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Under the paving stones, the beach (1)


What 3:AM‘s editors are reading this summer:

Anna Aslanyan: The summer has started early and may not last, so just a few titles before the big Booker rush. Just finished Patrik Ouředník‘s The Opportune Moment, 1855 and am now planning to read several more European books from Dalkey Archive, including Upstaged by Jacques Jouet, tr Leland de la Durantaye, Heatwave and Crazy Birds by Gabriela Avigur-Rotem, tr Dalya Bilu, and Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar by Viktor Shklovsky, tr Shushan Avagyan (but need to brace myself first for this last one). Also, I’m told Faber are putting out Teju Cole‘s Open City soon, which is a must, as is There but for the by Ali Smith. If there is still any time left after all the other reading I’m likely to be doing in my professional capacity, some of Notting Hill Editions‘ new releases look promising, among them Cataract by John Berger and Thoughts of Sorts by Georges Perec.

Sam Cooper: To welcome summer I will be diving headfirst into the crashing wave of new publications on the Situationist International. Verso are publishing McKenzie Wark‘s The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International, Minor Compositions have already published Richard Gilman-Opalsky‘s Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy, and Nebula Books have Expect Anything Fear Nothing: The Situationist Movement in Scandinavia and Elsewhere. After which I will lie back on the beach – or the street – and contemplate the heat of the moment with Sean Bonney‘s The Commons (though his blog, Abandoned Buildings, is particularly incendiary at the moment). All the while, I’ll be keeping an eye open for anything of Guy Hocquenghem, my interest having been aroused by Semiotext(e)‘s publication last year of The Screwball Asses.

Max Dunbar: Have finally got around to reading Shirley Jackson‘s The Haunting of Hill House. The concept of morphic resonance fascinates me and Jackson’s book is landmark and maybe original in this genre – the idea that a place can pick up a charge, that people leave traces of their emotions, memory and personality there, like shreds of clothing caught on barbed wire. And there’s Jackson’s unforgettable first para: “No live organism can continue to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream…” At the moment I’m rereading Love Warps The Mind A Little by John Dufresne. It’s a mid nineties trailer-park novel that’s more or less forgotten now, but to me is one of the best books ever written about love and death – the only two things worth writing about. Over July I’m going to try and read Dante‘s Divine Comedy. Have just finished the Inferno, so it should be an easy read from here. Or maybe not. There is more material in hell.

S.J. Fowler: I have near to a month sat in a cabin near Lake Bled in Slovenia planned for my summer holidays, and as such, have been hoarding reads for this for some time. A sampling of things I have had to will myself to not yet read a slim Peter Owen version of Paul Bowles diaries from Tangiers covering 1987-1989, Walter Abish‘s violent satire How German is it?, a masterful biography of Harry Crosby by Geoffrey Wolff called Black Sun, Tim Atkins1000 sonnets from one the best innovative poetry presses in the British isles if p then q, the Brazilian modernist genius Mario de Andrade‘s novel Macunaima, a collection of Michel de Ghelderode plays, Herbert Rosendorfer‘s forgotten masterpiece (so I’m told) The Architect of Ruins, Adolfo Bioy-CasaresThe Invention of Morel too. I’m taking a big bag.

Max Liu: After the novels, I was intrigued and delighted by Roberto Bolaño‘s poetry, which came out earlier this year, and I’m even more excited at the prospect of reading Between Parentheses, his collection of non-fiction. It appears I’ve drunk what Lorrie Moore calls the “Reality Hunger kool-aid” and will shun novels in preference for more non-fiction, Janet Malcolm‘s Iphigenia In Forest Hills being a must. One has to lower one’s standards when reading books about music but Simon Reynolds work is the exception: I can’t wait to get started on Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction To Its Own Past.

[Image: Peter Orlovsky, Jack Kerouac & William Burroughs, from Flavorpill‘s ‘Literary greats in their bathing suits’]

First posted: Sunday, July 3rd, 2011.

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