:: Reviews archive ( click for articles pre-2006)

Fragments, miracles, recurrences and likenesses: A review of F.M.R.L. by Daniela Cascella published 13/05/2015

F.M.R.L. by Daniela Cascella

Fifteen short chapters begin with a playful dialogue between sound and a writer, as Cascella seems to work out what she’s doing on the page before you, and then moving straight into the tangled yet lyrical description of that Scelsi quartet. As soon as you are oriented to that, Cascella moves again.

C.D. Rose reviews F.M.R.L. by Daniela Cascella.

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Léon Werth’s Flight from Paris published 12/05/2015

33 Daysnew 2

Léon Werth’s heroic examination of seemingly every event on this journey captures the existential drama of this long caravan. Yet it’s his search for an anchor in events that have estranged him from France that ensures the relevance of 33 Days.

Mark Tewfik on Léon Werth‘s 33 Days.

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how to pose for hustler published 08/05/2015


How to Pose for Hustler is memorable because it achieves a balance between emotions and sex, grit and poetry, depression and hilarity, minutiae and universal themes. The stories in this collection deal with the world each of us carries inside, the world outside ourselves, and the uncomfortable ways in which those two worlds constantly crash into each other.

Gabino Iglesias on Andrea Kneeland‘s How to Pose for Hustler.

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Yuri Herrera’s Apocalyptic Quest published 06/05/2015


Here, in the interplay of shifting language, is the new; we see how their world expands and contracts, erases the old, and makes the world afresh. As with any true change, it hurts, it’s clumsy, inestimable, disliked by those who believe in authenticity or tradition.

Jason DeYoung on Yuri Herrera‘s Signs Preceding the End of the World.

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from a state of insecurity to a community of care published 01/05/2015


Lorey’s solution is what she terms a “community of care,” that is a community in which one’s relationship to others is emphasized… Her solution is therefore not an abandonment of politics, but rather a striving towards forms of self-government and resistance to precarization within current political models.

Max Sipowicz reviews Isabell Lorey‘s State of Insecurity, translated by Aileen Derieg.

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Passed over to a broken machine published 20/04/2015

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.

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Imagine Kafka as Fat!: a review of Where Have You Been? by Michael Hofmann published 15/04/2015

Where Have You Been?

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.

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the parody of sovereignty published 10/04/2015


The author of Headless is largely irrelevant; it is the obvious attempt to conceal her identity which corresponds to, and highlights, the book’s focus on secrecy and surveillance: the fact she is hiding is more important than who she is. Riddled with aliases, meta-fictions, and delusions, Headless struggles to keep itself from caving in on its self-devised rabbit warren of half-truths.

Rosie Clarke on K.D.‘s Headless.

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The Dissociated Man published 03/04/2015


In The Dark Net, his exploration of the internet’s nastier places, Jamie Bartlett argues that the proliferation of multiple online worlds presents a paradox. At your keyboard there’s a multiverse of opinion and perspective. But it also gives us the opportunity to bury ourselves in a feedback loop. If you have a certain view of the world, there’s numerous fora just for people who think the exact same way: you can chat on Facebook groups and messageboards, read great tracts of articles and essays, and still never be exposed to anyone who disagrees with you, or can challenge your beliefs. ‘Creating our own realities is nothing new,’ Bartlett writes, ‘but now it’s easier than ever to become trapped in echo chambers of our own making.’

Max Dunbar reviews Åsne Seierstad‘s biography of Anders Breivik.

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Alan Moore’s Nemo: River of Ghosts published 01/04/2015


The Nemo trilogy works like a fast meditation on Kubla Khan’s paradise, a classic hell of first ice and then fire. The infernal translation from the Antarctic’s ‘sunless sea’ turned to ‘ a hot and copper sky’ is caught in the arc of an Ancient Mariner’s tale, the sun a hellish moon like the alien eye of an alligator, ‘small and sunk’ which ends in the slithering horrors of ‘Christabel.’ What Nemo is charting is a journey where the awesome fountain of the centuries erupts and there’s a demon lover wailing something dreadful under a waning moonshine. She’s gone to a sacred universe where all the women are lunar women. It’s a reaffirmation of what happened a long time ago in a dreamtime.

Richard Marshall reviews Moore and O’Neill’s Nemo: River of Ghosts.

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