Underland Press wrote to say they are offering a 15% discount on their entire stock through the end of December. This includes their lovely, lovely limited edition hardcovers. Finch! Last Days by Brian Evenson! Best American Fantasy! Evil Clowns!
There’s also a four books for $30 deal at Two Dollar Radio. Joshua Mohr! Gary Indiana! Nog!
Eric Oberauf, captain of the publishing house Two Dollar Radio, has a great article in the new Brooklyn Rail arguing that we should be sober but optimistic about the printed book object and its success as a method of literary distribution. In “The Revenge of Print,” Oberauf explains the relevance of independent presses very well, summarizes the identity crisis that passes for a business model at most big and butterchurning book houses, and argues with a thoughtful and historically aware perspective that adapting a “realistic scale” isn’t downsizing expectations but getting back to mattering. What his argument reminds us is that people pay for books not because they’re addicted to mulch, but to read words and like words and carry words around so they can read them some more, which makes the whole thing more communication than commodity. Maybe you’re going to make more friends than money, it’s true. So if corporate book publishers want to continue tricking any cash into falling toward them, they might want to remember that books are closer to party invitations than to coat hangers.
Here’s a pull quote:
The goal for book publishers, most simply put, should not be to undertake a virtual arms race of developing technology with both the Internet and media, or to try to compete on a bloated scale with music and film, or even to translate a work to conform to an undetermined potential future model. The mission for book publishers and print media at large should be to create a product that is irreplaceable and indispensable.
Two Dollar Radio has just now rereleased Rudolph Wurlitzer’s classic ‘Nog,’ a sincerely gritty and visceral book with sentences that crush. Having read this book in earlier editions, I can tell you this book feels just as vital and fresh now as it likely did among the literary terrain of its original release in the 60’s, perhaps even more so.
But let’s don’t have me give you the word on it. Let’s have Thomas Pynchon:
“Wow, this is some book, I mean, it’s more than a beautiful and heavy trip, it’s also very important in an evolutionary way, showing us directions we could be moving in — hopefully another sign that the Novel of Bullshit is dead and some kind of re-enlightenment is beginning to arrive, to take hold. Rudolph Wurlitzer is really, really good, and I hope he manages to come down again soon, long enough anyhow to guide us on another one like Nog.”
Death to the Novel of Bullshit, what else can you ask for?