:: Buzzwords Archive: October 2012. Click here for the latest posts.

Plotting (published 08/10/2012)

The Believer Logger interview Sergio de la Pava:

Human beings are interested in crime and punishment. And somewhere along the way, it seems to me that plot became a dirty word as it relates to American fiction. If you had a vigorous plot, then you were a meathead, purely an entertainer, not a serious writer. If you were a serious writer, then you purposely made sure that there was no plot. My way of looking at it was that the musicians who most espouse theories of how melody is dead are often the ones who can’t come up with a melody…My point is that plot is a difficult thing to do, but when you read undeniably serious books like Crime and Punishment and Moby-Dick, they have vigorous plots…I don’t think plot has to be a dirty word. I do think that you can have a plot and still be serious, and still aspire to do other things, and that was one of the shaping factors of this book.

The Missing Links (published 07/10/2012)

Shuffle literature and the hand of fate. * “A Story As You Like It” by Raymond Queneau. * An interview with Jim Krusoe: “Someone told me once they liked the spaces between my poems better than the poems”. * William Basinski‘s Disintegration Loops ten years on. * Leopardi‘s nihilistic genius. * The importance of Nick Land. * “The Comet” by Bruno Schulz. * Adorno‘s non-waking life. * Adorno for revolutionaries. * Benjamin Kunkel on the unbearable lightness of Slavoj Žižek‘s communism. * The Feelies at CBGB, December 1977. * An interview with Simon Sellars about J. G. Ballard. * The typography of Jean-Luc Godard. * Philip Hensher on why handwriting matters. * Will the handwritten clues to who we are be consigned to history? * Web-addicted writers. * Simon Reynolds on recreativity and the modern dismissal of genius: “[A]n emerging movement of critics, theorists, writers, and artists argue that techniques of appropriation and quotation are inherent to the creative process. Not only are the concepts of originality and innovation obsolete, they’ve always been myths. Let’s call this movement recreativity”. * Moby Dick Big Read. * Will Self speaks to Shortlist magazine: “I always remember this writer I knew years ago, I won’t tell you his name but he’s quite well known and he had a couple of successful books then went silent for years and years. I ran into him at a party and he was quite coked up and totally unbuttoned. I said, ‘Why haven’t you published anything for years?’ And he said, ‘Everybody’s got an obsession, Will. Mine is girls with guns in boots. Before broadband it was alright because it was manageable. But not now.’ That was it. He had spent six or seven years looking at images of girls in boots with guns while he should have been fucking writing. That could happen to anybody. That could happen to me.” * Will Self on Kafka‘s musical tastes. * On Giacinto Scelsi‘s Anahit. * Erik Anderson‘s brilliant essay on the value(s) of writing: “Is writing any less biologically determined than fucking: do we write because we have to write? [...] Does it suggest the balm it cannot itself provide?” * Georg Klein on the future of the novel. * The essential guide to Brooklyn literature in 2012. * Brooklyn follies. * Joshua Cohen interviewed. * Hart Crane in Cleveland. * William Gass interviewed in the Paris Review, 1976. * Coming face to face with one’s punk past. * James Meek on Henry James. * Caspar David Friedrich “spent his life making images that mistrusted the power of images to reveal the ineffable” [via]. * Gee Vaucher‘s new film. * Mark Fisher on Crass. * Fellini‘s TV commercials. * Vincent Van Gogh in five seconds. * David Foster Wallace interview, 2003. * A documentary on Brigitte Bardot. * Zut alors!

Modern lovers of debris (published 05/10/2012)

New from the International Necronautical Society, The Mattering of Matter, a collection manifestos, declarations, reports, transcripts and broadcasts edited by Leah Whitman-Salkin, featuring key INS members Tom McCarthy, Simon Critchley and Anthony Auerbach.

A Gregory Crewdson moment (published )

Interview with the photographer on Paris Review blog:

Blue Velvet and David Lynch are often cited as influences on your work. I think there’s something about watching Lynch’s work with an audience that makes it seem a little more satirical and straightforward. Do you think there’s something about that aspect that takes away from the dreamscape and off-kilter factor of Lynch?

No, because I think watching movies in a theater is like a dream. It’s like a dream. That’s why when we watch a movie, we’re going into a dreamscape and when the movie breaks or something, we all let out a collective moan because we’re all disrupted from the dream.

Ultimate fiction (published 03/10/2012)

A page from David Foster Wallace’s notebook for The Pale King (via Flavorwire).

3:AM podcast (published )

“Some people say that when they are happy they sing and dance. But I say, when I sing and dance, I am happy… You have a duty to yourself to do something about your situation. So sing and dance, be happy, take a hot shower, make love, whatever… You want a cure for your unhappiness? Get yourself a lover.”

In the first of a series of new 3:AM podcasts curated by Adam Biles, Godfather of the counter-cultural underground, Jim Haynes talks about his childhood in Louisiana and Venezuela, opening the UK’s first paperback bookstore, his friendship with Henry Miller, the legendary 1962 International Writers Conference, London in the sixties, hanging out with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the demystification of sexuality and art, where the sexual revolution went wrong, founding the International Times (IT), SUCK Magazine and The Wet Dream Film Festival, travelling on a World Passport, Paris and May 1968… and – if you can believe it – much more besides. Subscribe to 3:AM‘s podcast on iTunes here, or by pasting this RSS link in your preferred podcast application.

[Jim Haynes portraits by Sarah Skinner.]

Dark Currents (published )

Monday October 8th, 7.30pm at The Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place, North Soho (off Charlotte and Oxford streets)

Since the days of the Regency, when prostitutes and pickpockets worked the promenades, and smugglers the coves and bays, the seaside has always had a seedy underbelly.

And the English seaside can rightfully claim to be the birthplace of the English detective novel. It was in between examining nautical malingerers and Senior Service retirees at his medical practice in Southsea, Portsmouth that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote ‘A Study in Scarlet’ – the tale that in 1887 bequeathed Sherlock Holmes to the world. Nearly a quarter of a century later, in Torquay, a 20-year-old Agatha Christie, recovering from a bout of influenza and bored with eking out the hours at home assembling jigsaws, created the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Cathi Unsworth, ‘the first lady of noir fiction’, grew up in Great Yarmouth and her latest novel the brilliant Weirdo is a unforgettable slice of eastern gothic set in a fictional Norfolk resort.

Travis Elborough, author of Wish You Were Here: England on Sea, hails from a family who ran a pioneering pirate-themed restaurant in Cornwall and was born in Worthing on the Sussex coast.

Together they will chart the seamier waters of the English seaside, ranging from Patrick Hamilton to Harold Pinter and from Graham Greene to Quadrophenia, and reading from their own works.