Translated presence: Genevieve Kaplan & technologies of bookmaking

"The Book of Obsolete." Sculpture by Peter Vogel.
"The Book of Obsolete." Sculpture by Peter Vogel.

Some books come to us by way of friends, some by strangers, tucked into an anonymous mailer by someone we will never meet. Not so very long ago (and maybe in some places still), you might have opened a book on a library desk and seen, listed inside the back cover, the signatures of all those who opened it before.

Antonin Artaud's Hyper-Negation

Image 1: Watchfiends and Rack Screams. Image 2: Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision.
Image 1: Antonin Artaud, Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period, Tr. Clayton Eshleman and Bernard Bador, (Boston: Exact Change, 1995.) Cover art: Nancy Spero, detail from “Codex Artaud XXIII,” 1972. Image 2: Bettina Knapp, Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision, (Chicago: Swallow Press, 1969.) Cover art: Still from La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, 1928.

When I asked the poet David Abel what first drew him to Antonin Artaud’s work, he said, “At least one dimension of that work is a grand negation. A gigantic no, which at a certain time in my life was absolutely thrilling. […] I feel like 'no' is a landscape that now is very rich and three-dimensional. And what I got from Artaud is foundational, a part of the architecture or a part of the geology of the no, but which now has lots of other structures in it.”[1] David Abel’s response captures a fundamental celebration of Antonin Artaud’s writings.

"It felt like many lifetimes"

The last issue of Angel Hair

Angel Hair 6, cover art by George Schneeman

“Only three years had passed,” Lewish Warsh writes of publishing the journal Angel Hair, “but it felt like many lifetimes.”

Christophe Lamiot Enos: Postface to “Un Champ sur Mars / A Field on Mars” (just published)

[The following is the critical postface to my new book, A Field on Mars: Poems 2000-2015 (Un Champ sur Mars), just published by Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre in both an English & a simultaneous French edition.  Christophe Lamiot is an active poet & the editor of the Rouen press’s Jusqu’a (To) series of books devoted to contemporary American poetry & poets in separate English & French editions.  The complete French translation of my Shaking the Pumpkin (Secouer la Citrouille) was also published under his editorship. (J.R.)]


(...) poetry as elation


A Field on Mars. A field on Mars: this is how Jerome Rothenberg tells of his writings in poetry from the last ten years. A former title was “Divagations and Auto-variations.” “Divagations & Autovariations” now stands as a subtitle. I like this gesture of naming, then renaming—from one of the most prolific, far-ranging, active and successful poets of XXth-century Anglophone America.

Novelistic Sloppiness

Jonathan Dee's Introduction to Frisch's Montauk

On my mind, this morning? Last night’s irritation: I had walked into McNally Jackson, my last (not least) favorite Manhattan bookshop, to browse new books & came upon Max Frisch’s Montauk (which I had reread twice in the last 6 months for a project I had been working on). Somewhat surprised that it had been reissued, I picked it up to see if their was any pressing reason for this. Well, there is a new introduction by novelist Jonathan Dee, so I casually started reading it.