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Equus Press

EQUUS was established in 2011 with the objective of publishing innovative & translocal writing.
Equus Press has written 137 posts for equus press

This is Not an Artifact: on Germán Sierra’s The Artifact

“This is not real life. This is not fiction. This is not a novel. This is not an exit.[…] This is not a dream. This is not a pipe. This is not a love song.” (19) It is always way easier to say what things aren’t than call them what they are – as negative … Continue reading

Tristan Tzara, Surrealism and the Postwar Era, Part One (Prague Dada Miscellany – Part Eight)

Tristan Tzara’s lecture, delivered in March 1946 in Prague, is introduced with an apology for “the Munich betrayal” and French political participation in it. Tzara then presents a thorough reflection on the birth and development of the Dada movement. Emphasising the feelings of frustration of the 1914-1918 war generation, he shows how “Dada was born … Continue reading

“A Possible Story of the Avant-garde” – A Review of David Vichnar’s SUBTEXTS (2015)

SUBTEXTS (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia Books) is an a-temporal book. In his introduction to it, David Vichnar posits an almost century-long discussion of the possibilities, or rather the impossibilities of the avant-garde(s) facing the ever-new neo-avant-gardes in their original a-temporal context. So, we get it from the start that SUBTEXTS leans heavily on their contemporary context(s).

Mitteleuropäisch Fever Dream

“The Combinations ranks on my Holy Shit-O-Meter! in close proximity with Ada, or Ardor, by Vladimir Nabokov and Against Nature, by Joris-Karl Huysmans.” Karl Wolff gives the National Book Critics Circle treatment to Louis Armand’s THE COMBINATIONS (excerpted from a 5-part review originally published by Driftless Area Review)

LUGUBRIOUS STEMWINDERS

Richard Makin is an extraordinary artist, easily the most insubordinate, bad-boy writer working today. He cares not a lick about narrative or character or other such theories that any child can understand. He scorns your traditions and conventions, which are useless nonsense anyway. What have you been going on about again? Oh, that old-hat stuff … Continue reading

František Halas, On Dadaism (Prague Dada Miscellany – Part Seven)

František Halas (1901—1949) was one of the most significant Czech lyric poets of the 20th century, an essayist, and a translator. He was self-taught, without higher education. After 1921 he started publishing in the communist newspapers Rovnost and Sršatec, and together with Bedřich Václavek co-edited the avant-garde magazines Pásmo and Fronta. In 1926 he became … Continue reading

extended, experimented, mutated & shuffled

The Combinations truly is a contemporary book that: falls into the category of Maximalist Literature (a new addition to the list for people into that) since this is a book of (the good kind of) excesses and, runs in the line of fun-having absurdity, anxiety & conspiracy centred novels that Pynchon’s name is attached to.

GlassHouse & Natural Complexions – New Equus Press Releases

Equss Press is delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of two new titles, Natural Complexions by D. Harlan Wilson and GlassHouse by Louis Armand, two important works by two contemporary innovators. 

Jiří Frejka, Notes towards a dada theatre (Prague Dada Miscellany – Part Six)

JIŘÍ FREJKA (1904-1952) was a theatre director and theorist, who made his debut in 1923 with his own parodic variety show Kithairon. In early 1925, he co-founded (with Jindřich Honzl and E.F. Burian) the Theatre of the Youth (Divadlo mladých), which in October that year became the Liberated Theatre (on Karel Tiege’s advice, after Alexander … Continue reading

Walter Serner, Last Loosening – 1918 Dada Manifesto (Prague Dada Miscellany – Part Five)

Walter Serner was born into a Jewish family as Walter Eduard Seligmann on January 15, 1889 in the Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad at that time). His father, Berthold Seligmann, owned the town’s major newspaper, the Karlsbader Zeitung, for which Walter wrote an arts column. In 1909, he graduated from the gymnasium in Kadaň … Continue reading

“Creative Dada” – Bedřich Václavek’s Eulogy on Walter Serner (Prague Dada Miscellany – Part Four)

Bedřich Václavek (1897-1943) was a Czech Marxist aesthetician, literary theorist and critic. In the 1920s, as a Devětsil member, he was an early advocate of poetism, with emphasis on proletarian art. In the 1930s, he was active as a spokesman for the Left Front movement where he developed his theory of socialist realism. During Nazi … Continue reading

“The Poet of the Earth” – Tristan Tzara in Czechoslovakia (Prague Dada Miscellany – Part Three)

Adolf Hoffmeister (1902-1973) was a Czech writer, journalist, playwright, painter, caricaturist, translator, diplomat, lawyer, and traveller. In 1920 he became the youngest co-founder of the Devětsil art group. In 1922 he made the first of the many journeys to Paris, where he regularly met with the international arts scene, many of whose representatives he would interview … Continue reading

