Hiatus Nope-dates

My paltry hiatus updates (can you call them updates when nothing changes?).

They’ll get better.

I promise.


Website & Press 1 Story

Just two quick notes:

1. I’ve restarted my website because a. I don’t think I’ll be blogging as frequently (not that I’ve been doing much anyway) b. I like the idea of a more static site that I have more control over c. I like to use my (limited) knowledge of html and css to create graphic material (it’s like a math problem that creates — or can create — art: right up my Oulipo alley).

2. Recently published (today) work of mine titled “Chorus” in Press 1. It came out of an exercise from a workshop I facilitated last summer at Gemini Ink (Structural Biomimcry in Short Prose — we created a blog called Ecosystem Writing as part of the workshop). Process notes at the bottom of the story. I forgot to mention that the middle section of the first sentence in the last section was from one of the attendees of the workshop Stephen Guzman (“moving constellations with our finger tips”). Part of the process was to use a scrap or scraps of someone else’s work (at least for me). If you have a minute, read it over as well as the great work by other writers.

Oulipo in America

Note the rise of Oulipo, albeit probably unconsciously, in the United States with specific attention being paid to San Antonio. An example of this is the new exhibit at the Guadalupe Gallery (723 S Brazos St) called 100Palabras in which writers respond to artists’ work in 100 words. I’m not sure how strict they were about the word count; I plan to check it out next week.

Some other examples include the Writers Respond to Art series (link to a description of the latest) that Gemini Ink and San Antonio Museum of Art team for and the Summer Literary Festival 2010, which had the theme of biomimicry (here’s a short interview for the class I taught title Structural Biomimicry in Short Prose).

These seem to me to show a shift in the writing community toward the Oulipo movement (again, perhaps unconsciously, though why is a subject for further consideration — perhaps the downturn in the economy has made people more conscious of constraint and that is bleeding over into the arts). They focus attention of the way pieces are written and structurally challenge writers to work within (sometimes rather vague) boundaries that are not conventionally considered writing forms (e.g. the general idea of the “literary” novel, for example). Of course I’m being abstract and basing this, so far, on too few examples. I’m also not considering the poet as much as I am the fiction writer, blurred though they are and can be, as is apparent by this renewed interest in the constraint.

The king is dead! Long live the king!

Wayne Curtis Muses about Hangovers

From The Atlantic. Thoughtful and a good companion to the more pragmatic (and ridiculous, really) guide I posted not too long ago. Of course there are also the brilliant books by Kinglsey Amis (e.g. Everyday Drinking).

Short Rats Read 2011

  • Communist Manifesto” by Irving Louis Horowitz (a review of A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism by Silvio Pons). Wilson Quarterly (powells.com review-a-day) 18JAN11 (1/20/11)
  • Forgotten Hero” by John Pistelli (a review of Siegel and Shuster’s Funnyman: The First Jewish Superhero, from the Creators of Superman by Thomas Andrae and Jerry Siegel in which the authors consider the book of sociological readings of Jewish humor and assimilation into American culture as well as reproducing some of the comic book & strip). Rain Taxi (powells.com review-a-day) 17JAN11 (1/20/11)
  • Imagining the Invisible” by Jeremiah James (a review of Image and Reality: Kekul, Kopp, and the Scientific Imagination (Synthesis) by Alan J. Rocke in which the author considers the history of the theory of chemical structure through the vantage point of imagination). American Scientist (powells.com review-a-day) 16JAN11 (1/20/11)
  • Death of the Tiger” [abstract] by Jon Lee Anderson (Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka; counterterrorism success; post-war implications for the Tamil population & the democracy of the island). The New Yorker 17JAN11 (1/18/11)
  • Sex on the Brain” by Patrick McDonagh (considers the work being done in the Centre for Studies in Behavioural Neurology at Concordia university and the implications for human sex therapy – pg.12). Concordia Magazine Winter10/11 (1/13/10)
  • After the Revolution” by Robert Boyers (a review of What Ever Happened To Modernism? Gabriel Josipovici in which Boyers examines the return of Modernism as well as Josipovici’s repetitive but enlightening — in equal measures — discussion of the avant-garde). The New Republic 15DEC11 (1/6/11)
  • Hard Core” by Natasha Vargas-Cooper (an examination of the pornography and what the implications really are socially). The Atlantic JAN/FEB11 (1/8/11)

Hangover Prevention & Cures

Spring 2011 Hiatus Bibliography/Syllabus