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Interviews » 2500 random things (published 08/03/2013)

I can’t tell you any reason that Kathy Acker, my mother, and my dog Peggy would become linked in a text other than that they all died, and I witnessed it. Any effort I could make to be random would never escape that: it bends my light. There are slight overlaps like gender, and they fact that both women knew and loved my dog, but in the end the book reckons with the unrepresentable, not what is known. So maybe this brings me right back around to Kathy despite myself. Our last conversations were really about the unknown, about death, but they were always in the form of allegories or dreams. She couldn’t say she was dying, so everything happened in fragments or between the lines.

Maxi Kim interviews Matias Viegener.

Criticism » A modern original (published 15/02/2013)

Home writes with the barmy intensity of someone cancelling superfluity. He rocks ideas from serious to gimp and back without batting an eye-lid. His fix is bold: here he junks up loose first person narration as controlled and artful as anything in Foster Wallace, say, but without the grandeur and pomp swooningly all-consuming. His unapologetic venery is done as formulaic pulp grind-house sex. S&M snuff scenes in lurid and hilarious detail that cut across the artful deposits of cultural-study tropes covering the whole performance like sand are his deft stock-in-trade. It’s all a huge, like, whelm.

Richard Marshall on Stewart Home & his anti-realist novel, Mandy, Charlie & Mary-Jane .

Criticism » Exquisite corpses (published 30/01/2013)

The whole book seems to work in terms of what De Keyser and Decortis in the 1980s described as an attempt to structure events, processes, actions and products in terms of a ‘continual process operator’. There are several processes that have been brought to light as important to this sort of project. A key one is anticipation. Anticipation permits readers and all those involved to get ahead of any event with deftness and precision. Anticipation can be probabilistic where we scan parameters before everything goes out of order, selecting internalised statistical structures for this purpose, as if someone had prior knowledge of the probability of things breaking down. Reading and scanning every other page at speed and relying on previous times, previous documents, gives you enough to go on to anticipate how long, how far, how deep we’re going, according to this model. Illuminated by, say, one’s recollection of Carl Einstein and Georges Batailles and their Documents project, as well as the Wallace Berman Semina project, for example, we get a sense of this book’s purpose.

Richard Marshall reviews Book WorksBring The Dead Back To Life: Again A Time Machine: From Distribution to Archive.

Buzzwords » The Missing links (published 13/01/2013)

Marinetti recorded in 1935. * The spectacle of disintegration. * A Crass documentary. * Utopian for beginners. * The phantom phone booth. * On Mary Ruefle. * Mary Ruefle: “I know now I continue to write because I have not yet heard what I have been listening to”. * Back to Berlin. * The novel [...]

Criticism » A straight gaze (published 14/12/2012)

A writer can either grow or shrink and, in times of history, surrendering to mediocrity finds easy justification in multitudinous displays of precedent. Her uncompromising realism refuses self-serving or sanitised verdicts. Her sympathetic knowledge of the Russian Revolutionary tradition strengthened her resolve throughout. Her socialism raised suffering to a higher level but she saw through to the dull, low philistinism of the Soviet Union of Stalinism and after. Her analytical and demystifying accounts of her own milieu under the most extreme pressure are uncompromising, vivid and reachy. They are truthful, analytical and psychologically insightful accounts offering neither bromide nor sensationalism. In this they astonish. Her portraits of her doomed writers are of legendary children.

Richard Marshall reviews Lidiya Ginzburg’s Alternative Literary Identities: A Collection of Articles and New Translations .

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 11/12/2012)

The lure of the writer’s cabin. * The literary kingdom of Redonda. * Greg Baxter interviewed. * It’s a Bad Brains Christmas, Charlie Brown. * An interview with Christine Schutt on Bookworm. * Against architecture. * Nothing will have taken place. * Desperately seeking Susan Sontag. * Why Thai women cut off their husbands’ penises. [...]

Interviews » Dream big (published 29/11/2012)

As for the funding of the magazine there’s no money coming in and none going out, which I believe is partially responsible for its success. My idea of success, that is. Removing that influential and often dictatorial factor has liberated Paraphilia and preserved its integrity. And that was another motive behind the magazine’s creation: to give phenomenal art – sans the industries’ grip – to anyone who would love and appreciate it. I can’t say for certain that Paraphilia Magazine will always be an entirely non-monetary (ad)venture, but for the time being.

David Hoenigman interviews Díre McCain.

Criticism » ‘Pataphysics’ useless guffaw (published 21/11/2012)

We are biased towards usefulness. ‘Pataphysics resists this bias. It bombards us with samples of the inutilious. Rennes schoolboys invented the world ‘pataphysics’ in 1888. Alfred Jarry was the leader of that particular gang. Absurdism, Dada, Futurism, Surrealism, Situationism et al find roots in its soil. Hugill notes that the name works like the self defeater lying at the heart of Groucho Marx’s joke that he wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would accept him. We seek out solutions to problems. ‘Pataphysicians seek out solutions to non-problems.

Richard Marshall reviews Andrew Hugill’s ‘Pataphysics: A Useless Guide.

Buzzwords » Riffs around surrealism (published 09/11/2012)

Stewart Home on Claude Pélieu: Claude Pélieu was an associate of William Burroughs and his 1973 anti-novel Kali Yug Express is a continuation of the cut-up experiments begun more than a decade earlier by Brion Gysin. Although the book appeared in French (the language in which it was written) and German back in the 1970s, [...]

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 16/10/2012)

The weirding of philosophy. * Ben Woodard‘s Slime Dynamics reviewed. * Nick Land and sci-fi. * Berlin’s abandoned shopping trolleys. * Decoy Paris. * An interview with Christine Schutt. * Beckett reading from Watt and directing Godot. * An interview with Gabriel Josipovici (video). * László Krasznahorkai interviewed. * The beginning of Thomas Bernhard‘s Correction. [...]