Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brian Evenson May Be My Brother

Everytime I read or think about Brian Evenson's Afterword in his collection Altmann's Tongue, I feel like I am connected somehow and that Brian Evenson is my brother. Same goes for his fiction, too, of course. His story in NO COLONY feels like something that would fall out of my head. Not that I am anywhere near him as a writer, but that I feel a close kinship, the same intellectual orientation. My mental eyes follow a similar trajectory, with a different yet very much the same launch site. The notions of fracture, disconnect, misalignment, and definitely violence and transgression in many forms, with many faces. The thought of Deleuze, Derrida, Blanchot, Bataille, et al commingling in the periphery. Evenson's fiction is for me the perfect balance of fiction and philosophy. I would like to talk with Evenson for hours and see what kind of a cloud forms in the air. I will write more about this some time. Something less abstract, less vague. Or not.

6 comments:

BLAKE BUTLER said...

yes, brothers. i feel this with evenson's work also. it is a nice feeling.

man, you and i need to live w/in beer distance of each other, i need these conversations, for real.

Josh Maday said...

yes, it is a great feeling. discovering evenson, barthelme, gass, markson, and the like (for myself) has saved me from something; i learned that my seemingly natural inclinations into the land between fiction and philosophy is not really between, but in both: Venn diagram like.

yes, beer w/o distance; it is not that huge of a drive from here to atlanta. i am going to drive to atlanta sometime to hang out with you. next year, i hope. serious. for now, gchat? i need too. i need.

jereme said...

josh,

interesting post. i think the only peson i would feel like this towards is charles bukowski but i still don't feel 'connected'. maybe one day.

i really enjoyed your piece in NO COLONY. I read it today while shitting at work in a cold, quiet bathroom.

i would not normally read this type of writing. i am glad i did.

good stuff, seriously, i am not jerking your anus

Josh Maday said...

thanks jereme; i think i know what you mean: i don't feel 'connected' to the work of many writers. evenson is a rarity for me. i am amazed by a lot of writers, sure.

thanks for the good words about my work in NO COLONY. i'm glad you liked it. what kind of writing do you prefer? bukowski, of course, but who else?

ha, anus jerking, nice
...
anus jerky: smoked, mesquite, teriyaki: gets between your teeth

jereme said...

josh,

well bukowski is my #1. I have read almost everything from him, even his drunken letters.

after that in no particular order:

fante
miller
li po
celine
lawrence
kafka
hemingway

i am sure there are others but i haven't read them yet.

i like first person narrative. a lot of the pieces in NO COLONY seem to be 3rd person which i usually get bored with. i find them overly descriptive and it dampens my imagination.

i can appreciate surrealism but i tend to get frustrated. i feel like there is some deeper meaning i am not getting and then i feel 'dumb' for not understanding it.

i think that is why i liked NO COLONY so much because most of it is in third person but I did not get bored reading it. yours especially which is why i commented about it.

lately i've only been reading a little poetry here and there, online journals/blogs, psychology and philosphy.

i like the juxtaposition between psychology/philosophy. it is a war between the heart and the mind.

ego jelqing trumps anus jerking. it is all about the jelq

Josh Maday said...

that's a fine list, jereme. we are in agreement.

yeah, 3rd person can get bogged down with description. i think there is also a lot of freedom to do new things with 3rd person, too. kafka is a great example. yeah, he's dead, but i don't know if anyone has really copied or been able to out-Kafka Kafka; or maybe i just haven't read enough. probably that.

lit mags like NO COLONY (are there any others like NC?) are exciting to me because of the fearlessness to put something new out there without qualification or hesitation.

man you read pretty widely. i read a pretty even mix of fiction and philosophy. saying that philosophy and psychology are the war between the heart and the mind is a good way to put it; and the way each influences the other seems like what creates the conflict of human nature.

thanks again for reading and for offering your thoughts on the piece in NO COLONY. it's always always always nice to hear when someone enjoys your work.