“After art ceases to be art, its corpse will be an honest art corpse” – Prague Dada Miscellany (Part Two)

Jiří Voskovec (1905-1981) was a Czech actor, writer, dramatist, and director who became an American citizen in 1955. Throughout much of his early career he was associated with the Liberated Theatre, which he co-directed with fellow actor and playwright Jan Werich. He immigrated to the US in 1939 and again in 1948 with the onset of … Continue reading

“Why the Police is Taking Note of Us” – Prague Dada Miscellany (Part One)

Equus Press is starting a mini-series of articles which bring first-ever English translations of primary and critical texts to do with the under-explored topic of Prague Dada. This instalment combines three articles published between 1925 and 1927: “Dada Creative”, on the strenghts of German dada, by prominent literary critic Bedřich Václavek, “Dada and Surrealism”, a … Continue reading

Dagger (excerpt from TUND)

DAGGER 1 The sun fell down on California. Inside a large beach villa, lights flared. The place belonged to Pete Dagger, all‐star American writer. Dagger was among the biggest of the writers, perhaps the largest of the era. He was a top multi‐millionaire popular artist who was loved by the critics. He was huge with the academics, who sucked from … Continue reading

Lumpenproletariat. Writing Attack / Antisystem / Subliterature

*Republished courtesy 3AM Magazine ‘Valorised by the Situationists as a demographic of urban drift and a manifestation of the “no work” ethos, this sub-proletariat is the very opposite of anything that could be called a movement let alone a class, and is perhaps better considered according to the sense of Bataille’s l’informe : that non-category of … Continue reading

The Surrealist Situation of the Object / The Situation of the Surrealist Object (Part 4/4)

*Lecture presented on 29 March 1935, at the Mánes Gallery in Prague and, later on, at the end of April in Zurich. This translation departs from the Czech translation of the original version delivered in Prague. In the French original, the lecture was published in André Breton, Position politique du surrealisme (Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, … Continue reading

The Surrealist Situation of the Object / The Situation of the Surrealist Object (Part 3/4)

*Lecture presented on 29 March 1935, at the Mánes Gallery in Prague and, later on, at the end of April in Zurich. This translation departs from the Czech translation of the original version delivered in Prague. In the French original, the lecture was published in André Breton, Position politique du surrealisme (Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, … Continue reading

The Surrealist Situation of the Object / The Situation of the Surrealist Object (Part 2/4)

*Lecture presented on 29 March 1935, at the Mánes Gallery in Prague and, later on, at the end of April in Zurich. This translation departs from the Czech translation of the original version delivered in Prague. In the French original, the lecture was published in André Breton, Position politique du surrealisme (Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, … Continue reading

The Surrealist Situation of the Object / The Situation of the Surrealist Object (Part 1/4)

*Lecture presented on 29 March 1935, at the Mánes Gallery in Prague and, later on, at the end of April in Zurich. This translation departs from the Czech translation of the original version delivered in Prague. In the French original, the lecture was published in André Breton, Position politique du surrealisme (Paris: Éditions du Sagittaire, … Continue reading

“NO STORY BUT A SPINNING”: DANIELA CASCELLA’S SINGED

“It starts with no story but a circular / It starts with no story but a spinning / It starts with no story but a spinning into before that is to come…” Daniela Cascella’s Singed: Muted voice-transmissions, after the fire starts not with creation, but destruction – a library ravaged by fire. What of the singed debris can … Continue reading

Equus Press in London – Announcements & Invitations

Equus Press is proud to be taking part again in this year’s Small Publishers Fair at Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, London. Equus books will be available for sale on Friday & Saturday, Nov 10 & 11, from 11am to 7pm daily.

Adolf Hoffmeister, The End of Dada

*Adolf Hoffmeister (1902-1973), Czech writer, playwright, painter & caricaturist. His reviews and interviews with the avant-garde scene in 1930s Paris & New York have been collected in Podoby (1961; Images) and Předobrazy (1962; Adumbrations). His most notable works include his interviews with James Joyce and his 1932 first-ever Czech translation of “Anna Livia Plurabelle” a fragment of Work … Continue reading

“TO WALK, WITH THE CERTAINTY OF SLEEPWALKERS, INTO THE VERY CENTRE OF IMMEDIATE KNOWLEDGE” – Vítězslav Nezval on André Breton

*“Afterword” to André Breton, Co je surrealismus? Tři přednášky [What is Surrealism? Three Lectures], Brno 1937 NOTE: Well-known are André Breton’s visits, in 1934-35, to Prague, during which he delivered three crucial lectures, hailing the city as “the magical capital of old Europe […], one of those cities that electively pin down poetic thought, which is … Continue reading

