In my own thinking of this matter, I found it useful to think of scientific theories as ‘growing existential statements’ in the sense that in adopting a scientific theory, we are committed to the existence of entities that make our (interpreted) theory true and, in particular, to the existence of unobservable things that cause or explain the observable phenomena, but at the same time we leave open the possibility that the theory might not be uniquely realised or that it might fail to be (fully) realised.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Stathis Psillos.
“The writing itself is painful, but a worse pain comes from not writing. When I first conceive a work of fiction, I try to put off the writing of it because of the pain involved. But then the pain of knowing that the feelings and the imagery will never be expressed in words – then that pain becomes unbearable. And then I relieve the pain by writing.”
Tristan Foster interviews Gerald Murnane.
Fragments of pages 67 and 71, Uncorrected Advance Proof. Translated from the Spanish. She was asleep when the accident happened so she grabbed the camera and memorialized them out of guilt.
Provenance: Havana-Montagnola, San Francisco-Philadelphia
By Matt Jakubowski.
To experience Mental Furniture is to be thrown by language. Patterns and recognisable phantom figures do appear as though intentional – dirty rabbit, the mother, water – but their presence is dependent upon a complex chaos of shifting time, and they rely upon this undoing. They punctuate the text like talismans, offering resistance, temporary steadying, recognition even. Then there are sections of fervent articulacy, where anger and fear crystallise and deliver something vicious, something potent. But where does that leave us, the readers?
Emily Beber on Claire Potter‘s Mental Furniture.
Playing Goldeneye on N64 and watching friends evolve into enemies
Before deciding it’s finally time to leave the rustiest corner of the galaxy
And figure out its identity. I hope it windmilled its self-loathing energy
Into something slightly positive, into exploring the loveliest places in the universe,
Because sometimes when I stare at it, I see an old man wearing crusted pajamas
Sleepwalking through the halls of an assisted living facility and wondering
Where he put things, wondering if all star-crossed lovers are sleepwalking
Through a wasteland looking for his light. It feels nice to be wanted like that.
By Justin Karcher.
When one looks at the contextually sensitive expressions in natural language, those whose context independent meanings are sufficient by themselves to secure semantic values in context are very much in the minority. Kaplan called such expressions pure indexicals and ‘I’ and ‘yesterday’ may be the only ones (and I worry about ‘yesterday’). Even candidates like ‘here’, ‘now’, and ‘today’ don’t seem to be pure indexicals since e.g. the temporal extent of the semantic value of ‘now’ varies from context to context (‘Let’s leave the party now’ vs. ‘People now watch more content on their computers as opposed to their televisions than they used to’). Similar remarks apply to ‘here’ and ‘today’ (and perhaps ‘yesterday’).
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Jeffrey King.
The defining, screaming, Braille-like quality of Hofmann’s sensibility was an inexhaustible negativism, cocktailed in my estimation as two parts pleasure to one part pain—though, by reviews’ end, pain and pleasure were so entwined as to be indistinguishable. I felt like I had found a mutant literary critic, product of some ghoulish pathological childhood, who had discovered a sinister, backwards cultural secret: the real jouissance lies in the hating. How, I wondered, did he find the space, let alone the stamina, to marshal against books this many complaints?
William Harris reviews Where Have You Been? by Michael Hofmann
As I dusted myself off and went to find a quiet street to force pad thai into my alcohol-shrunken stomach, I wondered about whether Charles Bukowski and Philip K. Dick had ever crossed paths. I imagined them at some cafe in Hollywood, Bukowski morose, hungover, withdrawn, Dick talking ten to the dozen about some ethereal mind-warp, whizzing on speed and passing pills over the coffee. Bukowski wouldn’t have liked it; he once compared the meetings of writers to too many flies on a turd. Dick might have laughed back, saying about sci-fi writers that “our knowledge is limited, our fiction is terrible.”
George F. on Charles Bukowski, Philip K. Dick and Bangkok
We are the successor to Trafika, which was a print quarterly of new literature in English translation from around the world. Trafika quickly developed a flair for introducing new voices into English. Now Trafika Europe is putting a frame of Europe around this. We want to celebrate the vibrant mix of cultures across the continent, get to know them a little better, and encourage greater mutual regard, toward a stronger sense of belonging all together in Europe.
Joshua Mostafa speaks to Andrew Singer from Trafika Europe
There were lines across the pages but they were imperceptible because of how dark it had become and once a word was written it was quite irretrievable, as if abducted. I went on, sinking words into the pages, perhaps wondering what or who was taking them in. And then, for the first time that day, just as it was ending, I knew where I was — I was beneath the ground.
An excerpt from Claire-Louise Bennet‘s Pond.