About Wendy Walker, from her website: “Up to 1994 I worked in known genres: the novel, novella, tale, poem. Since that time I have turned more to critical fiction, writing with constraints, and cross-genre writing, splicing these together to develop new ways of addressing problems at the crossroads of literature and history. I begin by listening to the demands of a given subject. The subject suggests approaches from a variety of directions, and I try to shape a form to open as many of those approaches as possible. The form is satisfactory if it honors the complexity of the subject addressed, rather than diminishing it, and resolves the material in an elegant manner. […]Continue reading “The Sea-Rabbit by Wendy Walker”
Cirque du Soleil
You were a failed experiment
on my living room carpet
two nights after the earthquake.
George Salis: I consider you something of a superhero, championing the underdogs of literature who have been wrongly neglected. And so, what is the superhero origin story of Tough Poets Press, does it involve radioactive spiders, gamma rays, mutant genes?Continue reading “Thrill of the Hunt: An Interview with the Founder of Tough Poets Press”
Jeremy Rebus startled awake. A voice throbbed inside: Go to work, go to work! The words sounded familiar. Friedrich Nietzsche spoke of waking each morning to create the fiction of one’s identity, one’s life. Jeremy often pondered that after rising, and again today as he stood dazed in the bathroom. Much of his identity remained wrapped up in his job. He had been a clerk, an assistant manager at Transitions Unlimited for ten years. Perhaps longer. Everything seemed clear once, but of late he was bedeviled by confusion, irked by an amnesiac fog cast over essential details.Continue reading “Delirium Corridor”
Last week I shared with you some of my thoughts about what is wrong with American literature. This week I want to take a closer look at three American writers to see if their writing is transcendent (i.e. redemptive in the way David Foster Wallace used the word), or if they are part of the ‘Literature of Angst and Malaise.’Continue reading “What Is Your Vision? The Literature of Malaise and Angst vs. the Literature of Redemption”
Editor’s note: The Untranslated is without a doubt my favorite blog. Run by an erudite polyglot, the blog consists of English reviews of “significant literary works not yet translated into English.” Thus Andrei, the blog’s founder, makes porous the language barrier, allowing us self-loathing monoglots (or those with only a few disparate tongues) to peer into contents of foreign literary masterpieces that may or may not be translated, let alone translatable. Reading his blog is like reading a Borges story about a book that doesn’t exist, yet it does exist. I thank Andrei for all his hard work and for agreeing to this interview.
George Salis: Why do you think the audience for translated fiction is so small? Is it because the audience for fiction in general is not all that large to begin with?Continue reading “Towers of Babel: An Interview with the Founder of The Untranslated”
Editor’s note: Kramberger with Monkey remains unpublished in English, but it has been translated into Slovene and published (Kramberger z opico). What does this tell us about the literary landscape in America? All I can say is that this particular excerpt reminded me a bit of the “Oxen of the Sun” episode from Ulysses, one of the greatest chapters from one of the greatest works of literature. And just as one cannot read a single episode of Ulysses and expect to ‘know what it’s about,’ so it is with this excerpt, which is a mere glimpse into a world of stories and wordplay and black humor. I hope you enjoy the alliteration, multilingual puns, and scatology. If you are a publisher, what are you waiting for? Contact the author right away and make your offer.Continue reading “An Excerpt from Kramberger with Monkey”
Translations are a puzzle. Say you’re reading Talal Itani’s translation of the Qu’ran (because you realized you haven’t read the central text of the world’s 2nd largest and fastest-growing religion) and come across Surah 24:43:Continue reading “And You See the Mountains, Imagine Them Fixed”
Of Godhead and Gravestones
Rip the words from my tongue
before they find form