Thursday, October 26, 2006

Suggested List for Further Reading (part 2)

by Michael Duncan, author of Line Jester and Other Stories

10 things you may have read and should reread

  1. The Waves by Virginia Woolf

  2. Quite simply my favorite novel ever. Experimental, touching, and completely inimitible. A work of artistic perfection.

  3. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  4. The first novel that I know of that I would describe as a 'modern' novel. Strangely structured, contradictory, and leaves one with more questions than answers.

  5. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

  6. The 'first' European novel may be the best, and almost certainly is the funniest. Not in a Shakespeare ha-ha-I-understand-the-pun-he's-making way, but in a look-like-you're-crazy-laughing-aloud-in-public way.

  7. Light in August by William Faulkner

  8. The best American writer of the 20th century, hands-down. And never let anyone tell you any different.

  9. "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor

  10. I could just have easily said "The Artificial Nigger," or "A Good Man is Hard to Find," or just told you to read everything she ever published like I have, because it's all great.

  11. On Photography by Susan Sontag

  12. Everything criticism should be and rarely is: lucid, deep, surprising. You will look at the modern world differently having read this.

  13. Let us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

  14. Agee's baroque, poetic prose humanizes the overlooked Depression-era tenant farmers he is reporting on even more effectively than the beautiful and famous photographs by Walker Evans in the book.

  15. Collected Stories by Jorge Luis Borges

  16. What can one say? I think he will be looked back on in 300 years as one of the 2 or 3 most important writers of the 20th century.

  17. White Noise by Don DeLillo

  18. At first glance it seems dark and apocalyptic, but on a second read, it really stands out as incredibly funny. Seems as if it were written yesterday, even though it's from the mid-1980s.

  19. Frederick by Leo Lionni

  20. This is my favorite picture book, and it will teach your children and remind yourself that art is important!

AND DON'T FORGET Italo Calvino, Jose Saramago, Thomas Frank, Gertrude Stein, W.G. Sebald, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Onion, Imre Kertesz, Gustave Flaubert, Samuel Beckett, and anyone who ever wrote anything in 19th-century Russia!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Suggested List for Further Reading (part 1)

by Michael Duncan, author of Line Jester and Other Stories

10 things that you have not read and should

  1. Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson

  2. Though many breathless blurb-writers have made this almost a meaningless statement, this is truly a novel unlike any other.

  3. An Imaginary Life by David Malouf

  4. Lyrical throughout; one of the most beautiful last pages of any novel I have read.

  5. "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk" by Franz Kafka

  6. A barely-talked about Kafka story that is more touching than any story about the pointlessness of art has any right to be. Plus it has animals, and they're not cockroaches!

  7. A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem

  8. Reviews of imaginary and yet-to-be-written books with a philosophical bent.

  9. The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst

  10. A Canadian poet on how the page should reflect the ideas on it. Also the best epigraphs of any book I've ever picked up.

  11. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

  12. The secret fountain of the Latin boom. Garcia Marquez and Cortazar approach the quality of this novel on only their best days.

  13. After the End of Art by Arthur C. Danto

  14. How does one make and think about art in a world where so much has already been said, and the pressures to 'make it new' are ever-mounting to ever-lessening effect?

  15. "The School" by Donald Barthelme

  16. He has written so many stories in so many styles that this perfect 3-page jewel has been somewhat lost in the flood.

  17. Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

  18. This oral history of the Chernobyl incident is terrifying and made me cry, and I'm a cold-hearted bastard.

  19. Beauty and Sadness by Yasunari Kawabata

  20. It is a testament to the power of Kawabata's spare writing style that a story really best covered by Ricki Lake becomes something, well, beautiful and sad.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What comes next?

We hope that you've been enjoying our first e-chapbook, Line Jester and Other Stories. We have some more cool projects in the works, including Between the Water and the Air, a play by Andrew Hungerford which made its debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the summer of 2005, and a few surprises involving some poetry either just before or just after the holidays.

We're also working on some special content for the blog, including author interviews, suggestions for further reading, and commentaries from Revelator editors and anyone else we can get interested. (Hey, it's good enough for DVD, so it's good enough for us.)

Between the Water and the Air will be posted by the end of October, and we'll have at least one more e-chapbook before we take a bit of a break in December. Not to worry. We'll come back with a bang at the beginning of January.