An anthology of American chicaneries, an allegory of human nature and its dubious trustworthiness, a virtuoso feat of metafictional irony, and/or the shaggiest shaggy-dog story you’ve ever read.
The Sometime Seminar discusses The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857), a satiric fiction by Herman Melville.
The Sometime Seminar discusses Sartor Resartus (1836), a satiric novel about a fictional German philosopher by Thomas Carlyle.
How to re-estrange and re-enchant the most familiar stories in the world? Apply generous quantities of sexual drama, stylistic brilliance, emotional intensity and psychological complexity, and don’t forget to be a genius.
The Sometime Seminar discusses The Bloody Chamber (1979), a collection of short stories which retell or rework folk tales, by Angela Carter.
Do kids these days look at their phones all the time because they’ve lost touch with their inner selves, or is the world around them in fact really boring? If you heap up enough observations about a social phenomenon, will an analysis of that phenomenon automatically emerge? Is pop social science just a set of rituals to exorcise anxiety? And what’s so scary about communications technology, anyway?
The Sometime Seminar discusses Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (2015) by Sherry Turkle, a book expressing and documenting widespread cultural anxieties about the social effects of social networking and mobile networked technology.
The Sometime Seminar discusses Nazi Literature in the Americas (La literatura Nazi en América, 1996/English 2008), an encyclopedia of fictional authors by Roberto Bolaño.
Genre as shtick, genre as turf, genre as obsession, genre as addiction…how far into the purple depths of verbiage will one man go in pursuit of that dread-stricken shudder?
The Sometime Seminar discusses Grimscribe (1991), a collection of horror stories by Thomas Ligotti.
With a language-mystical murder cult and a spy thriller lurking somewhere in the background, an adultery plot about a group of American corporate travelers abroad, and a lot of amorphous intellectual conversations, it’s a high-concept novel whose occasional incoherence is either charmingly postmodern or a bit on the shambolic side… or maybe both?
The Sometime Seminar discusses The Names (1982) by Don DeLillo.
Filthy suits, boneless steaks, necrophilous auras and feminist satire in the cafés and garrets of Surrealist Paris.
The Sometime Seminar discusses Insel, a posthumously published short novel about an artist by Modernist poet Mina Loy.
The enigmas of history (its accidents, survivals and erasures), the atmospherics of travel (their evocation, dissolution and fabrication), plus all the snow raspberries and sea urchins you can eat.
The Sometime Seminar discusses Hav by Jan Morris, a work of travel writing about a fictional country in two parts (Last Letters from Hav, 1985 / Hav of the Myrmidons, 2005).
“Speculative” in the sense of Hegelian world-dialectic meets “speculative” in the sense of telepathically linked swarms of insects, sentient inhabited stars, and green-furred humanoids that taste with their feet.
The Sometime Seminar discusses Star Maker (1937), a universe-spanning work of science fiction by Olaf Stapledon.