I am in the middle of like 14 books which is why I’m not finishing any of them but whatever:
MARCEL DUCHAMP NOTES: reading this is annoying because the translation is just basically done via end notes, which seems to defeat the purpose, but Duchamp is fucking brilliant so I’m doing it.
CONTRA MUNDUM I-VII: journal of collected talks from this series. Good stuff in here, intersection of art & philosophy & critical theory & politics. Really dug the talk on Private Issue New Age records, and Evan Calder William’s talk on zombie films is surprisingly awesome.
LOST BOY, LOST GIRL by Peter Straub : when they were working on my computer at work I had to sit at my desk and stay occupied for 6 hours without having anything to do so I started reading this. It’s pretty OK. The mechanics of mass-market fiction kind of weird me out still, with the insistence upon elaborating a lot of dumb unnecessary details, but the events in here are interesting for sure.
YALE ANTHOLOGY OF 20TH CENTURY FRENCH POETRY: Kept on my desk at work & I read it whenever I get the whim. I think I’m on the last section, but since I started on the second to last section, I’m actually in the like middle of the book.
RENE’S FLECH by VIRGILIO PINERA: picked this up based on Lily’s post, it’s fucking great. I’d be done with it if I werent’ reading a million books at once right now.
NEW LITERATURE AND PHILOSOPHY OF THE MIDDLE EAST: THE CHAOTIC IMAGINATION by JASON BAHBAK MOHAGHEGH: this is awesome but it’s taking me forever to read and I have to return on Monday. So i will try to power read it this weekend. It’s sort of an ideology of chaotic literature that changes the world via routes taken by Blanchot. If there is a future of literature, conceived of as such, I want it to be found in this book. Lit theory as inspiration.
MALLARME COMLPETE POETRY: I have a hard time reading the symbolists, or basically pre-Surrealist poetry because it feels so stilted, but dude is important historically so I’m giving him a go. His famous Throw of the Dice poem is amazing, but I’m not too into the rest of his shit.
POEMS FOR THE MILLENNIUM VOLUME 2: I keep this by my bed and read the work of a few poets every night. There is a lot of amazing shit in here, and it’s really nice that this book takes such an overarching look at poetry across the entire globe.
THE MEDIUM OF CONTINGENCY: art & capital via urbanomic
THE AESTHETICS OF DISAPPEARANCE: Virilio being really fantastic, speed, disappearance. I have discovered that I love reading Virilio.
THE WRITING OF THE DISASTER by MAURICE BLANCHOT: fragmented nature of these ideas leads to a disjointed reading. Blanchot is fantastic.
CYCLONOPEDIA: COMPLICITY WITH ANONYMOUS MATERIALS by REZA NEGARESTANI: this is astounding and confusing, complementing THE CHAOTIC IMAGINATION for sure
AFTER FINITUDE by QUENTIN MEILLASSOUX: this is sort of shaking the foundation of my thought, which is what it’s supposed to do, I read everything out of order, this is going slowly, but lovely forever.
This Is Not Your City by Caitlin Horrocks (brilliant and a real pleasure to read)
The Watery Part of the World by Michael Parker (a decent enough book but not grabbing me)
These Are the Breaks by Idris Goodwin (really interesting and engaging)
I Don’t Respect Female Expression by Frank Hinton (pretty great)
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter (too soon to tell)
Us by Michael Kimball (incredibly moving)
Damascus by Joshua Mohr (not what I normally go for but I’m liking it so far)
the angel in the dream of our hangover by Mark Leidner (interesting)
Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker
i’m almost done
it’s like hundreds of soundbites (selective? spin? yeah, sure )
i find myself “making up” my own “context” as i read them
so surprisingly “imaginary” an experience for me
Forgot to talk about the books. It’s interesting to read And Yet and Us at the same time — And Yet is whimsical and fantasy-based (a novel told in fables) and Us is soulful and mournful and intensely real (but the narrator does engage in magical thinking).
Open City is very richly detailed and, like Us, much of its strength comes from its exploration of the narrator’s inner life.
