Friday, July 31, 2009

Disambiguations for Summer 2009

I. At last: A new New-York Ghost! is the summer issue...Jen Snow told me she read it on her iPhone. Features a lengthy narrative and some jaw-droppingly great Jing Wei art.

II. From Jenny D—a nice bit of nomen-omening (NYT):
Air-conditioner sales at J. Eis & Sons on the Lower East Side are down almost 50 percent.

“It’s just not that hot,” said Lenny Eis (pronounced ice), the owner.

III. I'm at a library and I just peered around a desk at the room beyond a set of French doors—except it was a mirror, and the dude in the gray shirt was me. It's like an H.P. Lovecraft story!

IV. Disambiguation (did you notice I changed the name of this blog??) is taking a break till late August! "Keep cool."

Gossip Ed

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still got it in him!

Written for kicks
Paid by the line
Straight from the sticks
To the beginning of time
Who wouldn't want to raise a glass to that?
—Lloyd Cole, "Coattails" (from the Blvr music issue)


READ HARD — Believer Music Issue — Beatles post-Beatles — AUGUST 5 PARK-LIT EVENT

I. Read Hard is out! It's a collection of some great pieces from the last five years of The Believer. We could have easily filled several more volumes of equal thickness—and hopefully we will someday...As an appetizer, McSweeney's excerpts my essay on the work of Charles Portis, a piece that appeared in the very first issue of The Believer, back in 2003. I've always like this list of food in Portis's first novel, Norwood:

With reportorial precision, and without condescension, Norwood captures all manner of reflex babble, the extravagant grammar of commercial appeal − stray words bathed in the exhaust of a Trailways bus. This omnivorous little book has a high metabolism, digesting everything from homemade store signs (i do not loan tools) and military-base graffiti to actuarial come-ons and mail-order ads for discount diamonds. Appropriately enough, the characters are constantly chowing down. On one leg of the journey, Edmund B. Ratner (formerly the "world's smallest perfect man," before he porked out) and Norwood's new sweetheart, Rita Lee Chipman, are described as having eaten their way through the Great Smoky Mountains. Norwood's decidedly humble (call it American) menu nails the country's midcentury gastronomy with a precision that today takes on near-archaeological value: canned peaches, marshmallows, Vienna sausages, cottage cheese with salt and pepper, a barbecue sandwich washed down with NuGrape, a potted-meat sandwich with mustard, butter on ham sandwiches, biscuit and Brer Rabbit syrup sandwiches, an Automat hot dog on a dish of baked beans, Cokes and corn chips and Nabs crackers, a Clark bar, peanuts fizzing in Pepsi, a frozen Milky Way.

II. The Believer Music Issue is also out! Q: What's in it? A: A lot.

Arthur Phillips (The Song Is You) on writing about music (or, as they say, dancing about architecture); Brandon Stosuy interviews Phil Elverum (here's a taste); Joe Hagan—author of the classic Bill Fox piece that rounds out Read Hard—on another underappreciated songwriter, Benji Hughes (the online version features two streaming songs that will make your day); Blvr editor Ross Simonini does double duty, writing about Jamaican dancehall and violence, and interviewing Radiohead's Thom Yorke; Greil Marcus; Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black...a long piece by Michelle Tea...Justin Taylor with an excellent appreciation of David Berman's Actual Air, upon its 10th anniversary...a piece on Lawrence Welk...Ben Greenman...Hilton Als "performing" a sentence (à la Barthelme) about PJ Harvey...the inimitable Paul Collins, and more! Double issue! Get it before the newsstands run out! Because they always do with this one...

And I haven't even mentioned the Daniel Handler-curated CD, a real ear-opener, featuring names you know—Lloyd Cole (?!!!), Dave Wakeling, the Waterboys' Mike Scott, Sam Phillips, Stephen Duffy (!!?), David Sylvian (!!?!), Lisa Germano, and more—all great, but you cannot miss the Mike Scott song. It is an EPIC, like the best Waterboys songs (though also different).

(Blvr music issue trivia question: Who wrote an article for an earlier Blvr music issue entitled "The Song Is You"?)

