’d go ahead and post it.

Also, I wanted to say thank you to Blake for bringing me on board — I began writing for HTMLGIANT on July 16th, 2009 — and to the other contributors for their consistently engaging work. This site has meant a lot to me. It opened many doors, introduced me to many new writers and new ways of thinking about writing and publishing. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of this community.

Thinking about how literary historians of the future will write about this place and its people, I smile. While it did get ugly around here from time to time, I think Giant succeeded more often than it failed.

If you haven’t read it yet, Peter Tieryas Liu wrote a thoughtful piece about us at ENTROPY where he says, “There were many orbits and star systems within HTMLGiant. When people made comments like, HTMLGiant this and HTMLGiant that, I wondered, which HTMLGiant?”

For me, that nails it. We were never one thing. We were a spot where a bunch of different book-passionate voices came together to clash and splash and share ideas.

This place will be missed.

 

Massive People & Random / 2 Comments
October 21st, 2014 / 5:23 pm

The Opening Pages of Joshua Corey’s “Beautiful Soul: An American Elegy”


Available now from Spuyten Duyvil

Because my home office has stacks on stacks of books, because new books are added to the stacks almost daily, because I have not finished half of half of the books I’ve started, I cannot grant attention to more than the opening pages of a book before I decide whether or not to stick with it. In truth, if a book has not convinced me within five or six pages that it deserves my complete attention I put it in the box labeled “To Be Traded At The Bookstore in Jacksonville.” Sadly, many many books end up in that box. Given the limited number of books that escape such a fate, I thought I might spotlight a few of them this summer in a series I’m calling “The Opening Pages.” Could have also called it “Books that didn’t end up in the trade box,” but that sounded less catchy.

Joshua Corey’s Beautiful Soul: An American Elegy did not end up in the trade box. Quite the contrary. I think it’s one of the most interesting and impressive books I’ve read lately. And since it has just been released, I thought it would be a great place to start this series.

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Random / 1 Comment
June 13th, 2014 / 12:00 pm

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Author News & Events & Massive People / No Comments
February 8th, 2014 / 12:02 am

Interview with the editors of CATCH UP Magazine

The editors of Catch Up were kind enough to answer a few of my questions about their badass journal.

How did Catch Up emerge?

Jeff: In the early 2000’s, William Cardini and I founded the artist collective The Gold County Paper Mill. Together with our pal Chuch, we produced comics, zines, and weirdo DVDs. But in 2008, I moved with my wife from Austin to Louisville, which meant the performance art we were making together would become fairly impossible. Catch Up started as a way to continue the collaborative projects that WIlliam, Chuch and I had grown to love.

Catch Up was intended to be an object-based series of collaborations put out by the GCPM. The “first issue” was a t-shirt. That idea fizzled out quickly. Having enjoyed producing our own books, we decided to try our hand at publishing others. Will is a cartoonist and I’m a poet, so we just mushed those two things together.

Once in Louisville I met poet Adam Day and designer Rob Bozwell, who both quickly joined the team. Will enlisted the help of another frequent collaborator of his, Josh Burggraf.  The five of us turned Catch Up into the fucking dope journal it is today.

After a few more shake ups, moves, marriages and babies, Catch Up is now run by  myself,  Hannah Gamble, Gary Jackson, Peter Jurmu, Pete Toms and PB Kain.

What is your VIDA count?

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Random / 2 Comments
January 17th, 2014 / 5:11 pm

Summary of the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013

In case you missed it, the NBCC announced their newest awards finalists. According to their selections, the only publishers publishing award-worthy material are FSG and Knopf, plus a meager handful of others that are not FSG or Knopf. Obviously the NBCC committee has never seen this list. The number of presses that aren’t FSG or Knopf would blow their minds!

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

(Knopf)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Viking)

(Bloomsbury)

(Simon & Schuster)

BIOGRAPHY

(Doubleday)

(Yale University Press)

(Knopf)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Cornell University Press)

CRITICISM

(McSweeney’s)

(Liveright)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Verso)

FICTION

(Knopf)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Knopf)

(Viking)

(Little, Brown)

NONFICTION

(Norton)

(Crown)

(Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Knopf)

POETRY

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

(Knopf)

(University of Pittsburgh Press)

(Copper Canyon)

(University of Arizona Press)

Random / 11 Comments
January 13th, 2014 / 9:44 pm

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide: Poetry Recommendations

Last week I did a Fiction Shopping Guide and a Nonfiction Shopping Guide. Now I’ve got this list of poetry titles published this year, for all you last minute shoppers.

