Wednesday, June 1, 2016



I hope this can be seen as a forgivable act of... something or other, but here is the cover for the book to appear at end of August or early September from U of Notre Dame Press....


And then there was this in the TLS

               Thirlwell is one of those British writers like Tom McCarthy and Martin Amis who seem to afflict themselves upon the world armed with suitable connections, a modicum of talent and a great deal of cunning... none of them will be mourned upon passing except  possibly by relatives... and my evidence:  B.S. Johnson and Anthony Burgess yet there are mumbles: where are the women? and again I can cite three: Anna Kavan, Mary Butts and Jean Rhys which will allow me to add Alan Burns... I know that Amis lurks in Brooklyn and that fact along with Jonathan Safran Foer and Paul Auster also living beasts now there makes me wish not to have been born into a house on Willoughby Avenue--- on top of it...


             It took a while but I finally got a copy of Ivo Andric's SIGNS BY THE ROADSIDE.  I am sure you all know he is the author of The Bridge on the Drina though I value him even more for his BOSNIA CHRONICLE and the shorter work ZEKO.  Yet, SIGNS is a collection of fragments from journals kept for most of his life.  Foresaking chronology--- that constant temptation to pay attention to the clock of all things--- Andric just arranges the fragments on the page and could do it many other ways... I was going to quote one or two of the longer passages but why?... I am a lousy typist and if you don't find the book....  only 1000 copies printed in English in Beograd...  but here is a tiny fragment:     

I could take as my motto the name of a Canadian ship: I'm Alone.  But I have no motto, either.

             [And thanks to the internet;  I'M ALONE  was an actual ship sank by the US Coast Guard when it was caught smuggling alcohol from Belize into the USA...]

               The book goes on the little shelf with Cioran's THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN, a rotating volume of Valery's NOTEBOOKS and Rozanov's SOLITARIA which I came to at the suggestion of Edward Dahlberg who also suggested Shestov's IN JOB'S BALANCES


Thinking of these books and these thoughts I even created a hope in myself that someone would invite me to Pula, Beograd and Sofia... aren't books meant to both transport and ...

BUT the reality in a recent ECONOMIST:  in Britain the average sale of a novel written in English is 263 copies while a translated novel sells 531 copies...back in 2001  a novel in English sold on the average 1153 copies and a translate novel sold 482...