III. One last thing I'll mention—David L. Ulin imagines the ideal Beatles '70s albums, using material from their disparate solo albums. In a nice bit of cross-magazine fertilization (eh??), the Utne Reader blog did an "imeem" playlist of the Ulin-imagined post-Fab Four album, Too Many People. It's fun to listen to...and it kicks off with "Imagine"...

IV. I won't be in New York for this, alas, and neither will Heidi, but the Believer and McSweeney's will be taking the stage for a Park-Lit event next Wednesday, August 5, at Bryant Park, 12:30 p.m.—lunchtime edification! (Here's more info at New York mag.)

Aforementioned music issue contribs Messrs. Phillips, Hagan, and Stosuy will be there, as will two new McSwy's novelists: Jessica Anthony (The Convalescent) and my old-PTSNBN colleague James Hannaham (God Says No). Amanda Stern hosts. (Copies of Read Hard and the music issue and the novels should be available.)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Disambiguations for July 29, 2009 (late edition)

From Lincoln Michel at The Faster Times: A new DFW story. (Click to get the PDF from the TFT site.)(Initials—gotta love 'em!)

* * *

Heard shouted from the street:
Male voice: I love you!
Female voice: No you don't.

* * *

Don't miss David Cairns on Spellbound: "Mogo on the Gogo"!

* * *

What was I going to say...?

* * *

REVIEW: It was good, and I liked not knowing who the actors were. (The only one who looked familiar was James Gandolfini—does he always sound so nasal? I liked the nasal effect.) And I didn't realize until later that it was Anna Chlumsky in the role of the State Dept. aide.
VERDICT: A must-see.
AMPERSANDS: Five out of five ampersands (&&&&&)

* * *

That wasn't what I was going to say...Hmmm....

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Great name!

'Ed may have struggled with the weighty ideas unfolding onstage, but then so do many adult audience members.' —NYT

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Sweeney alerted me to this: "Cronenberg sets 'Cosmopolis': Director Bringing DeLillo's Novel to the Screen":

PARIS -- David Cronenberg is teaming up with Portuguese producer Paulo Branco to bring Don DeLillo's novel "Cosmopolis" to the screen.

Cronenberg will helm and also adapt the 2003 novel for the screen. Story follows a 28-year-old multimillionaire on a 24-hour odyssey across Manhattan. Considered one of America's leading novelists, DeLillo's most acclaimed works include "White Noise" and "Underworld."

To which I replied, enigmatically, "Hmmm. HMMM. Hmmm."

To which he replied: "Huh?"

To which I replied: Cosmopolis has already been made into a movie—the woefully underrated Game Six!

DeLillo's script is about a guy who goes on an all-day odyssey across 47th Street!

It is blasphemous to say I'm fonder of Game Six than Cosmopolis?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In dubious waddle

Who wrote this?

Up spake Sir Bushwack, shouting, “I challenge thee, Sir Knight!” The purple knight laughed. “Look what’sh challenging me! You slob, I can,—hic—can lick you with, — hic— one hand tied behind my back! Come ahead!” Then did the purple knight pick up the purple axe and begin to whirl it about his head, faster and faster. Sir Bushwack waddled up dubiously with sword in hand, feebly attempted to parry, then quickly retreated. The purple knight stood and laughed.

(Via Brent)


More invisible notes

I. Taking down the Invisible Library exhibit in London:

II. In L Magazine, Mark Asch chimes in on (among other things) invisible music in Ben Greenman's Please Step Back. He also offers this trip down memory lane:

When Park read at our fiction issue reading last July, he introduced his reading by reading "Borges and I", swapping in his own name for JLB's; I can only imagine the superhuman effort it took him to resist the impulse to spend all 1,200 words on Borges. Or, for that matter, to invent an imaginary book, and sneak it into his rundown of real books containing mentions of imaginary books. (I checked; all the books he mentions and describes really do exist. Disappointing.)

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Emo rats Had Rain, Cans

On the Fourth of July, William Poundstone—a sort of Edgar Cayce for our time—had this dream:

Everyone was talking about the clever new website that takes Ann Coulter's words and subjects them to the Tom Phillips A Humument treatment — producing random phrases of great wit and poetry.

"In the morning," he writes, "I realized that this idea (though stupid) was easily realized."

