Saturday, May 13, 2006

No Joy Luck Club Crap Here

"When a poet becomes an axe murderer, reading his oeuvre gets tricky. On October 8, 1993, after battling mental illness for years, thirty-seven-year-old Chinese poet Gu Cheng killed his wife, Xie Ye, with that primeval weapon, then took his own life." - review of Sea of Dreams by Gu Cheng in The Believer

The Believer, a Brooklyln-based hipster mag linked to the McSweeney's "literary" movement, has reviewed a couple of Chinese authors that don't much tie in to the images of Chinese out there in the global vernacular.

Super-wierd techno avant-gardism doesn't come up too much, so this one also looks intriguing...

Mad Science In Imperial City (image removed)

...for anyone into agrammatical poetry and math equations.

The book "utilizes scientific diagrams, mathematical equations, lists, and even a menu from an imagined Poetry Auction.... Broadly, it relates the experience of someone who left China after the Tiananmen Square massacre to settle in the U.S., carrying the fourth edition of the American Heritage dictionary “wherever I go.” The book uses this emigration to investigate what constitutes the individual and where narration resides." - as reviewed in The Believer

There's the traditional side: "it argues that only through engaging with tradition can we understand our experience of the world as it changes around us." (again, The Believer) And the techno-modern: "Culture shapes itself to grids; or, perhaps, gridding and cultural production are the same thing." - a dust-jacket quote on the publisher's web site

The main question, though, is whether it's at all legible?


Blogger Poohat said...


8:53 PM  

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