norman lock

Mud Luscious Press Goings On

MLP has officially acquired the Pindeldyboz print archives – all remaining copies of pboz print can now be purchased from mlp.

They have also officially struck a deal with Blake Butler to release a two-volume set of the Lamination Colony Archives – including both a wealth of the online issues and the ebooks.

They have contracted for a re-release of Ken Sparling’s DAD SAYS HE SAW YOU AT THE MALL slated (tentatively) for 2012.

They have contracted for a re-release of Norman Lock’s GRIM TALES in a new stand-alone version slated (tentatively) for 2011.

They have re-started our previous stamp stories project and now, with associate editor Andrew Borgstrom at the helm of that beast, we are planning to reach 100 authors / 100 stamp stories and then, down the line,
release those 100 pieces in a new mlp anthology titled { C. }

Visit the MLP site for more details.

Presses / 37 Comments
June 2nd, 2010 / 1:00 pm

Unhumorous Punchlines

The Mother

The girl wrote a story. “But how much better it would be if you wrote a novel,” said her mother. The girl built a doll-house. “But how much better if it were a real house,” her mother said. The made a small pillow for her father. “But wouldn’t a quilt be more practical,” said her mother. The girl dug a small hole in the garden. “But how much better if you dug a large hole,” said her mother. The girl dug a large hole and went to sleep in it. “But how much better if you slept forever,” said her mother.

“The Mother,” a short piece from Lydia Davis’s Break it Down, perfectly demonstrates, for me, the unhumorous punchline where the last line and components leading up to it operate as a joke, but aren’t funny. Punchlines at their best are oblique and unexpected; it’s the minor epiphany of “getting it” that makes them so visceral — keyword here, because what begins in the brain ends in the gut.


Craft Notes / 17 Comments
October 6th, 2009 / 11:50 pm

2 New Titles from Ellipsis Press: Lock and Ruocco

Two new titles from the incredible Ellipsis Press are now on presale. After their first two titles by Eugene Marten and Eugene Lim being two of my favorite new releases last year, Ellipsis is already a monolith, and I’ve been drooling for these both since they were announced. For those that for some reason did not pick up the first two, you can get the entire set of 4 Ellipsis titles together in a bundle for $40, a ridiculously nice and limited-time deal. Shit, I’m doing the package just to be able to give the first two as gifts. I guarantee it is worth twice as much in mind. They are also all available individually, and shipping soon.

Here are their two latest titles:

Shadowplay by Norman Lock


In Java, a master of the shadow-puppet theater seeks to possess—by his art—a woman, who perishes as though by the contagion of his unnatural desire. Shadowplay is a meditation on story-telling as an act of seizure, a parable of obsession and of the danger of confounding the real with its representations.

“Stories compensate for lives unlived. They are what Norman Lock, or his avatar Guntur, calls shadows, negative reflections on a backlit screen, comprising, through artistry and brief illumination, ghosts. Lock’s teller is imprisoned by darkness, captivated by warriors and princesses no longer, if ever, living. Death becomes a distance from which the voices of these unliving return. It is a journey as delicious as it is threatening.” —R.M. Berry


Presses / 9 Comments
September 2nd, 2009 / 1:46 pm

Booklyfe 2

Literary Multiplier / Critical Mass

Literary Multiplier / Critical Mass

And here’s Norman Lock on small presses & print vs. digital, via Eugene Lim’s wonderful blog.

A select bit from Norman, and my thoughts:

…To acknowledge such a limitation is to accept a reduced role for the writer.  I do not believe that what I write can change the world or the people in it. I don’t believe that anything written by a contemporary literary artist has that power over a mass audience. There are some who believe they can restructure consciousness using language and narratives that defy convention. But their visionary writing will scarcely be read by the people most in need of a transformed consciousness. The only work that has power to engage a mass audience is sentimental (which is a lie) or pornographic (which is also a lie, though perhaps a more entertaining one). We can rue this. We can set down the causes to mainstream publishing or to a degeneration in popular taste and appreciation that have little to do with literacy. But we can and should seek out our own margin and make our literature there.


Author Spotlight & Presses / 13 Comments
March 31st, 2009 / 9:28 pm

Online Lit Spotlight in the Believer Oct 08

There’s a new issue of the Believer out for October, and while the magazine is always a great read, this month is particularly good for two sects of people: those who like Gordon Lish, and fans of online lit.

I’m not sure if it was an editorial schematic or chance, but there’s more Lish related stuff in this issue than seems coincidental: an interview with Diane Williams by Kevin Sampsell, an interview with Will Eno by Patricia Mulgraw, a review of David Ohle’s The Pisstown Chaos by Benjamin Strong, and a review of Normal Lock’s Grim Tales, by, well, me.

Of course you could probably take just about any literary magazine with big names in it and somehow Kevin Bacon it right back to Lish, but this one seems most close to home.

On the online lit side, I am excited about my Lock review mainly because it’s primarily an eBook that I reviewed, published online by Elimae and readable here, and also because I got to talk about other online lit sites and eBooks in as awesome a spot as the Believer. The review is also replicated in full online and you can read it here.

Uncategorized / 6 Comments
October 1st, 2008 / 1:31 pm