Entrance to a colonial pageant in which we begin to intricate by Jonhannes Goransson (based on a suggestion from HTMLGIANT). I really like it and I’m almost finished but I keep having to stop and wipe the brain matter oozing from my ears.
jean-philippe toussaint’s ‘running away’ (gorgeous, exhausting)
lynne tillman’s ‘american genius’ (might be in my top 10 best books of all time)
gass’s ‘the tunnel’ (not sure if there’s anything else to read after this, seems like ‘the ultimate book’ or something)
javier marias’s ‘a heart so white’ (breakin’ mah heart, sentences for miles)
john hawkes’s ‘the beetle leg’ (read it once, miss the fucked nightmares, so i’m reading it again)
stephen king’s ‘skeleton crew’ (i dunno.)
Reading and re-reading tons of short stories for a “best of the decade” anthology. This has been a lot of fun. I’ve discovered new favorites and re-discovered old ones. Might be reading nothing but short stories until this project is completed in late summer.
Also re-reading The Phantom Tollbooth, which was my favorite book as a kid.
Recently finished Of Thimble and Threat by Alan M. Clark (which isn’t out until October). This is a bleak-ass book. First time in a long while that a book has made me cry, let alone weep like someone smashed my LEGO pirate ship.
“The Year of Living Dangerously” by Christopher J. Koch. It’s part of my research on Indonesia which is kind of the best way to research ever. I am really enjoying it but it was kind of a buzz kill when I learned they made a movie of it…starring Mel Gibson….
man i kinda wanna read ‘the tunnel’ but i have a really hard time starting books that are more than like 300 pages max. it seems really sweet though. i mean, i didn’t really like the one gass book i read, but the idea of the tunnel seems awesome. i haven’t read hawkes. i have a copy of ‘the passion artist’ though. i like books that give nightmares.
Paying For It by Chester Brown – provocative, well worth reading
The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano – great
Story of the Eye – cooky fun
Ana C & Frank Hinton chapbooks, Italian Futurist Poetry, Nicanor Parra, Mark Leidner – all great
Strangely like my own current summer reading spread; contemplating which Murakami to read next while rereading some fantasy novels akin to WoT, which is to say good enough that I’m not ashamed to admit to be reading them.
Oh man I read The Skating Rink just recently too. Why isn’t every book written that way?
Also, is the Chester Brown anything like the stuff in The Little Man? I loved those minicomics but could not get into his Louis Riel book at all.
art as experience. just finished the blue book. maybe start crying of lot 49. also just got lapham’s quarterly in the mail. wittgenstein’s mistress and brown book soon. good, good, and i assume good good good good.
Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife. considering how formally experimental it is, i was really bored. read like ‘hippie shit’ to me. it also might have just been way too heterosexual in a way that felt exclusive to me or something.
last two books i read were blake bailey’s richard yates bio and coetzee’s diary of a bad year. the tricky formatting of the latter became sort of annoying at times, and seemed a lot more gimmicky than innovative, but its effects in the end were palpable, the way it lingered. like the intermigling of non-fiction essay and straight realist fiction. makes me wish more writers would “fuck shit up” like that, yes.
“The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney” by Christopher Higgs
“ntst: The Collected Pwoermds of Geof Huth” by Geof Huth
“OcNUX” by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
“Selected Poems” by Gwendolyn Brooks
“Otherwise Elsewhere” by David Rivard
Those last two I’ve sort of abandoned. Both are great, but I’ve found that unless a poetry collection really grasps me somehow, I tend to toss it to the wayside.
Cages, Dave Mckean
The three volume Richardson Picasso, and the two volume Spurling Matisse
“The Writings of William James”, selected and edited on thematic grounds
Bye-and-Bye, Charles Wright
The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
Out of the Vinyl Deeps, Ellen Willis
and the first ever fully annotated edition of “The Bridge”, which came out this year.
