A New Gary Lutz Story and an Expanded Book

Gary Lutz’s story “Loo” is now at 3am Magazine.

Ken Sparling’s “It Came Out of My Head” and Three Stories by Joanna Ruocco have also been recently published.

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From Future Tense Books:

Partial List of People to Bleach (expanded 2013 paperback edition)
By Gary Lutz

Even as a chapbook, it was one of Time Out New York’s Ten Best Books of 2007, and now we’re proud to publish an expanded paperback edition of Partial List of People to Bleach, with six previously uncollected pieces, including the provocative and now-classic essay “The Sentence Is a Lonely Place,” and a foreword by Gordon Lish.

Partial List of People to Bleach is at once cruelly honest, precisely painful, and beautifully rendered.” —Brian Evenson

“Gary Lutz is a master—living proof that, even in our cliché-ridden, denial-drenched, hype-driven age, true originality is still an American possibility.” —George Saunders

Get your copy here.

Check out 3:AM’s interview with Lutz, and a review of his last collection, Divorcer.

Hugh Kenner Hits a Home Run

Wouldn’t it take an outsider to aptly critique the American scene, the American people, the American culture? Hugh Kenner, a Canadian, did this at the end of a section devoted to Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams in his book A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers. A book dedicated to Guy Davenport. A book on Donald Barthelme’s syllabus.

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Reading at Unnameable Books Sunday June 9th 7pm

family camp poster
Join us for the big night of prose and poems NYC has been dying for:
- Hosted by Greg Gerke
- Hot new poems from local favorites Ben Pease and Bianca Stone.
- For the diehards, Gabe Durham and Jack Christian have promised ZERO overlap in what they’re reading on their two nights in town.
- Mad prizes.
- Probably no prizes.    Unnameable Books

Critics Who May Not Yet Exist

From 3am Magazine:

Hi. Susan Tomaselli is taking a well-earned sabbatical from 3:AM this summer, so I’ll be stepping in as co-editor in chief, focusing on non-fiction. I’ve been commissioning for 3:AM since 2011, so some of you will know me, and will have worked with me already. But I’d like to say that, right now, I’m open for speculative pitches and submissions, and will be reading them continuously. So get in touch. I’ll be especially pleased to hear from you if you have an idea for an essay, interview or book review related to one of the following three areas, which I’m keen to increase our coverage of:

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Letter to an Unknown Submitter

        Make it mew

Hello,

I am editing fiction for 3am Magazine this summer. Guidelines

A couple of things I would like to add:

Ezra Pound’s poem “Portrait D’ Une Femme” was “rejected by the North American Review in January 1912, according to Pound, on the grounds that ‘I had used the letter ‘r’ three times in the first line, and that it was very difficult to pronounce.’” *

Line: “Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,”

I don’t edit this way and frown upon those who do; in fact, the more difficult to pronounce, the better.

James Salter: “The secret of making [art] is simple. Discard everything that is good enough.”

I am not looking for toss-offs or something “good enough” for an internet journal. This is 3am Magazine, it’s been here for over thirteen years, that’s centuries in internet time.

If this is brusque, think of the process this way. Roughly 15% of all submissions (print, internet, and otherwise) never get replied to. I am replying to all because I take this seriously.

Here are two shorter stories that I was grateful to be an editor for:

Amber Sparks’s “May We Shed These Human Bodies”

Lance Olsen’s “Robert Smithson”

Best,

Greg Gerke

* Ezra Pound, New Selected Poems and Translations p.287

Unnameable Books Reading 5/31/13 – 7pm

I’m happy to host the following writers at Unnameable Books on Friday, May 31st:
John Haskell is the author of a short-story collection, I Am Not Jackson Pollock (FSG, 2003), and the novels American Purgatorio (FSG, 2005) and Out of My Skin (FSG, 2009). Interview at Stop Smiling.
Robert Kloss is the author of The Alligators of Abraham, as well as the upcoming hybrid text The Desert Places, co-authored with Amber Sparks. His short fiction has been published in CrazyhorseGargoyle, Unsaid, and elsewhere. He can be found online at robert-kloss.com.

Gary Lutz is the author of Stories in the Worst Way, I Looked Alive, Partial List of People to Bleach, and Divorcer. Interview with David Winters.

