Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Recently Received

Recently Received

Beloit Poetry Journal Vol. 58 No. 3 Spring 2008 Split This Rock: Chapbook 55pp. $5.00 USD

Marginalia Vol. 3 Issue 2 feat. Arlene Ang, Joseph Starr, Pedro Ponce, etc Fall 2007 160pp. $9.00 USD

Ticket Stubs Ellen Peckham 2007 42pp. $17.50 USD NY

A Darker, Sweeter String Lee Sharkey Off the Grid Press 2007 96pp. $15.00 USD

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea Yukio Mishima trans. John Nathan Vintage Books/Random House 1965 $12.95 USD NY

Let’s Not Call It Consequence Richard Deming Shearsman Books 2008 66pp. $15.00 USD UK

Crawl Space Suzanne Heyd Phylum Press 2007 24pp. New Haven, CT

Winter 2007 Richard Deming & Nancy Kuhl Phylum Press 7pp. Private Distribution. New Haven, CT

Saturday, November 17, 2007

cue The Eye Of The Tiger

Recently Received

Recently Received

Books (General)

Dove Street Henry Gould 2007

Love, Like Pronouns Rosmarie Waldrop 119pp. 2003 Omnidawn $12.95US

Semiramis If I Remember (self-portrait as mask) Keith Waldrop 113pp. Avec Books 2001 $12.95US


Chicago Review 53:2/3 ed. Joshua Kotin & Robert P. Baird feat. C.D. Wright, Larissa Szporluk, William Fuller, John Peck, Juliana Spahr, Stephanie Young, etc Autumn/Winter 2007 245pp.

Verse “French Poetry & Poetics” Volume 24, Number 1-3 ed. Brian Henry & Andrew Zawacki feat. Emmanuel Hocquard, Caroline Dubois, Jacqueline Risset, Pierre Alferi, etc 2007 365pp. $15US

Redactions: Poetry & Poetics Issue 10 Merwin Tribute Issue ed. Tom, Mike, & Michelle feat. Justin Vicari, Adam Peterson, Sarah Perrier, etc 2007 77pp. $8US

Descant 138: Fashion ed. Karen Mulhallen feat. Sara Diamond, Camilla Singh, David Livingstone, Kris Knight, etc Fall 2007 287pp. $16CAD

And The Following Books From Burning Deck Press (with many thanks to Rosmarie & Keith Waldrop)

Skyblue’s Essays Dallas Wiebe 153pp. 1995 $8.95US

The Vox Populi Street Stories Dallas Wiebe 305pp. 2003 $15US

Dunce Cap Alison Bundy 128pp. 1998 $10US

ancestors maybe Elizabeth MacKiernan 159pp. 1993 $8US

Troubled By His Complexion Lissa McLaughlin 126pp. 1998 $8US

Five On Fiction Janet Kauffman 64pp. 2004 $10US

The House Jane Unrue 59pp. 2000 $10US

Life Moves Outside Barbara Einzig 62pp. $7US

The Capture of Trieste Tom Ahern 66pp. $3US

Innocence In Extremis John Hawkes 92pp. 1985 $8US

One Score More: The Second 20 Years of Burning Deck, 1981-2001 240pp. 2002 $15US

Analogies of Escape Keith Waldrop 80pp. 1997 $10US

Sarx Pascal Quignard trans. Keith Waldrop 37pp. 1997 $5US

Close Quote Marie Borel trans. Keith Waldrop 27pp. 2003 $5US

Xq28 Jennifer Martenson 17pp. 2001 $5US

Ring Rang Wrong Suzanne Doppelt trans. Cole Swenson 67pp. 2004 $14US

Six Minnesinger Songs W.D. Snodgrass 1983

Boudica Paol Keineg Serie D’Ecriture No. Eight 40pp. 1994 $6US

An Earth Of Time Jean Grosjean Serie D’Ecriture No. 18 92pp. 2006 $14US

Even A Child Alain Veinstein trans. Robert kocik & Rosmarie Waldrop Serie D’Ecriture No. 11 60pp. 1997 $10US

The World Was A Bubble Patrick Fetherston 1979 $3.50US

Free Rein Laura Chester 68pp. 1988 $7US

Overboard Beth Anderson 77pp. 2004 $10US

Many Glove Compartments: Selected Poems Oskar Partior trans. Harry Matthews, Christopher Middleton, & Rosmarie Waldrop 120pp. 2001 $10US

