The Trouble with Fiction

September 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Aldous Huxley, The Genius And The Goddess

“The trouble with fiction,” said John Rivers, “is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.”


September 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

Guillaume Apollinaire, “Pure Painting” (1913)

Artists are above all men who want to become inhuman.

[More than anything, artists are men who want to be 'inhuman'.]


September 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Karl Ove Knausgaard, A Man in Love – My Struggle: Book 2: 446

[J]ust the thought of fiction, just the thought of a fabricated character in a fabricated plot made me feel nauseous, I reacted in a physical way.

Haunted Memories

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Barry Hannah, “Why I Write,” Oxford American 20

It is often said that a writer is more alive than his peers. But I believe he might also be a sort of narcoleptic who requires constant waking up by his own imaginative work. He is closer to sleep and dream, and his memory is more haunted, thus more precise. …I forget almost nothing. Even when I was drunk I recalled too much, and hence was forced to relive events in an agony of shame. Friends and confederates are often astounded by what I remember of certain afternoons an age ago — weather, dress, music, mots.

Negating Everything That Causes Us to be Dead While Alive

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mark Leyner, “The Art of Fiction N° 219″ by Sam Lipsyte The Paris Review 204 (Spring 2013)

Bro, we’re living in the Kali Yuga, a Dark Age of petite bourgeoisie ideology, a petite bourgeoisie ideology whose resources and ruses are infinite and which ubiquitously permeates the world — high culture, low culture, bienpensant media, prestige literature, pop music, commerce, sports, academia, you name it. The only reasonable response to this situation is to maintain an implacable antipathy toward everything. Denounce everyone. Make war against yourself. Guillotine all groveling intellectuals. That said, I think it’s important to maintain a cheery disposition. This will hasten the restoration of Paradise. I’ve memorized this line from André Breton’s magnificent homage to Antonin Artaud — “I salute Antonin Artaud for his passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive.” Given the state of things, that’s what we need to be doing, all the time — negating everything that causes us to be dead while alive.

A Monument to Obscure and Inhuman Forces

September 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Brian Dillon, “Objects in This Mirror,” Objects in This Mirror: Essays

Smithson made his trip to Passaic at a time when his interventions in the landscape were mostly of a relatively modest nature. He had already exhibited several “non-sites” drawn from New Jersey: wooden or metal containers housing rocks from the numerous quarries around Paterson, to the north of Passaic. Each container is a discrete displacement of the terrain: a reminder that all art and technology rely on such materia prima, and at the same time a suggestion that the earth itself is a sort of artwork (though not in any theological sense): a monument to obscure and inhuman forces.

Saying Nothing Or Preferring One

September 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

Samuel Beckett, Echo’s Bones

A quantity of phrases presented themselves to Zaborovna, who thus to her annoyance found herself faced with the alternative of saying nothing or preferring one.

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