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THE TWO LIVES OF EDWARD HOPPER

The thirty-odd stories in Ken Nash’s collection The Brain Harvest present a variety of styles, themes and arguments. There are elaborate, developed narratives with detailed characters and plots (as in “The Cello Garden,” the fictional account of the life and fate of a beautiful cellist Anna Leibowitz), and there are sketches in a few rough brushstrokes (“Making … Continue reading

CINÉ-ROMAN

CLAIR OBSCUR is a novel that grapples with contradiction. “The contradictions the mind comes up against,” runs the epigraph by Simone Weil, “these are the only realities: they are the criterion of the real. There is no contradiction that is imaginary. Contradiction is the test of necessity.” Necessity, though, isn’t certainty, and immanence doesn’t imply … Continue reading

EXPERIMENTALISM, PART 1

One of the trademarks of “experimental” fiction, both recent and ancient, is its backlash against the label “experimental.” Here, let me settle for only two examples from somewhere in between the recent and the ancient. The last published critical work of B.S. Johnson, Britain’s “one-man literary avant-garde” according to his biographer Jonathan Coe, contains the … Continue reading

"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
September 2013
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