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Posts Tagged ‘Javier Marias

Attention Span 2010 – Tim Conley

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Javier Marías, trans. Margaret Jull Costa | Your Face Tomorrow, Volume Three: Poison, Shadow and Farewell | New Directions | 2009

If you’ve read the first two, you’ve read the third; if you’ve not read any, what are you thinking?

Tom McCarthy | Remainder | Alma | 2006

Francis Carco, trans. Gilbert Alter-Gilbert | Streetcorners: Prose Poems of the Demi-Monde | Green Integer | 2004

Irregular moments of flânerie, economically and sharply framed. “It seemed to me as if a new sensibility had penetrated me.”

Lara Glenum | Maximum Gaga | Action | 2009

You know that party you went to, thinking you knew someone there, but it turned out you didn’t know anyone at all and you couldn’t believe what people were saying and wearing? And you were a little scared, sometimes more than a little, and long afterwards you look back on that party as perhaps one of the best parties you ever went to. This book is that party.

Vanessa Place | La Medusa | FC2 | 2008

Normally my interest dampens at the scent of a rewriting of Ulysses, and Place’s novel fits the bill, though with a very American apocalyptic sensibility and conclusion. But it’s the bubbling springs of language that make this book special: this novel is alive in a way that so many are not.

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, trans. Joanne Turnbull | Memories of the Future | NYRB Classics | 2009

Svetlana Boym | The Future of Nostalgia | Basic | 2002

A rich investigation of cultural displacement, a redefining of “nostalgia.” Those Moscow girls make me sing and shout.

Richard Overy | The Morbid Age: Britain Between the Wars | Allen Lane | 2009

Although deserving of a quibble or two, this history of British anti-war sentiment and activism offers a nice counterpoint to the usual Churchillian bluster.

More Tim Conley here. His Attention Span for 2009, 2008. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Meredith Quartermain

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Thomas Bernhard, trans. Richard and Clara Winston | Gargoyles | Vintage | 2006

A poem/novel that takes it all in: man & nature; man & industry; man & art—generations of the human animal.

Thomas Bernhard, trans. Ewald Osers | Old Masters: a Comedy | Quartet | 1989

This droll piece consists of the narrator’s thoughts as he stands in a particular room in a gallery waiting for his friend, a distinguished music critic, who on a daily basis, likes to come to this room to contemplate the image of a white-bearded old man (like himself it would seem). The museum attendant is the only other character.

Lisa Roberston | R’s Boat | California | 2010

Rousseau’s boat has extended itself, with Robertson’s customary wit and inventiveness, which inevitably turns comfortable subjectivity on its head.

Robert Walser, trans. Susan Bernovsky | The Tanners | New Directions | 2009

An early, autobiographical novel, but then all of his work is autobiographical. Life’s journeys torqued by a deeply feeling and crazily, stubbornly, beautifully resistant mind.

Robert Walser, trans. Susan Bernovsky | Microscripts | New Directions | 2010

At last the microscripted manuscripts (lengthy stories drafted entirely on one side of a post card) are available in English. Even crazier, more deeply feeling, more stubbornly beautifully resistant. We also learn much from the accompanying introduction, such as that Walser wrote out his novels non-stop, without correction, in a matter of six weeks, simply for the pleasure of fine handwriting.

Javier Marías, trans. Margaret Jull Costa | All Souls | HarperCollins | 1992

Set in Oxford and concerning the sojourn of a Marías-like Spanish professor, the tale spins around translation, both linguistic and cultural. His send-up of dining at high table is side-splitting.

Javier Marías, trans. Esther Allen | The Dark Back of Time | New Directions | 2001

In this novel Marías amuses himself by examining the relation between “real” characters and the ones in his novel All Souls. Very witty, post-modern foldings and refoldings.

Javier Marías, trans. Esther Allen | Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico | New Directions Pearl | 2010

Impersonation takes on a whole new meaning in this Elvis encounter.

Javier Marías, trans. Margaret Jull Costa | Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear | New Directions | 2005

Obviously I’m hooked on Marías. This one examines othering—when do we see the other as evil—when do we cross that line?

