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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)

*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 … Continue reading

BETWEEN A CACTUS & LÉVI-STRAUSS: THE PRIMITIVIST POETICS OF VÉRONIQUE VASSILIOU

*By Louis Armand; republished from The Organ Grinder’s Monkey: Culture after the Avant-garde (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2013) 1. “Savage thought,” in Claude Lévi-Strauss’s oft-repeated dictum, “can be defined as analogical thought.” Analogical thought: a primitive mode of reason inhering in the grammar of to, with, between – hence a predilection for, and dependence upon, tropes of … 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
January 2017
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