“Such are the perfections of fiction...Everything it teaches is useless insofar as structuring your life: you can’t prop up anything with fiction. It, in fact, teaches you just that. That in order to attempt to employ its specific wisdom is a sign of madness...There is more profit in an hour’s talk with Billy Graham than in a reading of Joyce. Graham might conceivably make you sick, so that you might move, go somewhere to get well. But Joyce just sends you out into the street, where the world goes on, solid as a bus. If you met Joyce and said 'Help me,' he’d hand you a copy of Finnegans Wake. You could both cry.” – Gilbert Sorrentino, Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things

Monday, August 2, 2010

Me at the Melbourne Writers Festival

Here's my shameless self-promotion for the day:

I'll be appearing as part of the Melbourne Writer's Festival this year, in the Session 'Universal Stories' (the name of which is slightly ironic, given that I vehemently reject any 'universal' notions of literature, particularly the idea that narrative or 'story' can be said to be universal across cultures and history), along with Mexican author Eduardo Antonio Parra and French-Canadian author Nicolas Dickner. I've had a chance to read a bit of both of their work, which, from what I've read, is really interesting. I'm a third of the way into Dickner's Nickolski, which is great so far, but I've had a bit more trouble getting ahold of Parra's No Man's Land, his only work in English translation, but you can read one of his stories online here. (I could try reading his work in Spanish, but that means I wouldn't finish the book until next year, since I need to look up every fourth word).

Anyway, the session is on Sunday, September 4th at 4 p.m. in ACMI Studio 1, and you can buy tickets here.

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