Macron Death Party

Dostoyevsky Wannabe does Paris:

This collection approaches the theme of interacting/interactions with language(s) that, across the contributors who are French speakers, English speakers, English/French speakers, has developed in myriad diverging ways. Impossible translation, engine translation, dictionary work, ‘resistant reading’; text as physical medium. Also artistic discourse on language itself, what it’s for, what it does; how it forms us, how it perhaps constrains us. As too interactions with it in life and everyday settings, how it might get in the way, or fall apart, help or hinder. With, among the contributors, writers of prose, essay, poetry alongside conceptual artists, as too members of the Oulipo and Outranspo, DW Paris is a diverse showcase of Paris-centred experimental and innovative literature in 2019.

Paris is edited by Andrew Hodgson, and contains contributions by:
Camille Bloomfield, Amalie Brandt, Chris Clarke, Gaia Di Lorenzo, Craig Dworkin, Lauren Elkin, Andrew Gallix, Eric Giraudet de Boudemange, Stewart Home, Ian Monk, Yelena Moskovich, Olivier Salon, Philipp Timischl.

My story, “Macron Death Party”, appears on pp. 105-119.

“The ladies and gentlemen in this book are lost in translation. Some of them are recognized outranspians (since I recognized them). If oulipians are ‘les rats qui construisent le labyrinthe dont ils se proposent de sortir,’ the works that comprise this book, the writers that generated them ‘sont perdus dans Babel sans idée d’en sortir.’ A decisive and entertaining way of tilting at the windmills of a number of different languages.”
Paul Fournel

Paris est tout à fait excitant et original : il explore des voies et fait entendre des voix nouvelles et inattendues.”
Marcel Bénabou

Youth, Politics, Romance and Illness

Max Liu on We’ll Never Have Paris in the Financial Times, 1 June 2019

. . . There is something for most tastes among the 82 contributions, edited by Andrew Gallix. From Nicholas Royle’s mini-thriller “Music for French Films” to the experimentalism of Joanna Walsh’s “The Hanged Man”, there are pieces about youth, politics, illness and romance. Some of the writers, from the UK, US and beyond, live or have lived in Paris. Almost all of them explore the myth of bohemian Paris — “an anglophone construct”, according to Gallix. . . . Readers might come to this book for its celebrated contributors — the novelists Will Self and Tom McCarthy among them — but they should stay for the efforts of its lesser-known lights. . . . Repeater has sensibly published this near 600-page volume as a paperback original that would fit comfortably in your bag as you amble along the boulevards. . . . Paris eludes our attempts to define it, but the range of styles and voices in this book suggests it will always capture writers’ imaginations.

Sixty-Seven Variations on Dadsplaining

My review of Owen Booth‘s wonderful debut novel, What We’re Teaching Our Sons, appears in the December issue of Literary Review.

To misquote Simone de Beauvoir, one is not born but rather becomes a man. This is the premise of What We’re Teaching Our Sons, a satire, alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, of all those earnest treatises on fatherhood.

Although very accessible, Owen Booth’s debut is as difficult to pin down as the notion of masculinity in an age of female empowerment and gender fluidity. It is a novel with an emotional arc, but one you may also dip into, each chapter being a story unto itself. In fact, it is essentially the same story — sixty-seven variations on dadsplaining — springing from the same template. …

Dream Machines (Teaser)

My review of Steven Connor‘s Dream Machines appears in this week’s Times Literary Supplement.

Here’s a little teaser:

Dream Machines is an exercise in technography — an exercise, that is, in what Steven Connor defines as any kind of writing about technology that draws attention to the workings of its own machinery. Writing itself may be thought of as a kind of technology — a “mechanisation of speech”, as Connor puts it — and technology in turn may be thought of, perhaps less obviously, as writing. Dem­onstrating the latter, more counterintuitive proposition is the main purpose of this ground-breaking book.

For Connor, a professor of English at the University of Cambridge, all machines could stand as “preliminary sketches” towards an absolute machine: one that would align perfectly with the process of thinking itself. Examples abound, in both fact or fiction, of schemes for machines whose nuts and bolts evanesce into sheer fancy. Marie Corelli conjures up contraptions in her Romance of Two Worlds (1886) that are really…