Wolfgang Hilbig’s The Females

IMG_4124.jpg

I can’t wait to start this. Hilbig’s The Females (translated by Isabel Fargo Cole) will be coming out this November (2018) from Two Lines Press, who regularly publishes amazing translated works. A few weeks ago, I read The Tidings of the Trees, which reminded me of the psychological isolation in Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress. Interested in how this matches up as I am new to Hilbig. Thanks to Veronica Esposito and the team at Two Lines for sending me the ARC.

Summer of 2018

IMG_4054.JPG

My summer of 2018 reading list:

  • Paul Beatty – The Sell Out
  • Wolfgang Hilbig – The Tidings of the Trees (Finished)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin – A Wizard of Earthsea (Finished)
  • Min Jin Lee – Pachinko (Finished)
  • Fiona Maazel – A Little More Human (Started)
  • Malcolm McNeill – Tetra (Finished)
  • Marie NDiaye – All My Friends
  • William Vollmann – Carbon Ideologies (No Immediate Danger and No Good Alternative)
  • Richard Weiner – The Game for Real

Meyer Wolfshiem in The Great Gatsby

An interesting read!

Minnesota English Journal Online

Meyer Wolfshiem in The Great Gatsby

by Elisa Malinovitz

[pdf version here: Malinovitz-Wolfshiem in Gatsby]

Introduction:

The Great Gatsby is included in the Common Core exemplars for literature, it’s rare to find a high school or university in the United States that doesn’t teach it, making it one of the most analyzed novels in modern American literature. Students examine and often re-examine the novel at different times throughout their lives, yet there are subtleties in the book of meaning and importance which escape the attention of many analytic reviews. Seemingly lacking is a discussion of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s stereotypical depiction of his one Jewish character, Meyer Wolfshiem.

View original post 3,004 more words

Jacob Singer Reviews The Futures Industry Edited by Sherryl Vint

Chicago Literati

The future has become a site of crisis, both materially – in the looming threats of climate change, environmental and species destruction, and imminent collapses of the global financial market—and in our capacity to imagine the future otherwise.

–Sherryl Vint

The unpredictability of the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit vote, and Trump presidency has left many doubting traditional prophetic tools—like exit polls and economic theories. Few experts predicted such turn of events. Political reports and journalists seem no better than the imaginations of our best speculative fiction writers. The journalists, many of whom want to keep working relationships with economic and political players, fail to question the status quo or are simply not given the opportunity to address big questions. Meanwhile, fiction writers are free to gaze into the future in an attempt to predict how science and technology will influence our intellectual understanding of reality and shape the human experience.

View original post 1,093 more words

Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2018!

A great list of books coming out in 2018. Thanks to John Madera for curating this.

BIG OTHER

Like every year, there’s much to dread about 2018, and to fight against, but, fortunately there’s much to look forward to, including powerful works of art from small presses. Below you’ll find the small press books I’m most excited to see published this year. Following this, you’ll find lists from stellar writers Kate Angus, Kurt Baumeister, Alex Behr, Jeff Bursey, Lisa Chen, Tobias Carroll, Brian Evenson, Tim Jones-Yelvington, Meghan Lamb, Janice Lee, Michael Noll, David Leo Rice, Kevin Sampsell, Jason Teal, Dan Wickett, James Yeh, and Leni Zumas. Thanks to them, and thanks, too, to stellar writers Lynn Crawford, Robert Dean, Annie DeWitt, Joe Pan, Dawn Raffel, Jacob Singer, Joanna C. Valente, and Marjorie Welish for giving me the heads-up on other books.

View original post 9,343 more words

Necronom by Jacob Singer

I’m excited to share “Necronom,” a short story that has been published at Chicago Literati for their Halloween issue. It is a retelling of one of my favorite horror movies from the perspective of the villain. Can you guess the movie?

Chicago Literati

We persist. We sit quietly and wait for the rabbits. Hunger is a real pain that deeply effects our whole body. The smell of rabbits is everywhere and it drives us crazy. We can taste them, our mouths salivating. We persist because we have no choice. Trapped in this labyrinth, we think and wait and think and wait. All of this imposes patterns on us.

Lo! A rabbit.

Its heathen speech seems very alien to us. We sneak and attack. What once was undetached rabbit parts becomes stages of rabbithood before our very eyes. Here rabbit. There rabbit. Fragments. The hunger subsides. And with that, we return to the labyrinth in search of mother and our sisters. We persist.

We have no words for our crude beginning, but we are prone to think of it. Cursed we roam the labyrinth that imposes patterns on our understanding. There is this way…

View original post 732 more words

Stylistics: A Reading List for Prose Writers and Editors

English and creative writing programs are failing to provide students with the tools necessary to develop a mature understanding of prose style. Theoretically, one would learn style by taking classes in writing, literature, and linguistics—but rarely do these classes teach prose style in a way that directly benefits students who want to be writers and editors.

Richard Lanham, Professor Emeritus at UCLA, is an expert in rhetoric, style, and revision. In many of his works, but especially his books Analyzing Prose and Style: An Anti-Text Book, Lanham criticizes this mainstream paradigm of writing instruction. He points out the contradiction between the advice provided by the Clarity-Brevity-Sincerity (CBS) theory of prose which “seems to contradict all that we say is good in literature and runs an enormous rift between ‘literature’ on one hand and ‘ordinary prose’ on the other.” By celebrating the CBS style of prose, teachers make direct instruction of style more difficult. The goal of the CBS style is transparency. By cutting language down to a bare minimum, there is little to point to regarding style—thus nothing to say. As a result, students only learn about substance—completely ignoring how poetic elements make literature. This creates a significant pedagogical gap.

Stylistics and generative grammar/rhetoric fill this pedagogical gap and should be an integral part of every writing program. Stylistics, popular in the United Kingdom, explore the intersection of language and literature. Through applying linguistics to literature, stylistics offers tremendous insight in how innovation and creativity function in creative works.

What I find beneficial about these texts is that they allow individuals to apply a rigorous approach to discussing complex issues in creative writing such as grammar, style, and point of view. It allows for a better explanation of the relationship between substance and style. Creative writing programs have placed great emphasis on the workshop method for instruction. And this depends on peer revision. If peers lack the technical know-how, conversations become shallow and repetitive. Creative writing students don’t need to have a PhD in linguistics to provide quality feedback, but the inclusion of appropriate technical language—like that included in stylistics—will benefit all involved.

Stylistics

Simpson’s Stylistics

Leech and Short’s Style in Fiction

Narratology

Bal’s Narratology

Fowler’s Linguistic Criticism

Donnelly’s Linguistics for Writers

Chatman’s Story and Discourse and Literary Style: A Symposium

Babb’s (ed.) Essays in Stylistic Analysis

Freeman’s Linguistics and Literary Style

Pinker’s The Sense of Style

Generative Grammar and Rhetoric

Francis and Bonniejean Christensen’s A New Rhetoric

Brooks Landon’s Building Great Sentences

Martha Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects 

Richard Lanham’s Analyzing Prose

Brian Shawver’s The Language of Fiction

Winston Weathers and Otis Winchester’s The New Strategy of Style