Putting dream into action, he has started a new blog, "Ann Coulter: Human Document," where he submits the conservative pundit's column to a Phillipsian process to come up with brave new meanings. Here's a small sample:

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Typos in the news

[...] Thursday afternoon, Mr. de Blasio’s name was removed from the Democratic Party line on the ballot by the New York City Board of Elections. The reason? A cover page on his packet of signatures said that there were 131 folders when there were actually 132. —"For a Typo?" NYT op-ed, 7/25

The Rushmore, a new 41-story glass and stone condominium tower on Riverside Boulevard at the Hudson River, seemed serene on a recent visit. The flowers in the interior courtyard were in full bloom; the ground-level pool had been filled. Sixteen buyers had already moved in.
And yet an error of a single digit in an arcane document — the densely worded 732-page offering plan — could upset that happy picture, and cost the sponsors, the Extell Development Company and the Carlyle Group, tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, lawyers say.
[...]Under state regulations, a sponsor is required to provide an operating budget for the first year of a new condominium, so buyers know what to expect when they move in. If the first closing does not occur by the end of the budget year, the sponsor is required to submit a new budget, and give the buyers a right to rescind their contracts.
At the Rushmore, somebody goofed. The offering plan promised to give buyers a right to back out of the plan if the first closing did not occur before the first day of the budget year, Sept. 1, 2008, rather than Sept. 1, 2009, after the last day. The first closing occurred in February 2009.
—"Attack of the Fine Print," NYT Real Estate, 7/26

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Invisible Library in the NYT

In this weekend's New York Times Book Review, I have an essay ("Titles Within a Tale") about the invisible library. Here's a little bit from the middle—I'm including it here mostly because Crome Yellow was a recent discovery for me, and it's amazingly fresh and funny. (There's a great bit where Barbecue-Smith advises the young protagonist on how to become a more productive writer...I should've copied it down.) Also because it was Raymond Chandler's birthday two days ago.

Aldous Huxley’s very funny first novel, “Crome Yellow” (1921), features not just a varied smattering of invisible books and books-in-progress (Mr. Barbecue-Smith’s “Pipe-Lines to the Infinite,” Henry Wimbush’s history of the town of Crome), but what might be called second-degree invisibles: a bookcase of pageless spines — 10 volumes of “Thom’s Works and Wanderings,” seven of “Tales of Knockespotch” — camouflaging a secret door. These books are fake even in the fictional world where they sprout.

In Raymond Chandler’s posthumously published notebooks, we find 36 unused titles, from “The Man With the Shredded Ear” to “The Black-Eyed Blonde,” as well as reference to Aaron Klopstein, author of such books as “Cat Hairs in the Custard” and “Twenty Inches of Monkey” (a title derived from a catalog listing monkeys for vivisection at a dollar per inch). For all their loopy humor, such jeux d’esprit also suggest a haunting: all the books a writer will never get the time to write.

UPDATE (8/9): Some letters in the NYTBR!

* * *

In other Invisible Library news:

• My co-librarian Levi (with the help of Rocketlass) has picked up the domain name We hope to have a slightly snazzier version of the I.L. up soon, or at least one that doesn't make it seem that we only ever posted during one day in 2007.

• As reported on Disambiguation, the Invisible Library exhibit in London had a musical component on July 8. It looks like a mob scene!

Here's what NME (!) had to say:

Artists including Carl Barat, Kid Harpoon and The Bluetones' Mark Morriss are set to play a one-off free show in a London art gallery this Wednesday (July 8).

The acts, along with Babyshambles' Drew McConnell, play the Pages In Plectrums night at the Tenderpixel Gallery in London's Cecil Court.

Curated by Kieran Leonard (who will also play), the night is hosted by literary journal Real Fits and the Ink Illustration collective. The free gig starts at 6pm (BST), with the acts performing tracks from their own back catalogues that have been particularly influenced by literature.

In addition to the music, the show also features 40 illustrations and short stories from imaginary books that have only ever been referenced in other literature before now.

Illustration by Stephen Doyle and Drew Heffron for NYT

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Friday, July 24, 2009


Priscilla Ahn!

