Monday, January 25, 2010


We like books. A lot. Here's what's on our nightstand this week.

Witold Gobrowicz's Bacacay: Okay, wow. So, did you know about this Gobrowicz cat, because we did not! An iconoclastic Pole who fled to Buenos Aires days before the outbreak of WWII, Gombrowicz's airy, bizzare anti-nationalist stories read like Kafka filtered through a fairy tale machine. They are quite breathtaking. Once you finish with Bacacay, get yourself a copy of Gombrowicz's first novel, Ferdydurke, about a middle-aged man who is kidnapped by his former school master and forced to undergo the humiliations of middle school a second time. It's available from NYRB with an introduction by Susan Sontag.

Sawako Nakayasu's Texture Notes

Macgregor Card's Duties of an English Foreign Secretary

Roberto Bolano's Monsieur Pain: If the folks at New Directions and Anagrama are to be believed, Bolano produced roughly six thousand original works in the last five years of his life. The fourth Bolano title to be released in English since the author's death in 2003, Monsieur Pain is another literary pyscho-thriller in the vein of Bolano's The Savage Detectives and 2666. The story concerns a stricken Cesar Vajello, hypnotists, occultists and an incurable case of hiccups.

John Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go There You Are: Don't ask....just...don't ask.

Friday, January 22, 2010


The good folks at Holocene have invited Poor Claudia to curate a night of music and art on Wednesday, February 10, as part of the club's once-monthly program, "My Favorite Things." The night will include music from Nolan Foster, Typhoon, Breakfast Mountain, Guantanamo Baywatch and DJs Sexy Cousin and Magic Impact, as well as the premier of Zachary Schomburg's new collection of poem-films entitled, LITTLE BLIND THING. Poor Claudia will of course be on hand to help the magic happen and to peddle Zachary's collection as a handsome DVD and booklet. Music! Poems! Films! Drinks! Come help us celebrate all of these very nice things. Tickets will be cheap (five or six bucks at the door) and Zachary's DVD will be worth every penny no matter what the price (although it too will be eminently affordable). Okay, so, see you there? Yes? Yes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Click here to see excerpts from two 1967 interviews with PC-approved poet John Berryman. Following the publication of Berryman's first 77 DREAM SONGS, these clips from a BBC profile of the poet (a network television profile of a major cultural figure not associated with said network's own celebrity-driven media machine -- how quaint!) capture the poet at the apotheosis of his two great motive powers: Self-Regard & Alcohol. The recitations are really marvelous, as are Berryman's musings on literature (Stephen Crane: "Mediocre novelist; possibly the greatest short story writer who ever lived." Okay!) and literary celebrity ("Poets don't receive a lot of fan mail."). Enjoy.