Kate Eichorn & Heather Milne, eds. | Prismatic Publics | Coach House | 2009

Featuring interviews and work by Nicole Brossard, Margaret Christakos, Susan Holbrook, Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Karen Mac Cormack, Daphne Marlatt, Erín Moure, M. NourbeSe Philip, Sina Queyras, Lisa Robertson, Gail Scott, Nathalie Stephens, Catriona Strang, Rita Wong, Rachel Zolf. In other words, a ground-breaking collection in Canadian letters.

Sina Queryas | Expressway | Coach House | 2009

I read Queryas for her panache, her in-your-faceness, her tightly woven structures.

More Meredith Quartermain here. Quartermain’s Attention Span for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2009 – Tim Conley

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Lisa Jarnot | Night Scenes | Flood Editions | 2008

A twinkle, twinkle rhapsody.

Eliot Weinberger | Oranges and Peanuts for Sale | New Directions | 2009

What colour did women in the T’ang Dynasty prefer their eyebrows to be? What is the attitude among the Yoruba to twins? Weinberger knows, and Weinberger seems incapable of being boring. Here are collected essays on Vicente Huidobro, the politics of poetry, James Laughlin, “What I Heard About Iraq in 2005,” Beckett’s Mexican job, Susan Sontag, translation, translation, and more translation.

Christopher Priest | Inverted World | NYRB Classics | 2008

A sophisticated game of illusions by way of disillusions (again, by way of illusions), this book strangely acquires greater dimensions as one moves through it. The reader cannot help but look back in admiration.

Eugene Ostashevsky | The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2008

This is the closest I’ve ever seen poetry come to a video game. Avatars, knock your blocks off!

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, trans. R. J. Hollingdale | The Waste Books | NYRB Classics | 2000

Javier Marías, trans. Margaret Jull Costa | Your Face Tomorrow, Volume Two: Dance and Dream | New Directions | 2005

The spy who came in from the recherche du temps perdu. Can’t wait for the translation of the third volume to appear.

Daniel Albright | Beckett and Aesthetics | Cambridge UP | 2003

Jordan Scott | Blert | Coach House Books | 2008

Complains Daffy Duck: “Thith ith the latht time I work with thomeone with a thpeech impediment.” Methinks the duck doth (doth!) protest too much. Jordan Scott hears the stutter –the stutter we all have, each in our own fashion– as poetry. The legion of troublesome phrases become opportunities for new sounds. You will read this book aloud and you will get it all wrong and all will be very well.

More Tim Conley here.

Attention Span – Tim Conley

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Gunnar Olsson | Abysmal: A Critique of Cartographic Reason | Chicago | 2007

The map is a territory, just not the territory in question.

Mark Scroggins | The Poem of A Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky | Shoemaker & Hoard | 2007

Illuminating and exemplary. To those writers I know who cannot even imagine why one would read a “literary” biography, I say: read this and see.

Daniel Heller-Roazen | The Inner Touch: Archaeology of a Sensation | Zone | 2007

This book isn’t just about that itch you’ve always had but could never quite scratch; it is that itch.

Javier Marías | Your Face Tomorrow, Volume One: Fever and Spear | New Directions | 2005

Robert Kelly | Red Actions: Selected Poems 1960-1993 | Black Sparrow | 1995

Kelly’s work has been a recent, embarrassingly late, and joyous discovery for me. “Can you forgive us all? We / who were your alphabets.”

Rebecca Solnit | Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics | California | 2007

Clearing the air. A mind to walk with.

Jean-Michel Rabaté | 1913: The Cradle of Modernism | Blackwell | 2007

Let there be more such histories, a discreet span studied from every angle, profound and multifaceted contemplations of a month in Spain, a single day in an African village, a late afternoon shared by the world.

Jonathan Williams | Jubilant Thicket: New and Selected Poems | Copper Canyon | 2005

John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft | John Peel: Margrave of the Marshes | Chicago Review | 2007

When radio was something you did, an activity for both listener and programmer. Unexpectedly poignant is how Ravenscroft takes over the narrative when her husband dies: this is a memoir in stereo.

David Graeber | Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology | Prickly Paradigm | 2004

Jay Millar | Mycological Studies | Coach House | 2002

One of my students asked me whether this book was “for real.”

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More Tim Conley here.