Ok....don't want to bore you with too much show information. We are in portsmouth right now. And for all the Catan lovers out there, I love port cities, because I can trade 2 sheep for ore. Alright, I gotta eat some more mustard, and get on stage.

Time for another Priscilla Ahn video!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


There haven't been any ourobori here lately...I'm just warming up:

In 2006 snake charmers in the state had threatened to unleash snakes inside the assembly unless their demand for lifting a ban on snake charming was met. —BBC


Disambiguations for July 23, 2009

I. Invisible Library — the soundtrack!

II. Levi on Hard Case Crime's publication of a new Donald Westlake book. (An except is here.)

III. In today's NYT op-ed: Chisun Lee's "Their Own Private Guantánamo."

IV. Hmmmmm...
On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang issued a statement criticizing remarks Mrs. Clinton had made earlier this week to ABC News, in which she said the best response to Pyongyang’s behavior would be to ignore it, as one would a child clamoring for attention.“

We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community,” the North Korean statement said. “Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.” —NYT

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jay for fake

Is Jacket Copy still doing its Postmodernism Month? Murray Jay Siskind, who steals his scenes in DeLillo's White Noise and the pseudonymous Amazons, reviewed DFW's Oblivion in Modernism/Modernity in 2004. Here's editor Lawrence Rainey's letter sort of explaining it ("Who but a fictional character could be better qualified to review . . . well, new fiction? Isn’t that the very essence of peer reviewing?"), and here's a White Noise–infused extract from the piece:

It is at this point that I must confess to missing something in Wallace, namely the presence of women nearer the center of the narration (setting aside Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman, Jr., the protagonist in Wallace's first novel, The Broom of the System). I admit that I've always been partial to them, i.e. women. I fall apart at the sight of long legs, striding, briskly, as a breeze carries up from the river, on a weekday, in the play of morning light. And what fun it is to talk to an intelligent woman wearing nylon stockings as she crosses her legs. Wallace, I suspect, shares these predilections and could write wonderfully complicated women.

(Via Gawker, from Bret, who writes, "No love for Amazons!"—the piece doesn't mention MJS's appearance in that book; and from Lauren)

(Will post some Amazons-grade Siskind later maybe?)

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Disambiguations for July 22, 2009

I. Over at Driftwood Singers Present:

Remember when your whole M.O. was to avoid living a life of "quiet desperation"? Books and music were going to save us. By the time you realize your liberal arts education was designed to fulfill the self-indulgent solipsism of youth, you've become a "content provider" scraping for a shred of dignity in the digital age. How poetic! Then one day you wake up and find yourself on your knees on the sidewalk flipping through boxes of crappy $1 vinyl like some vagrant off his meds: Hey, maybe this Strawbs album will be good. Pathetic. (Btw, it's horrible.)

II. A little oeuvre sleuthing over at Paper Cuts, on Nabokov and Lolita:

Nabokov himself may well have deplored this combing of his work for clues to his life, or vice versa. The alchemy between the two was among his great subjects, and even in this memoir (subtitled, significantly, “An Autobiography Revisited“) he suggests there can be no literal translation from life to literature. But he wasn’t averse to leaving a trail of bread crumbs; indeed, he left so many of them that his books sometimes seem like solid loaves of hints and puzzles.

(Solid loaves! Very funny.)

III. Re-reading around the edges: Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections. This book is TOO GOOD. I can't write about it here.

IV. The Believer music issue is also TOO GOOD to be blogged about..................I'll just say GO GET IT.......then tell me which song you liked best on the CD. (The CD is really good but there is one song in particular that is TOO GOOD to be blogged about.)

V. Why is "The Dizzies" now called "Disambiguation"? (For that matter, why was it briefly "As I Please"?) These questions are TOO MYSTERIOUS to be blogged about.

VI. Laird Hunt has an original take on the Living With Music playlist-format at Paper Cuts. Example:

6) Inflammatory Writ, Joanna Newsom. “Oh, where is your inflammatory writ? Your text that would incite a light, ‘Be lit’ ?” “The Exquisite” was, I’d like to hope, my inflammatory writ.