I found it published in a mirror, my own mirror in which where my own mirror image had been writing a mirror book, a story in which I caught enough sentences of to tell that it was mine and yet completely strange, something completely not myself. And once it saw me seeing though, the writing returned to normal.
I’m going back and forth between “2 people liked this.” and these very words. Not digging the narrative arc, but minutely fascinated or ‘fascinated’ by the suspense. Frustrated by the interactivity, especially when a misspelling occurs.
I just finished reading “Suicide” by Edouard Leve, and it blew me away. Short, powerful, and extremely sad. A loving portrait of (the narrator’s) friend who decided to end his life at the age of 25. Very fucked up, once you learn that the author killed himself about a week after he handed the mss. to his publisher. Strong stuff.
Finished “Paris 60” by Harold Jaffe about a week ago. It’s basically the wry thoughts of a lovable curmudgeon who stayed in the City of Lights for three months back in 2008. Killer stuff. Very funny. Spot-on cultural reportage, from an Outsider.
Started reading “American Genius” by Lynne Tillman a few days ago, had to put it down. I found it incredibly boring. What’s all the fuss about? If there’s an inside joke, please, if you have read the book, fill me in…
Just started “The Explosion of the Radiator Hose” last night, by Jean Rolin. The author is supposed to be sort of like a French W.G. Sebald. I’m only a few pages in, but I’m really digging it. Too early to really tell, though.
Ordered “S P R A W L” on Amazon just today, looking forward to receiving it in the mail soon. I’ll tackle it after I finish “Radiator Hose.”
rereading ulysses, fucking phenomenal
rilke’s dunio elegies, felt like the sixth was on-point, a little cryptic overall
i’ve been reading anti-oedipus for like over a year, starting to make more sense in context of other things and some of my own epiphanies, wikipedia reading re: psychology, etc.
machado’s dom casmurro, loving it
read a robert walser microessay every once in a while, killer
joe wenderoth’s no real light, somewhat disappointing
random donna haraway pieces on the interwebs, so good i don’t want to talk about it
seven controlled vocabularies, i think i get it
re-reading _infinite jest_.* the section after the violent eschaton incident involving ann kittenplan – the section focused on gately at the boston area aa commitments – the section describing the drooling, diddled, IT in the raquel welch mask, and the dried-out stillborn on the floor of the welfare-hotel room and the mother, her denial, carrying around inside her the impacted placenta… some gut-tugging shit, for sure. i cried, no doubt, reading all that.
last night i read the subtitles while watching _13 assassins_. fiercely entertaining. some formulas just work.
and i agree, _open city_ was a good read.thanks to this list, i’m looking into jean-philippe toussaint.
*while purchasing+ _i.j_, amazon suggested i try _there is no year_ which brought me here.
+i had to re-buy _i.j._ because i brought my copy to the 2009 rainbow gathering outside of taos, new mexico. and after bringing professor anarchy^ to ok city, we headed to the woody guthrie festival where i gave my copy to a fresh-faced high school graduate that was dying to read it.
^professor anarchy is now phoebe xavier. warning: he/she will rap and rap well for food or cash, but if you invite him/her to sleep on your couch for a month, he/she will steal food/clothes/weapons from your family.
Game of Thrones. first fantasy book i’ve read since outgrowing the genre in high school. on the whole it’s pretty dull, except for the Tyrion Lannister chapters. he’s the only interesting character in the book.
Solo Faces would be a suitable choice, because its story is a hard, clear arc. Light Years is an equally fine novel – or better – , but one might feel that the gorgeousness of the prose dissolves the sadness of the story. The story of all of Salter’s stories (that I’ve read) is the texture of glamor that his sentences plunge the reader into – sentences lapidary like Nabokov and Updike, but with Salter one doesn’t constantly see the magician’s fingers.
no, his books are infinitely worse than the movies, and most of the movie adaptations are terrible. you should not read stephen king. stephen king is terrible and does everything wrong with the horror genre and then people jerk off all over him for and and he has basically ruined everything important ever.
if you want to read MM horror read peter straub
if you want to read really good horror read thomas ligotti
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