Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sawako checking in.

Dreaming about: a Chairman Mao look-alike contest. The winner shall be revealed, under the pretense of a secretly cryogenically preserved Mao Zedong, now revived, as the final carrier of the Olympic Torch Relay, who shall light the flame in the stadium commemorating the opening of this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

Recently received: journals starting with the letter C: Calque, Circumference, Conduit. Recently read: poetry in the form of not-poetry – a la Julio Cortazar & Carol Dunlop (Autonauts of the Cosmoroute), R. W. Fassbinder (In a year with 13 moons).

Unique about Calque: Reviews of books in translation by reviewers who speak both the language of the original and translation, and often include critiques of other reviews of same book. Other contents include a rich array of literature from the world, always bilingual, always with a contextualizing note from the translator. And interviews.

The Cortazar/Dunlop book is my new, favorite antithesis to Kerouac’s On the Road: they move insanely slowly (the distance between Paris and Marseille, France over 33 days instead of one day) – and write a book while they're at it, replete with scientific observations (the “cartography of the country of a tree”), a series of fictional misinterpretations, notes to the reader, travel log, photos. One rule: that they must not leave the autoroute for the entire duration of their trip.

Writing about: ants, still. Jack Spicer taught me about writing in series, and that they (the series) will let me know when they were done. I was quite sure that the ants had left me, but as it turns out, they’ve returned. Not unwelcomely, just with a mild perplexion and wonder – will I ever know that they have truly left?

Wish someone would republish: Semantic Divertissements by Franciszka and Stefan Themerson.


VanessaP said...

the question of time and delay is really important in that Proust/Beckett way; how do you dilate time or do you?

Jen said...

So happy to hear about the ants. They are magical beasties