I’m grappling with an essay on Antonin Artaud’s disastrous 1937 trip to Ireland for gorse no. 2, so I’m reading my way through as much of his work as I can stand, leaning heavily on the Susan Sontag edited Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings. A book I stumbled on by chance (I’m refracting Artaud’s shenanigans through their portrayal in film, as pictured above), and can’t recommend highly enough, is Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, a fascinating work that takes in Artaud, Francis Bacon, Marina Abramović, Sylvia Plath, Brian Evenson, Mary Gaitskill et al. For pleasure (and let’s be honest, Artaud, though good fun, is certainly not pleasurable) I’ll be reading Galley Beggar Press‘ latest novel: Randall, or, the Painted Grape by Jonathan Gibbs. I’ve also got my eye on Lee Rourke’s Vulgar Things and Javier Cercas‘ Outlaws (I heard him discuss it last month in Dublin and can’t wait to get stuck in). This might be cheating a little as I’ve already read it, but Rob Doyle’s Here Are the Young Men is probably the Irish book of the summer, if not the year, and though I started this a few weeks ago, no summer vacation should be complete without a visit to Mount London: Ascents in the Vertical City, published by the brilliantly innovative Penned in the Margins. It’s not due out until the end of the summer, but I’m looking forward to Karl Whitney’s Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin, though from the bits and pieces I’ve read in the Dublin Review, it promises to be a good one. Lastly, and I’m a little ashamed to say this, there’s an unread Ben Marcus (Leaving the Sea: Stories) in the house; I hope to rectify that soon.
First posted: Tuesday, July 1st, 2014.