Unknown Arts by William Walsh (Keyhole Press, 2012) is a collection of critical appropriations sourced from James Joyce’s Ulysses, Finnegan’s Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, and more. A book about Joyce’s books, Unknown Arts can be read as analysis, distortion, homage, and/or a work of art all of its own. It is doubtless a contentious book that will likely add fuel to the ongoing and often fiery debates around contemporary criticism, the imprint of influence, and the nature of creativity. Controversial or not, the collection is a valuable artifact that allows rare access into what are for many the impenetrable works of a literary master.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the many texts in the collection appropriated from Ulysses (1922), titled “Sunny Jim 2”:
April 2nd, 2012 / 12:00 pm
1. This Stephen King piece by William Walsh is exactly why I glow persona fiction. Not sure how I missed this. Maybe it was even noted here (I’m too lazy to look now). Anyway, enjoy. I think this piece is using the persona (King), its echoes, connotations, in a way I really admire and enjoy. Walsh is waltzing the term “Stephen King” in a technical manner. The King character is an object/emotion/thought process. It enacts a void and need and unspoken thing for this family. It…oh, I could go on, but why not read?
2. Sardine sandwiches do rock. (1:56 to end made me fly/why like a detail) I am serious now, go watch. Isn’t it what we like and need to live? Isn’t it a good story, or better a poem? If I could meet one sardine sandwich woman a day, this very life would be enough.
3. Here are some crystals for sale at a reasonable price. They were found in Tao Lin, China.
4. I am sick, feverish, that somebody-stuffed-wet insulation-in-my-head-cavities thing, something, but just ignoring it because I have a lot of work to do. Does anyone like to write when ill? I have been writing the last two days and my fingers are large, like balloons (those party ones clowns make into dachshunds) floating over the keys, all tinnitus and forehead simmer. I’m not sure what it means to the words on the page. You?
1. Heather Christle is doing a video challenge contest to win a copy of the new blue edition of her The Difficult Farm.
2. Keyhole just announced and is preselling a new minibook by William Walsh, Pathologies.
3. Tom Bissell writes for the Guardian about his addiction to Grand Theft Auto, a preview of his new book on video games, Extra Lives.
Margaret Atwood got into lots of fistfights as a young man. He wanted to like people, but people were not nice to him. One hundred percent of Margaret Atwood’s fights were about his name.
A list of contributors to the issue is here.
As you enjoy, send good thoughts to Brian Foley. It’s his fault.
November 12th, 2008 / 8:05 pm
A nice, big announcement from Keyhole Press:
Keyhole has several full-length releases scheduled in 2009.
First up is William Walsh’s Questionstruck – A Collection of Question-based Texts Derived from the Books of Calvin Trillin.
Then Stephanie Johnson’s fiction collection, One of These Things is Not Like the Others and a fiction collection by Shellie Zacharia, Now Playing.
More info on each release will be available soon.
Exciting to see another great new press revealing their debuts.
Excerpts from William Walsh’s ‘Questionstuck’ can be found at his blog here.
Keyhole I believe is also still open to submissions of book length work for their press, and shorter work for the web, which is currently chock full of incredible people like Amelia Gray & Kim Chinquee.