Amber Sparks is the author of May We Shed These Human Bodies, released by Curbside Splendor in 2012, and the upcoming The Desert Places, co-authored with Robert Kloss. Her work has been widely published in print and online and you can find some of it at ambernoellesparks.com or follow her on Twitter @ambernoelle.
Ken Sparling  has written six novels. His latest is Intention, Implication, Wind from Pedlar Press. His first, Dad Says He Saw You at the Mall, published by Knopf in 1996 was recently reissued by Mud Luscious Press. Interview with Sean Lovelace.

Links

Helen DeWitt’s “Cormac McCarthy & the Semi-Colon” is about the travails of punctuation. Yes, editors are often always trying to add commas.

The new great issue of The Quarterly Conversation has a review of William H. Gass’s Middle C by Brad Johnson and one of  Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts by David Winters. David Winters’ review of Christine Schutt’s Prosperous Friends in the LA Review of Books is also well worth the click.

Canadian author Douglas Glover’s literary journal Numero Cinq is billed as “A warm place on a cruel web.” Jason Lucarelli’s piece “The Consecution of Gordon Lish: An Essay on Form and Influence” might be the most definitive piece on Lish.

There is a wonderful interview with Evan Lavender-Smith by Edwin Turner at Biblioklept. Lavender-Smith’s glorious From Old Notebooks was recently re-issued by Dzanc Books. I reviewed it at this site.

Open Road Media Releases Five Hilma Wolitzer Novels

Open Road Media, an ebook publisher based in NYC, has released the following five Wolitzer novels as ebooks: Ending, Silver, In the Flesh, In the Palomar Arms, and Tunnel of Love. Each ebook features an illustrated biography of Wolitzer, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Hilma Wolitzer (b. 1930) is a critically hailed author of literary fiction. She is a recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and a Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award. She has two daughters—an editor and a novelist—and lives with her husband in New York City, where she continues to write.

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Coming: The Sounds of Sam Lipsyte in The Fun Parts

THE SOUNDS OF SAM LIPSYTE

In the next few weeks we will hear that Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is funny, irreverent, sex-obsessed, witty, broken, indiscriminate, and wry. Listening is the key verb as concerns Lipsyte. In the best stories: “The Climber Room,” “Deniers,” “The Wisdom of the Doulas,” “Snacks,” “A Worm in Philly,” “Expressive,” “Ode to Oldcorn,” and “Nate’s Pain is Now,” readers reading to the little man or woman that controls their brains will hear in their heads a prose holding piteous subjects grandly animated with vibrant and uncanny sounds. These delightful noises are a bonus because they accompany such an unwonderful world—not necessarily an evil place, but a staging ground for the salacious and ignoble to have their way with the weaker of the species.

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Yi Yi: The Best Film You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

During the opening wedding reception, the yawning father (NJ) takes his son (Yang-Yang) for food he wants to eat.

How often do two people who have been watching a film look upon each other breathless and transfixed at the end? I had seen Yi Yi, Edward Yang’s 1999 film, but as is often true with any pleasure, I had to share the experience with someone and so a week after seeing it I played the DVD for a friend. For a second time I was crushed, weeping at many of the same scenes, yet finding different shadings in the various plots and subplots. It’s the story of birth and death in an extended family, but it is much more.

            The film is set in Taipei, and its opening piano music set over a wedding reception makes one think it may be a Taiwanese Terms of Endearment. To some extent this is true, but people coming into this film won’t be overwhelmed by the star power of the American film, though a few of Yi Yi’s actors are famous in the East. If all the players are strangers and to some extent the culture (the island of Taiwan has a checkered history, being thrown back and forth between Chinese and Japanese rule), audience identification can be purer. If given, trust won’t be tainted by the accuracy of marketing to the right demographic. So who is Yi Yi aimed at? Yang’s film is directed to the humanists and to the people who have loved life and hated it—people who have tried to do their best and ever endeavor to know themselves better.

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“I don’t know why we live…but I believe we can go on living for the reason that life is the most valuable thing we know anything about”

From Letters of Note:

In July of 1883, the novelist Henry James received an emotional letter from Grace Norton — a good friend and fellow writer who, following a death in the family, had recently become depressed and was desperate for direction. James’s beautiful response can be seen below. It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest letters of advice I’ve ever had the fortune to read.

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“Literary Topographies” by Daniel Green

Time for a change?

Recently Lev Grossman explained how he chooses books to review. “I review books,” he proclaimed, “if they do something I’ve never seen done before; or if I fall in love with them; or if they shock me or piss me off or otherwise won’t leave me alone; if they alter the way my brain works; if I can’t stop thinking about them; if for whatever reason I absolutely have to tell people about them.”

