Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"It's a question of several persons who were each several persons, in different places at the same moment."

Keith Montesano wrote a really generous and 'from the gut' review of SCORCH ATLAS in manuscript form, I look fwd to being able to write one in the same vein when Keith's incredible GHOST LIGHTS aka WTF CITY comes out, which I feel will be soon. If there are any publishers reading this who are looking for a killer poetry ms, he is the one to talk to.

For clarity's sake: I don't hate meaning. I hate forced meaning, statically intended meaning, 'themes' 'thematic orchestration' 'this is who my character is' 'forced arcs' 'forced illumination of character's love life history and upbringing, as if we are programmed by what we've done' 'I want to know how this character makes love' No thanks. As if anyone could palpably know something that nobody else knows or has never said enough to say it in a clear way, or by studied evocation. As if all themes haven't been handed to us on plates and again and again and again for years and year. There is a reason you don't watch books on TV.

I enjoy watching THE PICK UP ARTIST 2 & I miss I LOVE MONEY already, I really do.

I am reading, among other things, Robert Pinget's TRIO right now from Dalkey, a French surrealist from the 50's, hung with Robbe Grillet and shit, the intro to the book is all him talking about how writing should be a process of total discovery, and how he refuses to go into his work knowing anything beforehand.

It is a really sexy book, pure black slick cover with nails on it.

TRIO, which is three novellas, I recommend heavily, it's kind of like the post magical realist stuff a lot of people do now, where weird shit happens and its cycled into these crazy offshoots and weird images that begin to tie into one another but in bizarre ways, but mixed with the everyday, a kind of collision of layers, kids vomit jam, boys stuff cucumbers full of explosives and chuck them at people, a guy finds a stairwell on the beach to nothing, but in a metered mind, this paragraph:

"All night long he annotated the text. The next he'd got the formula off by heart. That evening, without even thinking, he recited it. The penknife with which he was about to cut a slice of bread plunged itself, of its own accord, between his two eyes."

All this is in like the first 25 pages, awesome. Way head of its time.

It has an intro by Updike, if that makes you feel better.

I am the #1 google hit for 'blood comes from vegina while fucked by black brutally'. Super neat.

In other news, I am now coediting with Lily Hoang an anthology of innovative writers under 30. Yeah, I know it sucks that you are 30 or more, I am gonna be 30 in a couple months. But I think it's time there was an anthology focusing on really young weird voices. So Lily and I are really excited about this thing. Here's the call (please no personal emails re: this):

Lily Hoang & Blake Butler are now in the early stages of putting together an anthology to feature innovative writers under the age of 30. The anthology has interest from a respected small press.

Please submit no more than 15 pages of prose/poetry/whatever goes to: thirtyunderthirty@gmail.com by January 15. Send as .doc or .rtf attachment. (For truly exceptional cases, we will consider longer submissions.) Previously unpublished work only please. Also, all submissions should be open to editorial review.

We’re looking for the innovative, fresh, exciting writing, and as long as you’re under 30 & doing new things with words, please submit.

We want to find some really crazy shit, form and language innovation is what we're after, so send the weird shit, the new.

Tomorrow or next day will post about publication search history for SA. Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and salutation. It means a lot.


Darby said...

that anthology seems like a ripe place for that 11 year old's story you were talking about.

I want to agree with you re: hating 'intended' fiction, but I wouldn't use the word hate. I think I can latch on to some things where there is intention, maybe if it is far enough below the surface. I think my novel has an intention, though I kind of arrived upon it organically. Anyway, I 'want' to hate intention but I am not good at emotions.


i changed it to 'statically intended meaning'

that means more what i meant, unstatically

Anonymous said...

Any good writing- OK maybe this is a stretch- discovers its meaning througout the writing of the story. This doesn't mean that some writers, good writers in my mind, don't know what they feel about the world to begin with. O'Connor said something like " I write to find out what I don't know", but what she didn't know (the mystery, of which was her life long belief) was how God, the Catholic God, was going to show His hand. She had no idea where her stories were going. But she knew her stories were illuminating her Catholic vision. And she never intended to mean anything else but that.

Keith Montesano said...

that 30 under 30 project sounds awesome. i'm turning 27 in a few months, but i'm not as crazy weird as some folks out there. if i can think of legitimately interesting / interested parties, i'll pass them over the info.

GHOST LIGHTS hitting a bunch more contests soon, so keep those fingers crossed.

You're like the literary Fassbinder on coffee instead of cocaine.



that fassbinder quote would be a kickass blurb, its on

Keith Montesano said...

Damn right.

Only don't start doing cocaine.

DOGZPLOT said...

nice.. i clicked on the bloody vegina link. it also takes you to a page on michigan walleye.com. go figure.


Conor Robin Madigan said...

got it. thanks BB, you're the best for taking HP's "Lives". I love that goddamn piece. See you in 30≤30.


bloody vegina is neat

'lives' is great. i look fwd to readin some more CRM shitz

qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq said...

dear blake,

i never found to have anything at all in common with you.

until i read that you miss i love money.

i am the entertainers father.

he is living in my basement.


Matt DeBenedictis said...

Blake, I need to tell you I'm in awe of We Witnessed The Advent Of A New Apocalypse During An Episode Of Friends. The title alone gave me a literary boner comprised of jealous-blood, but the story itself took me to a new level. Fucking great, seriously.


"what up its your boy white boy"

that should be the first line of the new era replacement for bill faulkner

thanks matt that is nice, writing that story made me feel retarded in a good way, it is nice to hear it worked some

Jason Jordan said...

Do you watch "The Soup," Blake? The reason I ask is that during one of the previous episodes, Joel called Mystery (the host of "The Pick Up Artist 2" for those who don't know) a "goth aviator." Pretty funny.

"The Pick Up Artist" is a weird show. I think that it's only encouraging people--guys, specifically--to lie to get what they want. Notice how a bunch of the lead-ins they use are outright lies? "Did you guys see the fight outside? Two girls were arguing over some guy named George." Etc.


dont you ever backtalk mystery

dont you ever backtalk mystery

soup funny

Jason Jordan said...


*slowly backs out of thread*

Keith Montesano said...

the soup is awesome.

Stephen Daniel Lewis said...

when an episode of the pick-up artist two ends, i an upset there is not another one for a week

i hope mystery is my dad