“Fail better” is now experimental literature’s equivalent of that famous Che Guevara photo, flayed completely of meaning and turned into a successful brand with no particular owner. * Lars Iyer’s top 10 literary frenemies. * Simon Critchley on Oscar Wilde‘s De Profundis. * Critchley’s tragedy reading list. * Writings on Joyce. * Joyce & the internet. * “No other writer cops out quite as elegantly as Geoff Dyer.” * “She is a great novelist who looks like a quieter novelist.” Adam Thirlwell’s wonderful 2004 essay on Muriel Spark. * A brief survey of William S. Burroughs references in pop culture. * “‘Is it Cronenbergesque or not?’ It’s nice to be an adjective, but it can also be a trap.” * J.G. Ballard‘s hand-edited manuscript of Crash. * Stewart Home‘s 10 Greatest Anti-Art Suicides (Before Mike Kelly). * Guy Debord’s sound works, Situationist films & the documentary On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972, all at UbuWeb. * Robert Montgomery‘s street poems. * The rise, the fall, & the attempted rise of Stefan Zweig. * “Stories of a man in love with the world, but unable to take part in it.” On Robert Walser‘s Berlin Stories. * No one reads Ladislav Klima. * Juan Gabriel Vásquez on his residency in a reconstruction of Joseph Conrad‘s Roi des Belges, with music by Andrew Bird. * “The fact that [A Personal Record] is rarely read today confirms Conrad’s reputation as one of English literature’s most “homeless” authors.” * Kevin Breathnach‘s speculative criticism uncovers a plot within modernist photography. * The magazines that published the founding texts of modernism are now available in PDF. * Edmund White on his love for Ezra Pound‘s translation of ‘Exile’s Letter’ by Li Po. * T.S. Eliot & his happy life as a banker. * Typewriter erotica from the 1920s (above). * On Alan Moore‘s claims that prequels & sequels diminish the quality of a literary work. * Sylvain Sylvain interviewed. * James Joyce is out of copyright, but the spats continue. * James Joyce‘s Chamber Music. * Is Tony Judt Orwell’s heir? * La Jetée captured. * “David Foster Wallace died, and in the conversation about his death a certain sort of book got elevated, enshrined.” * 2012, the year the David Foster Wallace industry exploded. * “This failure is where Bernhard and Levé begin. Their works, very similar, very different, demonstrate the multiplicity of solutions bestowed by failure. In announcing their failure, both writers renounce it.”
First posted: Sunday, February 12th, 2012.