Scott Esposito appropriately enough questions how candid Grossman is being, pointing out that his sinecure at Time necessarily constrains Grossman to “a very limited range of choices.” As Scott reminds us, “in most cases he’s functioning as an adjunct of a publisher’s marketing department, essentially adding whatever institutional and personal authority he has to the marketing push for a book that has almost certainly been acclaimed 10 times over by ‘reviewers’ that are similarly empowered.”

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The Listeners by Leni Zumas

The Listeners, Leni Zumas’s new novel, has just been published by Tin House Books. The book is available at a discount through Powell’s. An interview with Leni is at Powell’s website. Publisher’s Weekly review. A review of the book is at Full Stop.

Her reading tour:

May 16 – Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
May 21 – Annie Bloom’s, Portland, OR
May 24 – Book Soup, Los Angeles, CA
June 4 – Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
June 19 – Word Books, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY
June 23 – Politics & Prose, Washington, DC
June 24 – Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Amherst, MA

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A Medley of Gass Interviews and His Influence

Over at the Reading William Gass website, curated by Stephen Schenkenberg, a video has been unearthed of Gass talking in Paris about five years ago. He reads from The Tunnel for a short time–then excitedly talks about the sentence. It’s a marvel.

There is a great new Bookworm interview with Gass about Life Sentences.

At Word Patriots, Mark Seinfelt interviewed Gass twice: once about his new book and once about Stanley Elkin. There are also three shows dedicated to Paul West.

Finally, my essay at The Kenyon Review–On Influence: Starting and Stopping Cracks–takes some lines of Gass as a starting point for a meditation on writing and art. The first paragraph:

Why not stand up straight for art? Rainer Maria Rilke’s older lover, Lou Andreas-Salomé, cared greatly about his relation to words and made him improve his handwriting, urging the poet to take control of everything in his life before communing more with the muse. Soon Rilke purchased a stand up desk to improve his circulation while he wrote poems—by changing his methods, he changed what the methods produced. This might speak to a few things about influence and who we are willing to listen to (Andreas-Salomé, also a former lover of Nietzsche, was a distinguished psychoanalyst and writer), but undoubtedly, art is at least as much physical as emotional.

The Overlook Hotel – the best resource for The Shining

This is how they did it.

The Overlook Hotel is simply the best site about The Shining on the internet. There are dozens of never before seen photos from the making of the film (including how Nicholson was propped up frozen in the snow at the end), new posters, artwork, tattoos, copies of screenplays, anything you can think of. Lee Unkrich is the caretaker of the site and I salute him.

Just in case you need more ephemera on The Shining here is that little article On Newfound Footage.

“Andrei Tarkovsky’s Poetic Cinema” by Matt Turner

As an artist limited by his circumstance in the warring, emaciated USSR throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, Andrei Tarkovsky did well to establish himself as one of cinema’s greatest masters. In some sense, his works represent grand acts of imagination against the pressures of reality. Faced by an increasingly philistine world enveloped in the struggles of aggressive international politics and the constant threat of nuclear war, he felt it his duty as an artist to help reintroduce the poetic essence as a vital part of humanity. He imbued his cinema with an element of poetry that stuns the viewer both visually and emotionally, and with his vision as an artist he invented—as legendary Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman said—a new language. It is no surprise that Tarkovsky’s father was a much-loved Russian poet with nine collections of poetry. As evidenced in his film Stalker, where one of his father’s poems is recited near the threshold of The Room (a place where one’s innermost desire is alleged to be granted upon entering), Tarkovsky used his father’s poetry as a source of inspiration for his cinema. You could say that he found poetry to be one of the highest forms of art, and wanted to instill the essence of it in his films. But what is the essence of poetry? Some might say it’s intangible, or that it simply doesn’t exist. Others might say that the essence of poetry is its unique presentation of ideas. Tarkovsky would likely say, however, that it is the art form’s ability to inspire a state of rational and irrational bliss through language. Continue reading

Darlin’ Neal’s Elegant Punk

Darlin’ Neal‘s Elegant Punk is now available from Press 53. Facebook Event Page

At Corium Magazine, we were lucky enough to publish work from this book – check out “Polka Dot

“Darlin’ Neal’s stories mostly come to us in pieces—shards and splinters: people angry, dispossessed, struggling in the badlands and swampy climes at the margins of an America gone soulless and mean. Yet hers is a prose both lyrical and smart, no small triumph given what’s galvanized her attention. Do yourself a favor: You’ll be better off for having these tales between your ears.”

— Lee K. Abbott, author of All Things, All at Once: New and Selected Stories