Thursday, February 5, 2009

Light Boxes, Chris Higgs, William Burroughs, novella, AWP, and such

Got my copy of Shane Jones's new novel Light Boxes the other day (I can't remember which day; time and memory are slippery like watermelon seeds now). I've looked at the book (it is very attractive; the cover image is beautiful and has planetary gravity). People are saying good things about Shane's novel. Shane posted Chris Higgs's notes on his blog.

I want to drive to Ohio this summer and hang out with Chris Higgs and talk about Deleuze and all things avant-garde.

I've been increasingly obsessed with William S. Burroughs. I read Nova Express in a night. I've been reading Naked Lunch and his letters. It's another case of finally reading something and wishing I had read it years ago.

Everything I read lately (for the past year) seems to be the exact thing I need to be reading. It all feels relevant and even reflective of the novella I've been working on. Passages, phrases, images stand out and recontextualize themselves in my own work. Sometimes it's strange and exciting. Sometimes I wonder if I'm writing a rehash. I think part of the novella is going to be a mash-up of all of these things reset in the context of my own work. Burroughs, Beckett, Faulkner, Deleuze & Guattari, Blanchot, Blake Butler, Thalia Field, Johannes Goransson, Nathaniel Mackey, Ben Lerner, J.G. Ballard, Gert Jonke, Robert Pinget, Bataille, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, William H. Gass, David Markson, Carole Maso; any of them, a combination of form and content and perspectives all intertwining and warping with the novella. Things keep changing and opening up and unfolding. I wouldn't have written about this if it was still only an idea, but I've already begun the mash-up, and the main text is almost ready for early readers. I haven't shown any of it to anyone, so I'm interested to see what kind of reaction it gets.

AWP is soon. I thought I would be able to go. I even had a generous carpool/hotel room offer. But, as an outsider (and procrastinator), my registration would cost $205, plus about that much for room/gas/etc and then easily that much for food and drink and wild partying. So, I will not be going to AWP. I was looking forward to the dance and rock-a-bowl.

3 comments:

christopher higgs said...

You're back with 3 posts! Boom!

Thanks for the shout out. This summer Caitlin & I will be moving somewhere - we don't know where yet because we are still waiting to hear which PhD program is going to take us (fingers crossed). I think the closest we'll be to Michigan would be...UI Chicago.

At any rate, I concur: to hang would be cool.

Also, I'll put in a plug for the other two cutup books Burroughs did (part of the trilogy with Nova Express) Soft Machine and The Ticket that Exploded. All three kick ass.

Your mashup project sounds sweeeeet! I am eager to see what you're up to. It sounds akin to the novel I'm revising right now, and also the thing that Adam Robinson is doing right now. Perhaps the three of us can start a new genre.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i am excited to read your novella.

i wish you were coming to awp. michigan for me soon maybe


willy is the doctor.

ryan call said...

im sad you ar not at awp