Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Words They Like

Lawrence Durrell: Exiguous

Lawrence Durrell likes things complicated. The author of the Alexandria Quartet, a tetralogy, the first book of which (Justine) I lost last night at the Rumpus/McSweeney's/SMITH Mag event, Durrell was also fond of complicated four-partnered entanglements that transcend conventional conceptions of love, and four-syllabled Latinate words:


As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary:

Scanty in measure or number; extremely small, diminutive, minute.

Etymology as per The Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: Latin exiguus, from exigere

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a Little Bit Crazy

Elizabeth Wurtzel Calling our Founding Fathers Insane

I recently wrote a piece for The Rumpus debunking Elizabeth Wurtzel's argument that our Founding Fathers were stark-raving mad. Her essay was published in Issue 47 of the Columbia Journal, which also offers some great work by Deb Olin Unferth and Justin Taylor, a transcript of a panel discussion between Heidi Julavitz and Mark Greif on genre ghettos and slipstream fiction, as well as an interview with Michael Ondaatje.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

McSweeney's, The Rumpus, and SMITH Mag present "You're Not Alone"

McSweeney's, The Rumpus and SMITH Mag are throwing a party, "You're Not Alone," Saturday, May 30, 2009, the pinnacle of the Book Expo America weekend extravaganza. Don't miss this event, hosted by Stephen Elliott, editor of The Rumpus. It's sure to be the hit of BEA.

In honor of this event, and of a Rumpus column "The Last Book I Loved," HTML Giant is offering free tickets to the winner of a contest for the best six-word statement about the last book he/she loved.

Picture 19

There will also be special guests, such as Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls and others...

If you happen not to win the contest, you can purchase tickets to this event here. Or visit the website for the event here.

Doors open at 6, show starts at 7:00.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

But They Move: Darkbloom and Doghebited Me Get Installed at Gershwin

Darkbloom and Doghebitedme, the peripatetic characters of Dark Horse Black Forest who relate their private activity via Twitter are going to have their twitters (that I've been writing - see right) become a fixed force for a month-long run in June of Dark Horse, a dance performance, at the Gerhswin Hotel. Lauren McCarthy, formerly of the MIT Media Lab, was commissioned by the creator of Dark Horse, a canary torsi, to create overheredarkhorse, a physical integration of the twitters into the dance performance by audio installation. The piece furthers thought on the delineation of public and private space.

Friday, May 15, 2009




To see the campaign in full visit Gigantic.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Found on My Windowsill at 4:23pm

"Dear Rain, Hi! How are u? I hope u are doing well. when can we have a play date? your up stair (whoops) nabors: collette/the kawanishi family"

Shane and Deb

I was surprised and pleased to see a post about my review of Shane Jones's new novel Light Boxes on HTML GIANT, a site a visit frequently. Light Boxes is a novel that invited me into a world I had a hard time leaving. GIANT also praised a review by Deb Olin Unferth, a writer who does things with words I have rarely seen done before.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Writer Ben Stroud in One Story

Eraser: #119

There's a new writer that I'm fond of named Ben Stroud. He has been called an Americanist, and his stories demonstrate an interest in historical figures. But its his language that grabs me, because it exhibits a definitive sensitive ear for the accoustic potential of words, so much so that I could detect a Ben Stroud story from its first sentence the way some might detect a song by the Rolling Stones in the first five seconds.

An Excerpt:

Two Deadly Fish
I lift up the lid of the livewell and look inside. A couple fish—bass, largemouth—sit in place, not really swimming.
"What's up, fish?" I say.
The fish open their mouths and close them, which is about all they do. You can't tell by looking at them, but they're poisoned—like, if you eat too many, you go blind, or crazy, or you become sterile or someshit. They've got signs at the pier and boat ramp, no more than two fish a week. It's their revenge, I guess, even though it's really the big power plant that sits on the side of the lake that does it.
"Fish don't need hassling," my stepfather says to no one, meaning me.
I close the lid.
Usually, whenever my stepfather wants to tell me something, he'll make some general comment or filter what he's got to say through my mom instead of just talk to me. Not that I'm complaining.
I go sit behind the steering wheel and look at the screen mounted there. It shows how deep the lake is below the boat, and the size of any fish passing below. I wonder if it would show a dead body, if there's a picture programmed in it for that. See, son, a dad'll say, tapping on the screen, that's a child. We only need the small net.

Ben's stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Pindeldyboz, Subtropics, and Fiction and now in One Story.
There is an interview with Ben about Eraser here. Check it out. You will, no doubt, be hearing more about this writer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scoping Our Digs

Soho Prime

Gigantic occupies good real estate at McNally Jackson, above Book Forum and The New York Review of Books, and with great views of Prince street. You can grab one and have an espresso at McNally Jackson's always comfortable and communal cafe.

At Housing works, while it was at the front of the shop, and placed next to another very artful and beautifully designed magazine, Found, which excited me very much, it was placed under a table, which did not please me at all. I thought it should be on top of the table where people walking into the store could see it, and under the table, it was difficult to locate. I asked the woman to move them and she moved them, but I did not see where she moved them to and am now worried about where she has moved them to. I like Housing Works very much, though, and think they are a good and honorable venue, so I am generally pleased that we are represented there.

I went into Bluestockings, and while it is a very interesting shop, it is one with a decidedly strong voice, a strong voice that is maybe too strong for Gigantic.