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“A Book is Like a Time Bomb, and a small, demure time bomb seems to me most efficient of all.” – i.m. HARRY MATHEWS (1930-2017)

“A Book is Like a Time Bomb, and a small, demure time bomb seems to me most efficient of all.” – i.m. HARRY MATHEWS (1930-2017)

*Marking yesterday’s passing of the great (and only) American Oulipian writer Harry Mathews is David Vichnar’s article below, reviewing his novelistic career from the 1960s to the 90s. The article is extracted from the forthcoming study, The Avant-Postman: James Joyce and the Postwar French & Anglophone Avantgarde.

Harry Mathews (1930-2017) was a writer officially Oulipian, who was born in New York, studied music at Harvard University and frequently taught writing in the United States, but from 1952 based in France. As he confided to John Asbery,

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  • EQUUS PRESS was established in 2011 between Paris, London & Prague with the objective of publishing new writing that is innovative & conscious of being doubly marginalised: outside the literary establishment defined by the Anglo-American publishing industry, & outside the confines of nationalism, pursuing a broadly cosmopolitan “agenda.” // EQUUS believes that such a doubly marginalised position allows for a writing both idiosyncratic & authoritative in its distance from which it can take a stand, make a change, & matter; an ability increasingly rare in titles conforming to the dictates of the book market & tastes of mass readership. // EQUUS considers its mission to offer the possibility of publication to writers & writing that matters, focusing mainly, though not exclusively, on Anglophone writing written outside of its native emplacement.
"Modernity today is not in the hands of the poets, but in the hands of the cops" // Louis Aragon
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" // A.N. Whitehead

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"Poetism is the crown of life; Constructivism is its basis" // Karel Teige

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“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?…we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us” // Franz Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollack, 27 January 1904
February 2017
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