Heiligenanstalt Friederike Mayrocker trans. Rosmarie Waldrop Dichten= 94pp. 1994 $8US

Secret Histories Craig Watson 75pp. 2007 $14US

Realism Tom Mandel 73pp. 1991 $8US

Stromata David Miller 55pp. 1992 $8US

Varieties of Religious Experience Ray Ragosta 75pp. 1993 $8US

Hourglass Transcripts Susan Gevirtz 69pp. 2001 $10US

Perspective Would Have Us Erica Carpenter 68pp. 2006 $14US

Parts of the Mass Catherine Imbriglio 59pp. 2007 $14US

Strabismus Brian Schorn 61pp. 1995 $8US

After Calculus Craig Watson 68pp. 1988 $7US

stare decisis Gale Nelson 143pp. 1991 $9US

Lingos I-IX Ulf Stolterfoht trans. Rosmarie Waldrop Dichten= no.9 126pp. 1998 $14US

The Will To Sickness Gerhard Roth trans. Tristram Wolff Dichten= no.8 114pp. 2006 $14US

I My Feet: Poems & Constellations Gerhard Ruhm selected and trans. by Rosmarie Waldrop Dichten= no.7 119pp. 2004 $10US

The Trip To Bordeaux Ludwig Harig trans. Susan Bernofsky Dichten= no.6 103pp. 2003 $10US

Steppe Ilma Rakusa trans. Solveig Emerson Dichten= no.3 78pp. 1997 $10US

The Peacock Emperor Moth Marcel Cohen trans. Cid Corman Serie D’Ecriture No. Nine 106pp. 1995 $8US

A Test of Solitude Emmanuel Hocquard trans. Rosmarie Waldrop Serie D’Ecriture No. 12 72pp. 2000 $10US

The Translation Begins Jacqueline Risset trans. Jennifer Moxley Serie D’Ecriture No. 10 96pp. 1996 $10US

On Wooden Tablets: Apronenia Avitia Pascal Quignard trans. Bruce X Serie D’Ecriture No. 15 107pp. 2001 $10US

Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France ed./trans. by Norma Cole Serie D’Ecriture No. 13/14 160pp. 2000 $15US

A Lesson In Music Jean Daive trans. Julie Kalendek Serie D’Ecriture No. 6 62pp. 1992 $6US

mental ground Esther Tellerman trans. Keith Waldrop Serie D’Ecriture No.16 74pp. 2002 $10US

99: The New Meaning Walter Abisb 110pp. 1990 $8US

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Forthcoming From Parsifal Editions Winter 2007-08

RASP & Elektra, companion plays by Josepha Gutelius

How To Break Article Noun, a novella by Carolyn Chun

Promenade, poems by Robert Fernandez

The President In Her Towers, prose by Tom Whalen

Opening The Seals, poems by Robert Kelly

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calling All Artists

Parsifal Editions/The Modern Review seeks artist/illustrator contacts for potential journal/book covers.
No pay, just love.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Call For Submissions

The Modern Review seeks poetry & prose for upcoming winter issue (III.2).

Submission Guidelines

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Review: The Little Girl and the Cigarette

trans. Charlotte Mandell
ISBN 978-1-933633-12-1
$14.95 US / $20.95 CAN
Melville House Publishing
Hoboken, New Jersey 2006

“The law said the condemned man could have a final cigarette. Another law said it was a no-smoking prison. Welcome to the future.”

Originally published in France as La petite fille et la cigarette by Librarie Arthème Fayard in 2005, the essence of Benoît Duteurtre’s The Little Girl and the Cigarette was perfectly captioned by Milan Kundera who blurbed “…the clarity with which this novel unmasks the fundamental stupidity of our modern world; the black humor that transforms horror into a fascinating danse macabre.”

The opening line cleverly foreshadows the fates of the two men the story concerns, with

“Each of the two texts seemed indisputable… except that they led to opposite conclusions.”

The first man, Désiré Johnson, is “a tall young black man” on death row for the murder of a policeman. The second man (whose chapters are writ in first person, making him our sometime narrator) remains nameless. Furthermore, he works for the government of a nameless country.

