EUGENE LIM is the author of the novels Fog & Car (Ellipsis Press, 2008), The Strangers (Black Square Editions, 2013) and Dear Cyborgs (FSG, 2017). He works as a high school librarian, runs Ellipsis Press, and lives in Queens, NY.
Zachary Masons The Lost Books of the Odyssey, winner of Starcherones penultimate fiction prize, purports to be an ancient text, recently decoded by the author along with a moonlighting NSA cryptographer, which gives variants on Homers epic of the Trojan War. (You can pick it up for the preface alone, a devilishly clever history of the texts discovery and interpretation.)
Earlier, when we were younger, we were best friends and, for a night, lovers. It was difficult because he was straight and liked girl-next-door types and I was basically appalled but we werent boogie so we could do it but it was, frankly, bogus, just to wild out. But even before that I was his cinematographer.
Its when the cop is punching my face that I make the decision. I decide to go look for my sister. My whole life Id indulged in a stupid thrill, a very risky habit. In the middle of the night Id sneak through the town and deface posters of the beloved president.
I was being tortured so lost my mind a little. In the beginning they would fold me into a small box and leave me there. Then, after I wouldn’t give them what was impossible for me to give them, they left me alone in a dark cell
I’d like to propose a definition that modifies Zukofsky’s metaphor to clarify and broaden the term of “experimental writing” and which thus hopefully rehabilitates it from the censure of the many — including a formally daring writer like Erickson — who view the province of experimental writing as a naval-gazing warren, an unpopular gymnasium occupied solely by the effete.
A writer of constant invention, Gilbert Sorrentino was a maverick artist who, in each of his seventeen fiction works, reinvented the idea of the novel. Entwined with this basic avant-garde helix were Sorrentino’s repeating concerns: the pretension, corruption, and fakery of New York’s art scene; the unyielding and common brutality of poverty, its propagation of sadism; mid-century, working-class Brooklyn; the ineffable artificiality of art.