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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

THE INTERCOURSE OF LIFE: EXPERIENCING “THE PRICE” AND “THE STRUCTURALIST”

*To mark the recent passing of David Antin, and in anticipation of his obituary (to be posted here shortly), Equus Press reprints Lou Rowan’s 2001 homage essay on Antin’s “talk pieces” (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 21 No. 1, April 2001). Reprint courtesy of author. David Antin’s four books of talk pieces afford us … Continue reading

MAKIMONOS

*Richard Makin’s essay “Makimonos” was recently published in a screw in the shoe Anthology of Challenges (Golden Handcuffs Review). Composed as a series of reflections on Makin’s writing methods, the text can also be read as a defence of unorthodox and experimental approaches to fiction, including such works as Louis Armand’s panoramic novel The Combinations, which was shortlisted for The Guardian‘s 2016 Not-the-Booker Prize. Imagine the outskirts of a vast, futuristic … Continue reading

DEREK SAYER ON SECOND THROUGH BRAIN

Second Through Brain begins with the stuccoist Jörg Schuh, distracted by “the huge bosom of maid Hanne from the skyscraper opposite,” losing his footing and falling forty stories to the “sundripped concrete” below where, forty-seven pages later, his brain “radiantly spattered.” As Jörg falls episodes from his life—both “made-up & true”—pass by in thirty-five vivid … Continue reading

CZECH CONCRETE POETRY CROSSCHECKED

*From the recent collection LITERATURA IN PRESTOR, eds. Katarina Rakušček & Julija Ovsec (Ljubljana: 2016), by David Vichnar I Just as so many other literary-historical labels, concrete poetry, it seems, is what we make of it, what we include and exclude, where and what against we draw the line. This provisional and necessarily pragmatic character of … Continue reading

THE PASSING OF MICHEL BUTOR (14/09/1926-24/08/2016)

*In order to mark the passing of the great French experimentalist, Equus Press brings a critical overview of Michel Butor’s oeuvre from 1950s to 1970s and its modernist heritage. A general overview of Butor’s multifarious and extremely prolific output would include four early novels, a dozen other book-length works of unique genres, half-a-dozen volumes of essays, an … Continue reading

THE COMBINATIONS SHORTLISTED FOR 2016 GUARDIAN NOT-THE-BOOKER PRIZE

Equus are very pleased to announce that Louis Armand’s The Combinations has been shortlisted for this year’s Not the Booker Prize. With 123 votes, it became by far the most popular title of the 147-item long list. We thank all those who have cast their vote for this book. Below is a baker’s dozen of the best of the reviews … Continue reading

IS THIS THE ULTIMATE ‘PRAGUE NOVEL’?

“We are living in the Left Bank of the Nineties.” When legendary International Herald Tribune correspondent and founding Prague Post editor Alan Levy wrote these words, about “living in an historical place at an historical time,” he forecast a literary renaissance in Prague that many doubted and few recognised when indeed it did occur. For … Continue reading

THE PRAGUE MOMENT

… the beautiful engineers are all dead, the secret technicians conspire for their own glamour in the Future… – Allen Ginsberg, “Král Majáles,” 7 May, 1965   There are cities in the world that exercise a particular influence over the minds of writers, artists and historians because they seem to manifest a type of spirit, … Continue reading

AN AESTHETE’S LOST WAR: LYOTARD AND THE UN-SUBLIME ART OF NEW EUROPE

by BONITA RHOADS & VADIM ERENT *Originally published in Avant-Post, ed. Louis Armand (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia Books, 2006) 85-113. It is a critical commonplace to observe that, following the procession of one ascendant modernist art movement after another, today the cluttered multiplicity of artistic production institutes no single prevailing orientation. Incorporating bio-tech experiments in genetic manipulation … Continue reading

INTERTEXTUAL LEY LINES: IAIN SINCLAIR BETWEEN POUND & JOYCE*

* Originally published in Subtexts: Essays on Fiction (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2015) 51-63. As Pound noted in his portrait of the artist as an ironic man, the demand of the twelve years that had come to constitute his London “age” was first and foremost that of the “image.” Hugh Selwyn Mauberley surveys his 1908-1920 London period, … Continue reading

THE ORGAN-GRINDER’S MONKEY

*Originally published as introduction to Avant-Post: The Avant-Garde under “Post-” Conditions (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2006) pp. 1-17 The day will come when one original carrot will be enough to start a revolution. —Cézanne Is an avant-garde viable under the conditions of post-modernism? This question immediately gives rise to others, concerning the status of avant-gardes historical or … Continue reading

RAGS. PETROL. MATCHES.

PHOTO ESSAY by Penny Anti “Set fire to the old hypocrisies. Let the light of the burning building scare the nightingales and incarnadine the willows. And let the daughters of educated men dance around the fire and heap armful upon armful of dead leaves upon the flames.” – Virginia Woolf, urban terrorist “The condemnation, though … Continue reading

FIRST YOU LOSE YOURSELF IN ORDER TO BECOME WHOLE?

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF LOUIS ARMAND’S THE COMBINATIONS IN 8 MOVES, by David Vichnar [PART 4 OF 4] Hot off the press (& to be launched at this year’s Prague Microfestival), in 8 octaves, 64 chapters and on 888 pages, Louis Armand’s The Combinations is a “work of attempted fiction” that combines the beauty & intellectual … Continue reading

UFOS UNDER THE RIVER OR A CABAL OF MADMEN?

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF LOUIS ARMAND’S THE COMBINATIONS IN 8 MOVES, by David Vichnar [PART 3 OF 4] Coming this May in 8 octaves, 64 chapters and on 888 pages, Louis Armand’s The Combinations is a “work of attempted fiction” that combines the beauty & intellectual exertion that is chess with the panorama of futility & … Continue reading

THE SECRET DUALISM OF GOOD & EVIL, THROUGH THE REVELATION OF ETERNAL SYMMETRIES

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF LOUIS ARMAND’S THE COMBINATIONS IN 8 MOVES, by David Vichnar [PART 2 OF 4] Coming this May in 8 octaves, 64 chapters and on 888 pages, Louis Armand’s The Combinations is a “work of attempted fiction” that combines the beauty & intellectual exertion that is chess, with the panorama of futility & … Continue reading

CRIMINAL SUBVERSION OF THE STATE IN COLLUSION WITH FOREIGN AGENTS

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF LOUIS ARMAND’S MONUMENTAL NEW NOVEL THE COMBINATIONS IN 8 MOVES, by David Vichnar [PART 1 OF 4] Coming this May in 8 octaves, 64 chapters and on 888 pages, Louis Armand’s The Combinations is a “work of attempted fiction” that combines the beauty & intellectual exertion that is chess, with the panorama … Continue reading

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"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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