“Ray of the Star”: Written in one mad six-week sprint during the fall of 2007 after a visit to La Rambla in Barcelona, where the most elaborate living statues coexist with newspaper stands, flower stalls, bird vendors, locals and tourists. My fever-dream version of Barcelona includes bathing ghosts, haunted shoes, bargains with devils and demonic art critics.

Love that he ends with Sonic Youth's "Providence." (Secret source for the Psychic Envelopes "Providence #3?). Mix idea: Songs with/mentioning/utilizing answering machines/their ingoing/outgoing messages...Replacements, "Answering Machine"...that weird tidbit at the end of one of those early TMBG singles/EPs...uh...the list goes on...

VII. Am very late on this: Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker's Significant Objects project...I have written something for it (not posted yet)...More info at Paper Cuts (your one-stop shop for Disambiguation fodder)....also more at Jacket Copy.

VIII. On Sung J. Woo's site: Photos from the 7/1 Korea Society panel.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A few of my favorite things

Ukulele + Wodehouse in one article!

At one point during my visit he pulled down a baritone ukulele from the rack of stringed instruments behind him and strummed it with abandon as he sang a forceful little ditty about pitching woo....

He admired Edgar Rice Burroughs’s tales of John Carter of Mars and, he said, “I waited at the mailbox every month with my tongue hanging out for the latest issue of Weird Tales,” the pulp magazine that featured seminal fantasy writers like Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, C. L. Moore and Clark Ashton Smith. Vance attended the University of California, Berkeley, but his practical education as a writer came from reading the pulps and other entertainments: L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, the mannered yarns of Jeffery Farnol, the light comedy of P. G. Wodehouse, his literary hero.

—Carlo Rotella, "The Genre Artist," NYT Magazine

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D.T.M.'s in the news

The nation’s largest states, Texas and California, already have “minority” majorities. By 2023, if current demographic trends continue, nonwhites — black, Hispanic and Asian — will constitute a majority of Americans under 18. By 2042, they’ll constitute a national majority. As Hua Hsu noted earlier this year in The Atlantic, “every child born in the United States from here on out will belong to the first post-white generation.” —Ross Douthat, NYT

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

I want this on a T-shirt: "Epiphany Fiction"

Destiny's road / Larry Niven
AVAILABLE - Epiphany Fiction - FIC N - ---
Show all 2 available copies/volumes
Location Call No. Status Message
Epiphany Fiction FIC N AVAILABLE ---
City Island Fiction FIC N AVAILABLE ---
Place hold Save this record More info

Saturday, July 18, 2009


"Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle"


Friday, July 17, 2009

Avoid homonyms

Rachel Aviv in this month's Harper's (subscription required):

Last summer, forty Christian missionaries, members of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, roamed the housing projects of Connecticut telling children the condensed and colorful story of Jesus’ life. The goal was salvation, but the missionaries rarely used that long word. They employed monosyllabic language and avoided abstract concepts and homonyms. “Holy” was a problem, the missionaries said, as children thought it meant “full of holes.” “Christ rose from the dead” was also tricky because children mistook the verb for a flower.

(Rachel has just been named a recipient of a Carter Center fellowship for mental health journalism.)

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Thursday, July 16, 2009


My latest Astral Weeks is up at the L.A. Times site—a review of Paul Pope's 100%.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"So, who was John Garlic?"

“He was this big guy,” she said, “like 6 foot 2 inches tall, dark curly hair, couple hundred pounds. A former Marine. A super intelligent, super entertaining man. My brother used to say, ‘When John Garlic enters a room, you know you’re going to have fun.’ ”

And he was Greek?

“No, no,” she said. “He was Jewish.”

As we digest the fact that the Father of the American Gyro was Jewish, we ask the obvious next question: Where did he get the idea?

