December 2011

A Debate!

In keeping with time-honored holiday tradition, Chris Higgs and I are going to spend it arguing. We’re currently conducting a debate (via Google Docs), which we’ll begin posting in several parts come January.

Our starting point: “What is experimental fiction?”
Add your own thoughts in the Comments Section…

Craft Notes / 69 Comments
December 22nd, 2011 / 2:27 pm

A couple cool things:

A beautiful book trailer for Anna Joy Springer’s The Vicious Red Relic (Jaded Ibis Press, 2011) – Reviewed previously here.

&, a beautiful video portrait of sound artist Cathy Sung Kim.

Silliman’s year-end list is up and some of it is what you might expect, peeps from his posse (good peeps) like Armantrout, Waldman, DuPlessis, Bernstein, and thennn there’s someone named Steve Roggenbuck on there too. Neat.


Dave Bowman as naked girl?

Sleeping Beauty, the mesmerizing, disquieting first film directed by Australian novelist Julia Leigh, was the most psychologically penetrating work in any medium that I encountered this year.  It’s weird how the most impenetrable works can also be the most penetrating.

Leigh seems to get that paradox.  “My vagina is not a temple,” says Lucy, assuring her prospective employer that she has no problem with taking sleeping pills and allowing wealthy men access to her nude, unconscious body.  “Nevertheless, you will not be penetrated,” the madame promises. READ MORE >

Film / 20 Comments
December 22nd, 2011 / 11:45 am

Some Pictures of Frank Silva I Like


Random / 21 Comments
December 21st, 2011 / 9:26 pm

Leaving money on the table

If you’re related to me, don’t read the rest of this sentence: I got most of the people in my family books this year for Christmas. I don’t usually do that, actually. For a writer, it seems rather hazardous. Because, for one thing, though I love my family and I want them to be happy, I’m not going to intentionally purchase things that I consider truly shitty on their behalf. But on the other hand I’m not going to go out and buy them, say, the FC2 catalogue just because I happen to like it; that would be a Real Dick Move. But even once I’ve negotiated that mess and found the place where my tastes and those of a given family member overlap, there’s still the risk that you’re essentially giving someone homework for Christmas. The fact that I want to read a book someday has nothing at all to do with whether or not I want to read it now. By giving someone a book, you either rob them of that decision or, more likely, give them something that they’re going to feel guilty about for several months (or even years) but likely never actually read. But this post isn’t about giving books for Christmas, really. It’s about ebook pricing. READ MORE >

Presses / 49 Comments
December 21st, 2011 / 6:21 pm

4 Poems by Brandon Johnson


Random / 9 Comments
December 21st, 2011 / 5:21 pm

Well this is a weird but awesome contest. Write a story that features Matt Salesses. I feel sorry for everybody that died before today and didn’t get to know about this.

man reading digital New Yorker on hanukkah day 2 has 22 thoughts

1. Is it worth the money?

2. I feel guilty if I’m not reading at least three times a week because of all the money. Very tough to read everything you need to read. It’s depressing, like Christopher Hitchens dying or Schopenhauer or some of the things he said.

3. Schopenhauer:

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.

4. The digital New Yorker keeps writing about Christopher Hitchens out of respect but you can tell the writing is a little guarded, still bitter about Hitchens Left-2-Right turn and his steadfast support for the War in Iraq.

5. Shouldn’t I be adding links? If you are going to talk about something digital, please add links, you miserable cur.

6. Will Blake Butler do one of those “Look at all these fucking books I read” list this year? That list always makes me angry and unsure of myself. Then I think, “Well shit, he has insomnia, maybe he’s reading a lot at night?”

7. I’m surprised no one has talked about James Franco yet. He hires his professors into Hollywood jobs. He maybe got a professor fired because of a D grade? I don’t know.

8. If you have any fucking sense, you’ll want to read Christopher Hitchens on James Joyce.

A century later, the literary world will celebrate the hundredth “Bloomsday,” in honor of the very first time the great James Joyce received a handjob from a woman who was not a prostitute.


Power Quote & Random / 28 Comments
December 21st, 2011 / 12:51 pm

woman reading Flowers of Evil on hanukkah night 1 has 22 thoughts

1. Baudelaire wants out like I want out–up and out.

2. Baudelaire wants god.

3. Baudelaire is looking for god in opium, hash, morphine and pussy.

4. Baudelaire is looking for god in god.

5. If ______ calls it Les Fleurs du Mal in a soft voice one more time I am going to kill him.

6. Would be cool to be a muse, but only if the poet is hot and good. Otherwise it would be gross.

7. Feel like I’ve only been a muse to yucky people.

8. Feel like if I behaved like Baudelaire it would be acting out.


Random / 37 Comments
December 21st, 2011 / 11:23 am