Dispatches from Solitude

It’s here. Edited by Bradford Morrow, the 75th Issue of Conjunctions titled, Dispatches from Solitude.

While plagues have historically fostered every kind of loss—of freedom, of livelihood, of hope, of life itself—the isolation of grim eras such as the one we are now experiencing can also provoke introspection, fresh curiosity, and, with luck and mettle, singular creativity. If necessity is the mother of invention, so can deprivation generate art that might not otherwise have come into being, the constraints of sequestration thus giving rise to many voices and visions.

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Illuminations of Desire

LesbianI was watching an independent film titled Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same when I stopped to consider whether Barnes and Noble has a marked-out section for Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Fiction. Then I asked myself the question: should B&N strive for genre exactitude and expand the signage in their stores or should they continue with a reasonably limited collection of genres that will avoid the clutter and confusion of too many categories but at the same time will allow for many worthy titles to be lost in the morass of titles that are mistakenly related: Fish For Sashimi filed in the Aquarium section; The Great God Brown lost in Speculative Religion; Stephen King mistakenly placed in with the good books; Rikki Ducornet sorted under Hot Authors.

We seem to get into a discussion of genres at  least once a year. I personally subscribe to the theory that genres were created so that booksellers would know where to exhibit their wares. For most readers, if they enjoy reading, say, Science Fiction, then if someone tells them a book is science fiction, they will read it. Besides, where do we slot Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same: under Psychology, under Sexual Preferences, under Science Fiction, or even under Stationery Stores.

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XFX: First Quarter 2013 Reading List

The selections for reading during the First Quarter of 2013 have been posted for the Experimental Fiction group (XFX). They are:

  • The Fan-Maker’s Inquisition: A Novel of the Marquis de Sade
    — Rikki Ducornet (o1-16)
  • V — Thomas Pynchon (02-01)
  • The Death of Artimeo Cruz — Carlos Fuentes (02-16)
  • Parallel Stories: A Novel — Péter Nádas (03-01)
  • Titus Groan — Mervyn Peake (03-16)

Note that the Mervyn Peake selection is the first volume of the Gormenghast Trilogy. It is available in a single volume to facilitate subsequent reading of the remaining two volumes (Gormenghast, Titus Alone). A fourth volume, cobbled together from notes after the author’s death, was written by the author’s wife (no comment).

For more information on the Experimental Fiction group, the links are in the menu under ACTIVE.