RICHARD MAKIN’S WORK OF MOURNING

I can’t remember. We’re just below the hospitality hoax at the riverend. By then I was sold: low ebb of gravity hence had already the vision. The things that hatched out of the eggs resembled lizards.[1] Readability bears this mourning: a phrase can be readable, it must be able to become readable, up to a … Continue reading

LANGUAGE IS NEVER INNOCENT

JUAN GOYTISOLO +4.6.2017 “And it’s true that my own birth as a writer coincides in fact with the destruction of my literature, of the literary moulds which in routine fashion I took from tradition.” So reflected the author of alienation & exile, Juan Goytisolo – who this Sunday passed away – in a 1984 interview … Continue reading

Prague’s Indie Writing Scene @ DiverCity Week and Prague Microfestival

By Lisanne Meinen From April 10th to April 13th, Týden Diverzity, or DiverCity Week, will be taking place in a recently renovated building at 4 Hybernská Street. This free four-day festival, run by Charles University, is themed on ‘City and Emotions’, connecting Prague with exhibitions, lectures, discussions and workshops. Events begin at 10am and continue … Continue reading

Notes on Proceduralism, Part 1 – Walter Abish

In the chapter of his book, Design and Debris: A Chaotics of Postmodern American Fiction, devoted to what he calls American “proceduralism,” Joseph M. Conte makes further distinction between proceduralism and mere structural formalism. Whereas the value of the latter—common to all literary writing observant of formal/generic conventions—is largely based on its conformity with the … Continue reading

“Like Ants Within the Confines of a Plastic Maze” – from THOR GARCIA’S PINK ALLIGATOR

*Excerpt from Thor Garcia’s long-awaited opus magnum Pink Alligator, forthcoming with Equus Press in autumn 2017. Editor’s Introduction My experience working with Captain Chip Traybon Walkner, which included editing this manuscript, was illuminating and rewarding. In addition to his other attributes, Captain Walkner is a gifted observer and interpreter of human behavior. I think you’ll agree … Continue reading

“MAN OF LETTERS, AROUND LETTERS, AROUND THE ALPHABET”: GEORGES PEREC († 7 Mar, 1982)

*Marking the 35th anniversary of his death, David Vichnar’s piece reviews George Perec’s oeuvre in terms of its commitment to experimental innovation in the best modernist fashion. Even today, more than thirty years after his death, Georges Perec (1936-82) is still a member of the Oulipo group, which—and this ties in with what has been … Continue reading

Announcing the Release of the 2nd edition of Louis Armand’s THE COMBINATIONS

End of radio blackout. Equus Press is proud to announce the release of the 2nd “pocket” edition of Louis Armand’s The Combinations aka The Big Combo. Order here or enter the Goodreads giveaway here (starts Mar 8), or write directly to us for review copies. Why bother with firebricks when you can stuff 139 of these … Continue reading

“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

THE EXPERIENCE OF LIMITS IN ARNO SCHMIDT’S Bottom’s Dream

*By Tim König, co-translator of Melchior Vischer’s 1920 Dada masterpiece Second through Brain (Equus: 2015). Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.[1] An “instrument of terror”[2] For a long time, Arno Schmidt was an underdog of German literature in the Anglophone world. After 2016, this could change, as his huge … Continue reading

Louis Armand’s The Combinations – A Review by Richard Marshall

*Originally published online in 3AM Magazine on Aug 16, 2016. ‘Armand distrusts authentic reader/writer experience no matter how ironised or sentimentalized. He’s seen it happen, the domestication of ‘experimental writing’ where ‘independent’ and maverick’ become code words for ‘rogue vested interest.’ ‘Realism’ becomes a matter of having the last word ‘whilst handing over scapegoats if only to … Continue reading

NIGHT OF THE WEENIE-WAGGER (from THE PINK ALLIGATOR, by THOR GARCIA)

*Equus Press is proud to announce the planned publication (for April, 2017), of THOR GARCIA’s new novel Pink Alligator. Why does the pink alligator choose YOU? That’s the question Chip Walkner and his wife Jaycee must confront when Crunchie the pink alligator appears on their doorstep. The growing, always-hungry gator adds excitement and adventure to their flagging … Continue reading

STRIPPED (Vol. I) – THROUGH A NEEDLE DARKLY, by Phil Shoenfelt (Excerpt)

*Equus Press is proud to announce the planned publication (for April, 2018), in one volume, of PHIL SHOENFELT’s novel trilogy Stripped. A memoir of Shoenfelt’s New York years (1979-84), Stripped examines what follows after all social norms have been rejected, detailing the struggle with the legion of demons lurking at the bottom of every addiction, drug or other. Remembering a New … 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
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