'the love affairs of nathaniel p' by adelle waldman // henry holt (i think), 2k13
review by josh s
seems like this book exists in the world
(WHY R U READING THIS, WHAT HAPPEND TO OUR ‘OL-FASHIOND’ ALT LIT SITE WHERE U READ PPL LIKE ME?)
fairly certain it exists b/c i read it over a few days in february
the whole time i was readin it, i kept thinking ‘this book is like taipei, this book is like taipei’ but i had not seen this comparison until i just googleded & found this from the harvard which means its smart yesss but really the writer just describes what both books are about
'i will always be your whore' by alexandra naughton // punk hostage, 2k13
review by jeremy hight
There is some immeasurable place between things; this text is clearly one of its artifacts.
The poems float in and out of forms , out into almost Oulipo lists and dreamy fragments to snap to sharp, resonant lines like some kind of lightning shot out of sleep and dream flesh.
Naughton captures the ebb and flow of the deep passion shot as a flurry of arrows at an impossible target.
Mundanity resonates and drones in the face of an idol and the refrain
“I untie my hair and tie it back up again”
builds and shifts through the pages.
It become the tensile strength of some kind of wishing within daydreams while at the same time being the frail, fragile forever falling away and unfurling also forever lurking in wishes and the depth and cloud flesh of things like a crush or admiration that is from afar.
2013 was a year. i used my time to reflect on what i’d done wrong & right in 2012, try to improve on it, and to seek out new forms of inspiration for ‘doing my do’ (as jack #serge would say). in place of attempting to write ‘seriously’, i tried to read & study the work of others who did. i sat down with a pen and a blank piece of paper and this is what i remembered from this year: people & projects that, surprised, aroused, confused, and otherwise affected me. sorry to anyone who i forgot.
[ b o o k s ]
X taipei by tao lin : arguably, alt lit’s ‘yeezus’… or maybe not (also: tao’s series of ‘iphone photos of taipei’ at vice)
X crapalachia by scott mcclanahan : beautifully folky. found myself reading this aloud in the ‘mcclanahan reading voice’ more than a few times
X rontel by sam pink : sam pink at his most hilarious, disheartening, yerped up
X joke book by kool ad : the business. straight crack, get hooked and start looking for crumbs on the floor when it runs out
X go to work and do your job. care for your children. pay your bills. obey the law. buy products. by noah cicero : shitless-scary, titillating, riveting… the cover could have been better
X i am ready to die a violent death by heiko julien : painfully, pleasurably life-affirming & timely
X young americans by jordan castro : i ‘felt’ this, i f- w/ this, still can’t feel my face
X alone with other people by gabby bess : when i was terribly alone with other ppl i couldn’t shake ‘men are good for nothing / men are good for $$$$$$$’
X adam’s summer purgatory 2008 (2013) by adam humphreys : selected published blog posts from a summer treeplanting in canada — perfect companion to ‘franz otto ultimate highballer’
X thank you for your sperm by marcus speh : dizzying, dense, ‘grown-ass’ but never dull
X the newer york book iii by ‘various’ : total eye splenda… a landmark release of experiment in lit from an ambitious press
X i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together by mira gonzalez : i f*ck with these poems. i felt bad for her when she talked about how that dude said ‘i’m gonna come on your stomach’ like 15-20 times and then didn’t. ((((S/O SHIA LEBEOUF))))
[ z i n e s , e b o o k s , m a g s , e t c . ]
X m kitchell’s zine club : first: a gorgeous handmade object. second: this is some of m kitchell’s best writing and design. ((((YO ‘EVEN STEVENS’ THO))))
X the best mail on planet earth from hunter payne : easily the most fun anyone can possibly have w/ usps. in a world of cynically self-aware sadness, ‘i had sex with huntermadeit.com’
X horseghost.info - ‘detailed accounts of february 15, 2013’ : very enjoyable, i especially enjoyed timothy willis sanders’ piece
X megan boyle’s liveblog : the real ‘boyle’s brains’. megan defied conventional blogging with this project, inspiring much buzz and a few spinoffs. worth reading more than once, ought to be published on paper.
