Thursday, 26 February 2009

House of Leaves

So I finished reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I was dissapointed in that it wasn't more scary, I never read scary books so thought this would scare me more or something. It was good though, typographically and in ambition. CLever, but also a piss take on being clever. 

Danielewski was, I think, the cameraman on the weird and somewhat interesting documentary Derrida. I remember watching it and after I got used to the annoying American voice over talking rubbish, found looking at the old man, who wrote so many words, and who had so many words written about him, almost disconcerting. Watching TV in his little Paris house in that city's interminable suburbs over breakfast. Talking nonsense about love...I wonder if he ever looked over Danielewski's MS.

Don't know what to read next. Have the BS Johnson Omnibus Picador, I think, put out. But I read must of that last year.

Got a new writing studio in NeuKoln for the whole of March so am going to start back into the  Dada story, work on poems and maybe some visual work as well. 

My last novel, Locus Domus I'm now calling it, has had its recent setdowns. My enthusiasm and belief remain low in it right now.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


I've recently stopped writing what it was I had planned as I suddenly realised I was writing boring realist work for others, publishers and prize judges. It was never supposed to be like this I felt, it was supposed to be always new and always exciting. By challenging myself I would challenge my readers and they would repay the effort with their interest and their time. Instead I was shortchanging them, and selling out on myself (without making any money). 

The industry of short story writing for instance is a prime example how contemporary English prose is mummifying itself into routine traditional formats that offer nothing new to the reader. Life has changed since Dubliners, everything has changed, and the idea that there should be a strong continuity in the form seems wrong. It is condensed, so there's not much room for maneuver sure. But to think that flast fiction - what a bastard term that is - and other such distortions make literature contemporary is poor avantgardism. 

Anyway, fuck all that - recently I've started to 'remix' old work, just like all my favourite DJs used to do when I was younger. All the published work I've had so far is up for change, a remix of form and even content, expansion, repetition, distortion...The only 'short story' I've had published that doesn't need to be remixed is Valhalla: Some Scenes in Foreign Places  - and that's because I didn't have to worry about who was publishing it.

I submitted a remix of The Russian Door (west47, 2006) called la porte russe remix Alan Cunningham's small art zine Issue 2.
Here's a preview:
C’est nul. Ridicule. Une putaine de connerie et ça m’ennerve.
Cet mec est un idiot, un vrai con.
Ça ne me ressemble pas d’ecouter des mecs si longtemps.
Le paradis? – c’est pas les autres. Pas les irlandais en tout cas.
Il y a trois ans une amie était en couple avec cet irlandais – deux ans plus tard j’étais lá bas, dans la capitale, pleine d’ennui, toute seule &tc, &tc et on s’est croisé dans la rue Nassau – juste comme ça. Tout simplement il m’a regardé avec un air plein de haine, plein de désir, mes seins comme un spectacle français – pas un spectacle slut-fuck.

UPDATE: Something strange - the selfgenerating guru Tao Lin posted the same day about remixing his work as I did. Strange. It is safe to say that I don't have affinity with Lin, artistic or otherwise.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Short Story Andrew Fox - New Irish Writing

My friend Andrew Fox has one of his fine stories in last week's Sunday Tribune.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Three Novels

Have three reviews up on Laura Hird's latest site. 

On Julia Leigh's Disquiet

Chris Killen's deput, The Bird Room

And the singular Norwegian novel, A Time To Every Purpose Under Heaven 

I jump into the debate Zadie Smith highlighted with her NYRB's article on Tom McCarthy vs. Joseph O Neill. Interesting times...

Went to the American library in Kreuzberg yesterday, got out some CDS, DVDS - listening to Underworld for the first time in an age, rocking like it was the late '90s...