“From me,” Ms. Garlic said. “One afternoon, I was watching ‘What’s My Line?’ and there was a Greek restaurant owner on the show, and he did this demonstration, carving meat off a gyro. I immediately called an operator and asked for the number of a Greek restaurant in New York. The owner I got on the phone said, ‘Go to Chicago, there’s a huge Greek community.’ ” At the time, Mr. Garlic was a Cadillac salesman, in his late 30s, but he quickly saw his future in gyro cones. After finding a Chicago chef willing to share a recipe, the couple rented space in a sausage plant and cranked out history’s first assembly-line gyro cones. They were a hit.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Words make my mouth exercise"


The seventh word


—Answer cabled (7/3/69) by Nabokov for publication in the NYT; published "with a disastrous misprint in the seventh word" (published in Strong Opinions)

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Monday, July 13, 2009


At Bookforum, fellow Dullblogger Devin McKinney reviews the curiously titled How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll:

The history of pop music is varied enough to generate many conflicting narratives, each with its own supporting data—chart placements, contextual quotes, etc. As Wald writes, “There are no definitive histories because the past keeps looking different as the present changes.” More important than Wald’s data, which are solidly documented, is his failure to charge this chronicle with attitude, drama, and vivid language. Such things matter in a book like this: Revisionist history, if it means to topple shrines and blast platitudes, shouldn’t sound as potted and prosaic as that which it would subvert. Alternative history needs an alternative vision, a third eye to spot miracles on the peripheries. Wald has that eye. What he lacks, or represses, is a style alive with the momentum of change, the juice of rhetoric, or the melancholy of loss. So what if the Beatles destroyed rock ’n’ roll? Wald never gets angry about it. He never even seems sad. I want an alternative.

Designing dogs

Legend has it that Mr. Wheeler’s dog unwittingly did some of the designing. The shape of the Chimaera was said to be based on the results when Mr. Wheeler’s dog bit off part of the front of a foam model. —NYT


Invisible Library goes invisible...

The London exhibit has closed...fortunately, Jenny D was there and has some more details for us. She was especially captivated by the novels of Dorothy Sayers' creation, Harriet Vane:

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dons the rubber suit

Paul Collins in Slate:

Creaky as his apparatus now looks, [Wycliffe] Hill was onto something: Other plot wizards followed, including Plotto, the insanely complex 1928 creation of pulp novelist William Wallace Cook. (His pseudonymous memoir isn't titled The Fiction Factory for nothing: Cook once bashed out 54 "nickel novels" in a single year.) Rare and comically user-unfriendly, Plotto required its own accompanying instruction booklet—which, invariably lost or disintegrated in the intervening eight decades, leaves modern discoverers of the unaccompanied volume bewildered. Plotto resembles a thesaurus filled with cryptic codings and narrative fragments:


(b) (1083) (1287)

A has invented a life preserver for the use of shipwrecked persons * A, in order to prove the value of the life preserver he has invented, dons the rubber suit, inflates it and secretly, by night, drops overboard from a steamer on the high seas ** (1414b) (1419b)


(1027) (1418a; 1433b)

A sells his shadow for an inexhaustible purse (1354a) (1357)

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Invisible Library ends soon!

As in, July 12!


At the Ink Illustration site, I was happy to see details of many of the covers, only a few of which I've glimpsed (and even then only in miniature) on the Ink blog.

I was especially thrilled to see this:

Yes, it's the cover for Hans de Krap's Mexican Fruitcake! Only die-hard Parkians (i.e., ME) know that it's the novel that's being Englished in my short story "A Note to My Translator," which appeared in the anthology Virgin Fiction. I like the illo's dia de los muertos (sp?) vibe; what it has to do with fruitcake remains a delicious, semi-edible mystery...


Friday, July 10, 2009

"A daisy, a fairy, a nonce, a pansy, a swish"

The Limster on Brüno (in Slate).


Tender pixels

Here's Kiwa's full report on the Invisible Library at Tenderpixel Gallery in bookish Cecil Court. (Londoners, exhibit closes on July 12—step to it!) Excerpt:
One Chinese visitor had scrawled a page-full in the book Who is This God Person, Anyway? by Oolon Colluphid, a book alluded to in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, itself a book named after a book that doesn’t really exist....

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

"Thriller"—Philippines detention center version

(Begin at 4:15.)


Holy mole

I had never subscribed to any religion, but it turned out this god was inhabiting a mole on my left shoulder that I'd always been worried about but hadn't quite gotten around to removing.
—"My Initiation," Lincoln Michel (in L Magazine)

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Where I'm calling from

Photo by Monica Teng

The Dare

Globe-trotting Kiwa checked out the Biennale...then snapped some photos of the Invisible Library in its London incarnation!