When compiling the nonfiction list I limited myself to twenty titles, even though I could’ve easily made it thirty or fifty with the amount of good material published this year. For the fiction list I bumped the number to thirty, but could’ve easily exceeded it. For the poetry I decided on thirty-five. I’ll present them in no particular order. (N.B. I’ve omitted works published by fellow giants, which was hard considering the awesomeness of Klassnik’s The Moon’s Jaw or Lorig’s NODS. to name but two.)

These obviously represent my own interests and therefore omit plenty of titles I’m sure were great. Also, in the interest of transparency, my click-throughs use my Amazon Affiliate number, which means that I receive pennies when you click on the titles and end up purchasing something, pennies I save up and use to buy baby supplies.

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Random / 7 Comments
December 18th, 2013 / 11:27 am

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide: Fiction Recommendations

gift

Last week I did a Nonfiction Shopping Guide. Now I’ve got this list of fiction titles published this year, for all you last minute shoppers.

When compiling the nonfiction list I limited myself to twenty titles, even though I could’ve easily made it thirty or fifty with the amount of good material published this year. For this list I bumped the number to thirty, but could’ve easily exceeded it. I’ll present them in no particular order. (N.B. I’ve omitted works published by fellow giants, which was hard considering the awesomeness of Baumann’s Solip and Simmons’s Happy Rock to name but two.)

These obviously represent my own interests and therefore omit plenty of titles I’m sure were great. Also, in the interest of transparency, my click-throughs use my Amazon Affiliate number, which means that I receive pennies when you click on the titles and end up purchasing something, pennies I save up and use to buy baby supplies.

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Random / 8 Comments
December 10th, 2013 / 12:04 pm

2013 Holiday Shopping Guide: Nonfiction Recommendations

Gift-Pictures-13
I did this last year and some folks seemed to dig it; plus, I enjoy the hell out of making lists and reading lists like these so I’m doing it again this year.

Even granting that these represent my own interests (film, philosophy, art, literature, etc.) and therefore omit plenty of titles I’m sure were great but fall outside my purview, with so many badass nonfiction books published this year it was nearly impossible to select only twenty titles. Tough cuts had to be made.

So my thinking behind this list was to present you with books that might not already be on your radar. Which is to say, a brilliant book such as Scott McClanahan’s Crapalachia: A Biography of Place, or Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby, or Jamie Iredell’s I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac, for instance, aren’t on this list because I figure you’ve already read them or are at least aware that they are completely awesome and that you need them.

Without further blah blah, you can expect two more of these in the coming days, one for fiction and one for poetry.

If you’re like me and haven’t even begun shopping yet, hopefully this list will help you find something for someone. Oh and for those who care, my click-throughs use my Amazon Affiliate number…the pennies that come back to me when you click on the titles go toward diapers and baby soap for my four month old son.

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Random / 6 Comments
December 5th, 2013 / 10:47 am

Halloween Guest Post: SPOOKY SPOOKY by Jereme Dean

Halloween isn’t just the fat kid’s holiday or an excuse for women to dress in revealing costumes, it’s a celebration of the darkness in all of us, that which civilized society is desperate to deny.

Most importantly, it’s a reason to watch kick-ass movies.

Below is a list of films, via youtube, that most probably haven’t seen. The quality of some are moderate, but enjoyable, and adds to the charm of the film, especially those from the seventies.

I feel like most people right now watch whatever is conveniently served via Netflix, Amazon or Hulu The hunt has been lost with the near death of the video store. Something I personally dislike.

My goal isn’t just to talk about movies but also to encourage people to go outside of their cycles, to look for films worth remembering.

Happy Halloween, shitheads.

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Film / 6 Comments
October 31st, 2013 / 10:21 am

The Poet Laureate of Alt-Lit Releases His Ars Poetica


STEVE ROGGENBUCK


Massive People / 10 Comments
October 17th, 2013 / 9:38 pm