Wednesday, April 11, 2012


A list for the Spring and Summer  2012 or really any season for that matter

--From the Library of America:   
---THE CIVIL WAR The First Year
---THE CIVIL WAR The Second Year
---KURT VONNEGUT  Novels and Stories 1950-1962      
---KURT VONNEGUT  Novels and Stories 1963-1973
---DAVID GOODIS  Five Noir Novels of the 1940s &50s
And then...
-- STOLEN AIR Selected poems of Osip Mandelstam  translated by Christian Wiman. (Ecco Press)
 --A TIME FOR EVERYTHING by Karl O. Knausgaard.  Archipelago
 --MY STRUGGLE by Karl Ove Knausgaard.  Archipelago
 --SATANTANGO by Laszlo Krasznahorkai  New Directions
 --PARALLEL LIVES by Peter Nadas.  Farra Straus & Giroux
 --SEX AND TERROR by Pascal Quignard.   Seagull Press
 --THE ROVING SHADOWS by Pascal Quignard.  Seagull Press
 --AS CONSCIOUSESS IS HARNESSED TO FLESH  Journals and Notebooks 1964-1980
    by Susan Sontag.  Farrar Straus & Giroux
 --THE HUNGER ARTIST by Herta Muller.  Metropolitan Books
 --TRANSPARENCY by Marek Bienzyk.  Dalkey Archive
 --ON THE MARBLE CLIFFS  by Ernst Junger.  New Directions  (out of print)
 --SONG BOOK.  The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba.  Yale University Press
 --ON THE BORDER OF SNOW AND MELT.  Selected Poems of Georgy Ivanov. Perceval Press
 --JAMES JOYCE.  A New Biography by Gordon Bowker.  Farrar Straus & Giroux

The American writers on the this list are all dead.  
Is that saying something? 
More, maybe than I would like to say, really: but does anyone look forward to any American writer’s newest book with the eager anticipation that the announcement of a new translation of a book by THOMAS BERNHARD or ROBERT PINGET or ERNST JUNGER or MICHEL LEIRIS would create?
(there is William T. Vollmann and then...)


RGK said...

A valuable list, thank you. As for Americans, Joseph McElroy has to be included. Recently, Night Soul, before that Preparations for Search. I think there is more to come.

Thomas McGonigle said...

McElroy is similar to William Gass--- both were prisoners of the academic world: their books were all confined in a prison far less inspiring than Jean Genet's... nothing really risked, always a pulling back if ever there had been the impulse to move across
was squashed in a verbosity lacking in that tiny bit of necessary blood letting at the tips of the fingers as the nails scrape down the sides of a cement wall

RGK said...

McElroy left nothing out (even in the fragment of his work I've read), but there's a lightness in his style that seems the opposite of verbose. Perhaps you're right about his pulling back, but surely Gass (the more ornate -- and to my mind, ponderous -- stylist) let the blood out in The Tunnel?

There are others, poets: Anne Carson, Henri Cole. I read Frederick Seidel with terror and delight. Vollmann is unique in his disordered vastness and his brilliance.

I'm not really arguing with you, though. I'm in no position to argue, until I've read more, and more seriously.

Anonymous said...

McElroy renders sensation into language as well as Brodkey or Nádas, and his range is wider than theirs. I'm surprised you can't like him from that angle, even if you don't seem as interested the system novel as they call it. I think you've misrepresented Gass as well, though I've only read The Tunnel.

anarky said...

Vollmann…Pynchon…the 2 that come to my mind….