Visible are works by J.G. Quiggin (Unburnt Boats), Gordon Zellaby (While We Last), Sebastian Knight (Lost Property), and Evan Elliott (The Last Lost Chance), Nicolas (sic) Jenkins (Silent Summer), and others.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The bit between my teeth

Parkian verbiage oozing out into the webosphere..........

At the Poetry Foundation, I look at Silver Jews mastermind/Actual Air poet David Berman's book of drawings, The Portable February.........the piece features a slideshow....

And back in May—remember May? I don't—I pondered Edward Gorey's unproduced screenplay, The Black Doll, for Moving Image Source. (More of me on Gorey here.)......"The Freud Notebook" is in the current issue of Post Road (#17)......

Coming soon: READ HARD (Blvr anthology)[UPDATE: Available now!]—

—and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Exilée and Temps Morts (for which I wrote an essay).................

* * *

Also: the Believer music issue is out, about which more soon—but for now check out Joe Hagan's "The Ballad of Benji Hughes"; the site features two B.H. tracks that I think you'll has the great title "I Went with Some Friends to See the Flaming Lips."

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Who dubbed Sarah Palin what?

1) Sarah Barracuda
2) Caribou Barbie

a) Gail Collins
b) Maureen Dowd

Answers: 1a; 2b

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Londoners! Invisible Library to disappear soon...

Some nice pics of people scribbling in the Invisible Library are up at Londonist. And here's what the site has to say:

Sometimes we hear of an idea that's so brilliantly simple, we wonder why nobody's tried it before. And so it is with the Invisible Library exhibition at Tenderpixel on Cecil Court. The illustration collective INK have chosen 40 books that don't exist in the real world - only within the pages of other, real-world books - and brought them to life by illustrating their covers.

But it doesn't stop there. These books are unwritten, apart from the opening or closing pages, and you're invited to go in and add to their stories. The exhibition's already been running for several weeks so if your creative juices aren't running, you can always read what others have done (we recommend taking a look at Oolon Colluphid's "Who is This God Person, Anyway?", part of which has been filled in by someone who's clearly never read any Douglas Adams). Other fake works come from Roberto Bolano, John Wyndham and Vladimir Nabokov.

Invisible Library runs until 11 July at Tendepixel, 10 Cecil Court WC2N. Gallery open Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am-7pm. For more information, visit Tenderpixel or INK Illustration's websites.

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Net gains

“Crabs don’t take holidays,” Mr. Jeong scoffed.
—"Jobless Koreans Turn to Manual Labor," NYT


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Vacation settings

(More amazing Jing-work here.)


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ghost world

'Do you believe in ghosts?' asked Mr Mulliner abruptly.

I weighed the question thoughtfully. I was a little surprised, for nothing in our previous conversation had suggested the topic.

'Well,' I replied, 'I don't like them, if that's what you mean. I was once butted by one as a child.'

'Ghosts. Not goats.'

'Oh, ghosts? Do I believe in ghosts?'


—P.G. Wodehouse, 'Honeysuckle Cottage'


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hatful of Hollow

Bill Poundstone dropped me a line this morning:

Speaking of "Land of the Lost" trend pieces… Last night I had a brilliant/stupid dream concerning a novel you were writing about cavemen(!) Then this morning, I looked on your blog, and you mention the glut of troglodyte movies. How's that for a Keeler coincidence?

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[Here's the dream. And make sure you check out Bill's Dream Blog!]

July 1, 2009
Ed was telling me about his new fantasy novel of the Hollow Earth, populated by a picaresque group of bikers, gangbangers, and (near the poles) cavemen. My suggestion was that the Hollow Earthers should send some of their scientists up here and conclude we're a bunch of lowlife degenerates. It should all be symmetrical.

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Tonight at 6:30, Korea Society: Me + Janice Y.K. Lee + Sung J. Woo = What is Korean American literature?

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Lay a wallaby baby ball away, Al!

Lara Giddings, the Tasmanian attorney general, said: "We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles."

—"Stoned Wallabies Creating Crop Circles," Telegraph

(Via Jane)

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Who will write this trend piece?

Year One
+ Land of the Lost

+ Ice Age 3

= At the Cineplex, Prehistory is "Now" [sample headline]

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