stanley crawford

The Rumpus on Shane Jones and Stanley Crawford

dsc00600Justin Dobbs tipped us off that The Rumpus had published last week a nice review of Shane Jones’ Light Boxes. Jovanovic writes:

Jones makes use of ambiguity and possibility in the fabulist tradition of Gabriel García Márquez, but Light Boxes should not be considered a magic-realist novel. The sidereal reality of Thaddeus and The Solution is not simply one where magical elements are introduced into ordinary settings, like the man vomiting rabbits into flowerpots in Julio Cortázar’s “Letter to a Young Lady in Paris” (though Thaddeus does vomit ice cubes)—in Jones’s novel there are few touchstones to the world as we know it. Light Boxes partakes in the traditions of folklore, archetypal myth, and oral history, a pedigree reflected in its images and descriptions. Clouds have legs and shoulders. They are shaped like a hand and can fall apart like wet paper.

Dobbs’ email reminds me that I need to read The Rumpus more, because likely I’ll find good stuff over there, such as this blog post by Deb Olin Unferth on Stanley Crawford’s The Log of the S.S. the Mrs. Unguentine.

If I had to make a small, partial statement here about book reviewing, I’d say this: I find that the most effective reviews (those that affect me most, I mean) tend to be the reviews that make me remember how much I enjoyed reading a certain book (for some reason, I rarely read reviews of books I haven’t yet read?). And I’m using ‘reviews’ here in the loosest sense. Jovanovic’s review and Unferth’s blog post both do this. I enjoy reading another’s telling of his or her experience of a book and I enjoy the connections that telling ignites in my head.

Is this a stupidly simple appreciation of book reviews? Probably.

Uncategorized / 15 Comments
May 14th, 2009 / 11:14 am

Big Ken Baumann News: ‘Unguentine’ the film

unguentineThe most amibitious and awesome news update I’ve had the pleasure to divulge in a while, from none other than our own Ken Baumann. I’ll let his own words do the talkin’:

So I’m finally in the clear in a legal sense to divulge the promised information: I’ve optioned the film rights to Log of the S.S. The Mrs Unguentine by Stanley Crawford, and will be writing the screenplay.

A little back story: On recommendation of Blake Butler and others, I bought the book. As soon as it arrived in the mail I sat with it. I read it in two (unfortunately two — it would have been one if not for having to drive somewhere) sittings, and from really what was the fifth page in it began to percolate and pool within me. I was viscerally struck. Less than halfway inside I began to think ‘This would make a beautiful film.’ A few moments after I finished reading I felt I had to bring the story to a wide audience and a new medium. Patrick Welborn, my friend and agent, read the book and agreed. And now I, with the help of many many others, will do just that.

Ungeuntine on film? A story on a boat in a blur world where time is flesh and language is flesh and each page is fever sleep meshed with weird acid and a gloaming sense of death?

A huge undertaking, and an exciting one. In Ken’s hands, I feel ready to be eaten alive. Here’s to good luck in power and light, brother.

If you haven’t yet consumed this masterpiece, it is available in new edition from Dalkey Archive. Do yourself a favor.

Author News / 44 Comments
April 13th, 2009 / 12:08 pm