Sean Ashton, Living in a Land
––Living in a Land is a novel written almost entirely in the negative, consisting mainly of things the narrator has never done, no longer does or will never do. Given that what he has not done is more diverse than what he has, there is much ground to cover, and he approaches the task with arguably greater zeal than a conventional diarist. A study of the conceivable versus the actual, the personal versus the universal, idiocy versus logic, black versus white, circles versus squares, renting versus buying, Living in a Land is a chronicle of a mind fighting its own oppositional nature, a portrait of a hypothetical man.
Buster V. Dachy, The Crumpled Envelope
––Buster V. Dachy pays homage to Poe, Gombrowicz, Godard, and Lacan’s destined ‘purloined letter’. This unusual novel follows the structure of a play, with acts and scenes, but it entertains a rather ambiguous relation to narrative. Although there is one (a detective story even), with beginning and end, it appears to be distributed between a number of characters and voices, which are not always clearly distinct. Yet, the characters are assigned in the ordinary way of a play: they have names, roles, titles, and functions. Undoubtedly the main male character is rather sophisticatedly grotesque and the lead female character rather elegantly contrived. Visitors sound like shadows, which leaves the stage to four museum guardians who are the true heroes of this melancholic comedy. It finishes as it started, with a categorical sense of insignificant necessity.
Sarah Wood, Civilisation & Its Malcontents
––Caught up in the vortex of this bellicose age, adrift on the sea of digital information and misinformation, without perspective enough to glimpse the future that is actually forming, I am finding it hard to think.
Here is a book about thought right now and about how to think in a world that asks us at every level not to. Discontent? Malcontent? Sarah Wood looks at the world through Freud and fraud.
Claire Potter, Round that way
––But the air lays thin and low in the towns around here. Precipitation from the hills causes the pressure to drop off, it puts distance between the air’s molecules, bringing on headaches and low spots where storms kick up.
Round that way is Claire Potter’s second published book. It brings together CHAVSCUMBOSS, a poetic experiment in writing while watching the performance of masculinity by the YouTube user of the same name—and a short story, PRESSURE, in which a house fire raises painful heat in the residents of a small northern town.
Sharon Kivland, Freud’s Views, Freud on Holiday Appendix V
––Almost every year Sigmund Freud went on holiday, often accompanied by his brother Alexander, an expert on railway transport, timetables, and travel tariffs. Freud made a distinction between the holidays he spent with his family during the month of August, usually in the Alps, and those voyages he took later, most often in September, with complicated itineraries. The fifty-six letters and hundred and eighty-nine postcards of his travel correspondence with his family and reveal his enjoyment of these holidays. Herein Freud’s views, as both prospects and opinions.