Showing posts from May, 2013

Blogging the Caine Prize 2013

For the third year in a row, Aaron Bady has organized the Caine Prize Blogathon , but this year I have decided, after being invited to contribute again, not to do so. I'm enjoying reading what the other participants have written so far, but my feelings about the Caine Prize are too conflicted, and my feelings about my own position to speak about it even more so, that I just haven't been able to write anything that seems to me intellectually valid, despite a few days of trying. But you should definitely keep your eyes on the discussion of the stories. Here's what's been posted so far, all on the first story in the line-up,  "Miracle" by Tope Folarin (PDF) . Beverley Nambozo Veronica Nkwocha Kola Tubosun Ainehi Edoro Aaron Bady Keguro Macharia Scott Ross Ben Laden Aaron will be doing some retrospective posts with links to all the others; probably the best way to keep up is to follow him on Twitter (but you should be doing that al

All of Aickman

photo via Tartarus Press Once Tartarus Press publishes their new edition of Robert Aickman's Night Voices  at the end of the month, they will have brought all of Aickman's short stories back into print. (The new Night Voices  will also include Aickman's "An Essay", written when he won the World Fantasy Award; his various prefaces to the volumes of The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories  that he edited; and Ramsey Campbell's remembrance of Aickman.) I just wanted to take this moment to publicly say thank you to Tartarus for doing this. I can't imagine that they're getting rich off of it. The books are pricey, but so beautifully designed, bound, and printed that I expect the profit margin is really not all that high. Over the years, I've bought most of the collections that contained multiple stories I didn't already own, and they're among the most beautiful books on my shelves. I seldom resist walking past them without touching them.

Race and Illicit Desire in The Great Gatsby

I don't much care for the novel The Great Gatsby  (the lyricism of the writing gets tiresome, the characters are annoying, and somebody ought to take out that damned green light with a sniper rifle), but one passage has long fascinated me: “Civilization’s going to pieces,” broke out Tom violently. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires  by this man Goddard?” “Why, no,” I answered, rather surprised by his tone. “Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be — will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.” “Tom’s getting very profound,” said Daisy, with an expression of unthoughtful sadness. “He reads deep books with long words in them. What was that word we—” “Well, these books are all scientific,” insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. “This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant

The Movies Are Dying: A Video Poem

The Movies Are Dying: A Video Poem . (Futzing around, I made a thing.)

"On Quitting": We Need New Forms

Keguro Macharia has written an essay titled "On Quitting" that I've now read three times since I first learned about it this morning. So much of its subject matter sits close to my heart, and thus so much of it is heartbreaking. I begin to wonder about the relationship between geo-history, the saturation of space with affect, and psychic health. I want to describe how I come to be here-now: another threshold I start writing a linear story, winding, but linear, about psychic health and academic production, a story that tries to make sense of why I am resigning from a tenure track job from a major research university at the same time as I am completing a book manuscript for publication. Not only resigning but also changing continents, returning to a place I have not called home for a very long time. This, I realize, is a story about words and places. So let me start with the word that started it, or named its fractures. As you can see from that little excer

Recent Reading

Blogging always slows to a crawl during the second half of a semester, but I was surprised to see that it's been almost a month since I last posted here. Egads. I've hardly had a moment to breathe, though. For now, I just want to capture a few moments of reading from the recent weeks.