#AuthorFail 5: A D Jameson

Is Big Other a failure? Of course, in every way.

See the proof below from our own AD Jameson, who ever-so-mildly breaks the rules of this column (submit!: see this), by stating that he might return to his long-suffering project, detailed below.  Even so, we may root for his continued and everlasting failure on this project, can’t we? It’s the least we can do in the esprit de corps that is this collaborative blog.

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Nearly twelve years ago, at the end of the millennium, I started writing a book called “The Music Novel.” It was set in Seattle in two different time periods: 1993–4 and 1999, contrasting the heyday of the grunge movement (culminating with Kurt Cobain’s suicide) with the fin de siècle WTO protests. It was something of a statement, I suppose, on “The 1990s,” though I was much more interested in formalist experimentation: the rift in time afforded a chance to contrast different versions of the same characters. I even toyed with some silly idea of presenting the earlier time at the tops of each page, the latter period at the bottoms, with a page tear separating them. (I was playing a lot in those days with photocopiers, and had a fondness for torn and overlapped pages.)

For the next five years, I made copious notes—hundreds and hundreds of pages of plot details, character descriptions, period research, complex thematic structures. The project swelled to encompass topics as disparate as Chinese dragons, the Book of Revelations, shrinking penis disorder, and the lost kingdom of Lemuria. (It’s OK to laugh. I laugh about it now, too.) But despite my feverish note-making, what I didn’t do is any actual writing. “The Music Novel” became a book that I instead thought about in cafes, for hours on end (an imaginary novel).

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A D & Jeremy Talk about Movies: The Tree of Life

[By now it was late. The three stars were dimpling the sky. The baby raccoon was crying for its milk (I’d taken in an orphan the week before). But Jeremy and I weren’t finished yet discussing the movies we’d just watched.]

A D: You had a rather serious reaction to this one, Jeremy. Were you crying afterward?

Jeremy: Yes. Crying because I realized how much of my life I had wasted watching movies. What George Lucas did for his own franchise with the prequels, Malick did for all of cinema with The Tree of Life.

Jiminy.

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An Interview with Me at Untoward

just went up—well, Part One did, in which Matt Rowan asks me questions about my first book (Amazing Adult Fantasy), G.I. Joe, geek culture, Ota Benga, Ayn Rand, George Orwell, and bad writing habits; we also discuss Curtis White, Theodor Adorno, Viktor Shklovsky, and ninjas, among other things.

[Update: Part Two, which focuses more on my first novel, Giant Slugs, is now up.]

A New Contributor at Big Other

Please join me in welcoming Curtis White to Big Other.

Curtis White is the critically acclaimed writer of numerous books of experimental fiction and social criticism. His books include: Heretical Songs (Fiction Collective, 1981); Metaphysics in the Midwest (Sun & Moon, 1989); The Idea of Home (Sun & Moon, 1993; reprinted by Dalkey Archive Press, 2004); Anarcho-Hindu (FC2, 1995); Monstrous Possibility: An Invitation to Literary Politics (Dalkey Archive Press, 1998); Memories of My Father Watching TV (Dalkey Archive Press, 1998); Requiem (Dalkey Archive Press, 2001); The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don’t Think for Themselves (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003); America’s Magic Mountain (Dalkey Archive Press, 2004); The Spirit of Disobedience: Resisting the Charms of Fake Politics, Mindless Consumption, and the Culture of Total Work (PoliPointPress, 2006); The Barbaric Heart: Faith, Money, and the Crisis of Nature (PoliPointPress, 2009).

He is also the editor of An Illuminated History of The Future (FC2, 1989) and In The Slipstream: An FC2 Reader (FC2, 1999) (co-edited with Ronald Sukenick).

An Interview with Yuriy Tarnawsky, Part 1

I first encountered Yuriy Tarnawsky‘s writing in 1998, when I stumbled across a copy of Three Blondes and Death (FC2, 1993) in a Philadelphia bookstore. (A college professor, having noticed my interest in less-than-realist fiction, encouraged me to be on the lookout for any books published by FC2 or Dalkey Archive Press.)

Three Blondes was unlike any other book I’d ever seen: it consisted of hundreds of short chapters, each one a solid block of prose, describing in meticulous detail the simultaneously outlandish and banal lives of the protagonist, Hwbrgdtse, and three blonde women—Alphabette, Bethlehem, and Chemnitz—that he grows, in turn, infatuated with. The chapters are not always presented in chronological order, and more than half of them relate the characters’ dreams. It very quickly became one of my favorite contemporary novels. (When I moved to Thailand in 2003, it was one of the few books that I brought with me.)

Later, in the summer of 2004, I met Yuriy in New York, at Ron Sukenick’s memorial service; we began talking, and soon became friends. I’m pleased now to be able to post here, in multiple parts, a lengthy interview I’ve conducted with him. I’ll also be posting and linking to excerpts from Yuriy’s writing; my hope is that this will encourage more people to seek out his unique and deliriously fascinating work. Continue reading

My First Book, Amazing Adult Fantasy, Is Now Available

Cover design by Malcolm Felder.

My first book, the prose collection, Amazing Adult Fantasy, is now available. Interested parties can order it here.

Of it, others have said:

“Adam Jameson’s amazing adult fiction is alive with the life of language. Like Céline or Gertrude Stein, Jameson’s fiction works if the language  works and the language works so the work works. He restores my faith in the possibility of joy in fiction.”

— Curtis White, author of The Middle Mind and Memories of My Father Watching TV

&:

“There is a character in one of these stories called Indian Jones who ‘had his plate too full looking for priceless artifacts to have any time for toys or children.’ Not A D Jameson. He has written a book of modernday fables in which the plot and language amaze the reader on every page with wit and imagination. Jameson has managed to accomplish something not every artist has: he has grown to adulthood while retaining the spontaneity and inventiveness of a child.”

— Yuriy Tarnawsky, author of Three Blondes and Death and Like Blood in Water

Meanwhile, a few selections have appeared online:

Thank you for your time and attention!