The first chapter covers what was to be Johnson’s execution day, but we quickly learn that is not to be when his final wish to smoke a cigarette uncovers a life-saving loophole via conflicting articles between Government law and prison policies:

According to Government law, the condemned man, Désiré Johnson, was acting entirely within his rights when he invoked Article 47 of the Code of Application of Punishments, which authorized him to have one last smoke before execution. Whereas on his side, Mr. Quam Lao Ching, warden of the penitentiary, strictly applied paragraph 176.b of the prison policies, which prohibited Johnson from lighting that cigarette. Added a year earlier under pressure of the Associations for Defense of Public Health, this addendum banned consumption of tobacco within the confines of the prison. Obviously, the idea of defending the health of a man condemned to death could be considered puzzling, unless you viewed it as a refinement of cruelty; but such a measure, made for the benefit of the majority, would admit no qualification. From another point of view, Article 47, although it had fallen into abeyance, unquestionably authorized the prisoner to drag on the last few puffs through which his final wish was breathed out.

A perfect example of “the fundamental stupidity of our modern world”, the stupidity of extreme logic exercised on the trivial concerns of adult humans, this loophole serves to postpone Johnson’s execution until the conflict is resolved by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, we learn more of Nameless’ life. He is a middle-aged heterosexual clerk who has lived for three years in a “pretty, modest little house” that he shares with a lithe and liberal companion named Latifa, and their spaniel called Sarko (nickname of France’s current president). Here Nameless describes his relationship with Latifa:

Latifa and I have in common a lack of ambition. My diplomas pointed to a brilliant ascension to the ministerial cabinets, provided I devoted the necessary amount of time to scheming. Instead of that, at the age of forty-five, I remained a modest technical advisor to the city. Latifa, with her intelligence and her charm, could have become a fashionable journalist… We both made the same calculation: namely that with a little inheritance (which she had from her mother), my decent salary, a keen taste for life, a curiosity for art, pretty landscapes and all the good things in life, it would be possible to lead a much more interesting existence than the one that consists in tirelessly conquering ever higher positions and better salaries to pay the previous year’s taxes.

Nameless also notes several times that Latifa “…prefers men to kids, even though, from time to time, the wish for a child gnaws at her despite [his] efforts to divert her from those evil thoughts.” This brings me to if not the most important then certainly the most emphasized element of Duteurtre’s anti-hero: his aversion to children. I’ll now provide some insight into the inspiration of Nameless’ frustrations, and the role that children play in this modern drama.

“…from now on, in this country, children represent the law.”

Administration City, the government offices where Nameless is employed, has undergone one major change since the city’s present ultra-neo-Marxist mayor came into office-- it opened its doors to children:

Our mayor-- who is also my boss-- shows genius everytime it’s a question of soothing public opinion about “more equality between the sexes,” “more room for bicyclists and the handicapped,” “a more humane city and a more transparent management,” and, naturally, “more attention paid to children.” Before his triumphal election, he had added to his program a plan aiming to transform a part of Administration City, where the main services of the city have their headquarters, into a daycare center. A few months later, the whole left wing of out office building was converted into a nursery, complete with a special entrance reserved for moms and their progeny.

Nameless goes on to disdainfully describe the chaotic reign of the children over his place of employment, as well as the altered adult attitudes in the presence of children, most notably “the mistrustful looks when the personnel came in, when [the childcare attendants] briskly demanded to see our badges, without making the slightest effort to recognize us from one day to the next.” It is this mistrust that naturally prevents these two worlds, adult and child, from harmonizing. It is this mistrust that leads Nameless to the heights of his disdain, this mistrust which will eventually destroy his life.

I fear I have already divulged too much, but when Nameless rebels against building policy and smokes a cigarette in a toilet cubicle, his pants down in the name of realism lest anyone catch sight of his ankles from the opposite side of the door, and when a little girl wanders into the bathroom, and, caught in the act, Nameless exclaims “Get out of here, you stupid idiot!”, all hell breaks loose. Hell-Breaking-Loose equation: a money-hungry mother, an impressionable little girl, and a justice-crazed administration. Suddenly our narrator is a social outcast and deemed a criminal of the most unsavory sort, seeking help from the same mediocre lawyer as Johnson, and the simple (and seemingly-sturdy) life and love he shared with Latifa is instantly shattered as she too turns zombie with mistrust.

What follows is a side by side two-sides-to-every-story misadventure, the playing out of the cigarette-spurred cases of both Johnson and Nameless, told with great sportscaster-like irony. It would be insufficient to call the approach desensitized. It is chilling, a modern nightmare, a grim picture of what we call “civilization”. Readers witness the dance of death in a starkly literal sense, and feel themselves a part of a great tragedy, kin to Othello. The Little Girl and the Cigarette questions our good intentions, and leaves us godless on that road to a hell we govern ourselves.

--Simone dos Anjos, September 2007