X please please don’t get your goddamn heart broken by chris dankland : easily the most impressive combination of youtube and poetry i’ve ever witnessed. chris’ poems are ethereal, the videos are visually beautiful, and his vocal delivery is one of my favorites. tragically underrated.
X mspaint and heartbreak by michael hessel-mial : there are two people i place at the top of the image macro game. one is michael hessel-mial who has his finger on the pulse of the image macro scene here he assembled incredible digital collages and overlaid poetry in the ill-fated ‘impact’ font. the other one is james ganas, who didn’t have any official releases this year. hessel-mial straight murked it.
X pop serial 4 : a veritable who’s-who of ‘alt lit’ curated by stephen tully dierks. issue 4 was nice to look at and to hold. the best bit is in sarah jean alexander’s story when she types ‘i’m sorry i only write about you’ into a word doc 30x
X the islamic takeover of 2013 by rachel pattycake bell : i heard bebe liked it. i heard kool ad liked it. i liked it first… is this my ‘15 mins’?
[ f i l m s ]
X frances ha : still might write abt this 1, feel inclined to watch it a few more times, good feels bad feels new york city
X baseball : is this supposed to be a movie adaptation of zachary’s formspring circa late 2012? either way i really liked it ((((IF U READ ‘HOLES’ B4 U SAW THE MOVIE *90’S KIDS*))))
X the pervert’s guide to ideology : 2013 was the year i found & fell in love with slavoj zizek and he kept me going thru some rough patches, thanks dude
X spring breakers : tried to livetweet this while very inebriated & very in love. gucci mane dies but what we had will live forever
[ a u d i o ]
X lit on lit mixed tapes by nathan springer : 3x impeccable curation, 3x delicious production, cassettes aren’t dead 3x… peep the no glykon / mike archibald split, too
X voicemail poems by john mortara : keep imagining dead prez saying ‘it’s bigger than alt.. lit..’, then imagining a highlights reel of ppl saying ‘globalisation’ on c-span from this year
X shitty youth / etapogsitap (throwback) : have to s/o to zachary german for doing these podcasts back in 2010 & keeping the files up. finding & listening to them was invaluably therapeutic to me in 2013… a milli thanks, z. kill cops, kill your parents, kill your fucking self.
update: new episode frm NYE 2013 goes hard
[ t a s t e m a k e r s ]
X beach sloth : a freak of nature. tirelessly writing about all sorts of poetry, prose, music, and social occurrences. receptive and sweet. a great catch. how does he read and review so much???? no, really… how
X michael seidlinger (ccm) : rare is a press or publishing house that isn’t called ‘x press’ or ‘x house’. seidlinger believes there are too many of those. he also believes in good writing and publishing it in print. i admire his work as ‘civil coping mechanisms’ greatly.
X spencer madsen (sorry house) : if pitchfork were hip enough to know about alt lit, sorry house might be their indie darling. madsen operates his publishing house with a sharp, stylish demeanor, only releasing 3 titles — all hyperclever and destined for bigness. his own book, a chap from 1 of the biggest names in underground rap, and another which made it to semifinals for goodreads’ poetry book of the year. who run it????
X ‘i am alt lit’ : 2 people i saw get frustrated with their review blogs this year: beach sloth and josh spilker (dankland took a sabbatical… think he just had to clear his mind out like ‘ye said).
spilker is the editor of ‘i am alt lit’ & the sister blog ‘i am not alt lit’ (the demise of which in 2013 says something about ‘alt lit’ as a ‘movement’ but i dunno what rly), blogging and starting an email newsletter (remember those????) under his own name. he’s the author of a forthcoming novel about taco trucks and jesus (i think?), also of ‘what kmart is like now’, a reflection on the decline of the kmart brand and american exceptionalism (which serves as a metaphor, i think, for the decline in ‘kmart realism’ and the occupational devotion of young writers today). without josh, you wouldn’t be reading this post right now.
but ‘iaal’ wouldn’t be what it is without its contributors, each of whom bring a distinct viewpoint and resumé to the review process. s/o to josh spilker, matthew sherling, stephen michael mcdowell, and newbie-but-goodie dom schwab — our all-star team. another s/o to everyone who has written for this blog before and helped make it what it is. and especially to you, the customer.
end of list. happy new year & l’chaim.