Glorious Failure

November 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Keith Watson, Rev. of The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure by C. D. Rose, failure magazine November 2014

The BDLF is a clever put-on, a brisk stroll through Borges’s Library of Babel guided by Rose’s fastidious prose and copious literary references, but it is also a clarion for the infinite possibilities of literature. As Andrew Gallix observes in his introduction, “Writing about fictitious or lost works is a means of holding literature in abeyance, of preserving its potentiality.” Rose’s failures are also potential successes, each one a small recognition that the actuality of literature will never equal its potentiality. Reading Ulysses will never quite match the idea of reading Ulysses. And in that sense, all literature, no matter how great, is a glorious failure.

When the Past Begins

November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

“I have never got a grip on when the past begins or where it ends, but if cities map the past with statues made from bronze forever frozen in one dignified position, as much as I try to make the past keep still and mind its manners, it moves and murmurs with me through every day.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

We’ll All Get Home Safely

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

“He asked her again to please, please, please drive him home to his wife and daughter.
‘Yes,’ she said. ‘Life is only worth living because we hope it will get better and we’ll all get home safely.'”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

Drowning Home

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

“It was impossible to believe that someone did not want to be saved from their incoherence.”
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home

Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

I was interviewed by Linn Levy for her fine piece on Guy Debord, Situationism, and punk:

Linn Levy, “Debord j’adore,” Edelweiss December 2014: 52-53
Debord1
Debord2

. . . Et le punk? «Faut-il dire que le punk était situationniste?», s’interroge Andrew Gallix, écrivain, professeur à la Sorbonne, punk depuis l’âge de 12 ans et fondateur du premier blog littéraire «3:AM Magazine». «Non. Les idées de Debord ont été l’une des très nombreuses influences de ce mouvement éminemment postmoderne, au même titre que Dada, par exemple, ou le surréalisme. Il faut voir le punk comme un collage, ou comme une installation artistique : une conjonction d’influences diverses qui ont coexisté pendant “une assez courte unité de temps” (pour citer Debord) avant d’éclater en une myriade de mouvements. Entre 1976 et 1979, dans ce pays socialement à la dérive, l’esprit du situationnisme a été en quelque sorte mis en acte par le punk; il est réellement descendu dans la rue. Debord entendait mettre la révolution au service de la poésie, c’est-à-dire transformer la vie en art, et c’est précisément ce que le punk a réalisé. Il est évident que pour Malcolm McLaren, même s’il était avant tout un homme d’affaires, les Pistols étaient une situation au sens debordien.»

Photobooth

November 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Paul Gorman, “What We Wore: An Intelligent and Egalitarian Celebration of Our Collective Visual Invention,” Paul Gorman Is 30 October 2014

Paul Gorman has posted several pictures of Nina Manandhar’s What We Wore: A People’s History of British Style on his website. I appear in this one, across the page from Tracey Emin:

Towards Blankness

November 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Thom Cuell, Rev. of The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure by C. D. Rose, The Workshy Fop 10 November 2014

In his introduction, 3:AM Magazine editor-in-chief Andrew Gallix notes a tendency in modern art towards blankness, exemplified by ‘the white paintings of Malevich…as well as John Cage’s mute music piece’. The literary apotheosis of this trend is Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the scrivener who stopped, er, scrivening. If we accept this theory, then we must accept that the writers Rose commemorates have inadvertently achieved greatness, ‘through their work being censored, lost, shredded, pulped or eaten by pigs’.
The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure 300dpi

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