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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Please welcome to the world … Jeff Jackson Novi Sad (Kiddiepunk Press)

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Set in a bombed-out cityscape, Jeff Jackson’s haunting new novella Novi Sad follows a group of friends who take up residence in an abandoned hotel as they await the end of the world.

This melancholic dream story is filled with mysterious disappearances, floating corpses and decaying memories. Though a standalone work, Novi Sad is also a sister book to Jeff Jackson’s acclaimed novel Mira Corpora.

“In a time when it’s hard to say if the apocalypse is happening or still to come, Jeff Jackson gives us a tale that blurs the lines between our many possible fates. Novi Sad forces us to examine the consequences of adults who’ve run the world like children and in their folly left the world to children made to live in the rags of dignity they’ve stripped from the corpses about them. At once magisterial and decrepit, heartening and glum, this book will make you consider the power of our shadows, and of their dangers, too. The places of our imaginations, Jackson reminds us, are often so much more than real.” — D. Foy, author of Made to Break and Patricide

100 page book, paperback, printed on blue paper.

Available now www.kiddiepunk.com

 

Book Images

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LINKS TO A FEW REVIEWS:

https://electricliterature.com/hail-oblivion-the-apocalypse-book-that-wasnt-e3096d4f8e29#.wpugmyqid

https://litreactor.com/reviews/bookshots-novi-sad-by-jeff-jackson

http://www.charlotteviewpoint.org/article/3643/Novi-Sad

 

INTERVIEW:
Jeff Jackson interviewed by Thomas Moore about Novi Sad
 

THOMAS MOORE: I’ll start with the most common and awkward question that I get asked as a writer, when people find out I’ve written something new: What is it about? I think that the author mostly has a very different take on a text when summarizing it than a reader does, and I’m interested in hearing how you would briefly sum up Novi Sad to someone.

JEFF JACKSON: In the broadest plot terms, it’s about a group of kids coming together in an abandoned hotel to wait for the end of the world. It’s also about the unraveling of basic societal bonds and close personal relationships, and figuring out how to live in the ruins during an age of maximum destruction.

TM: Straight away and I mean within minutes of starting reading the book, I was struck by dialogue which I felt bore a direct relation to film. Lines like “It’s time to head straight into the heart of the annihilation,” and “We’ve got the chance, to create our own perfect finale.” These lines and others, especially a few spoken by Muriel towards the end of the book, feel dramatic and kind of suggest cadence that feels powerful and staged in a precise way, out of the every day. It made me want to know about the relationship between cinema and Novi Sad. Were films a specific influence – if so, which ones and how? It also made me think about the fact that you have worked in theatre – do you think this has had an effect on your fiction?

JJ: I love film, so there’s no question that’s filtered into my writing. But the main reason the dialogue is more dramatic is because the characters, especially Hank, are more theatrical. Hank’s a ringleader, a schemer, someone who’s always dramatizing his own life and the lives of those around him. Some of the other kids also have moments when they’re performing, even though their audience is only one another. This is especially true for Muriel and the narrator, who are both creating and contributing to a drama they don’t entirely understand.

My theater work and fiction share many of the same themes and impulses. But strangely enough, my recent plays have increasingly employed less and less dialogue. My last piece Vine of the Dead was a series of ritual gestures aimed at contacting the spirits of the ancestors. It had more elements of performance art and installation art than typical theater. The text was mostly monologues and ritualistic instructions rather than people conversing.

TM: The synopsis on the Kiddiepunk website states that Novi Sad is a sister book to your novel, Mira Corpora. Could you talk about their relationship? From an outsider’s point of view, I feel like one way they link is how place is used. Both books seem to use the environment and setting as a very important character in its own right – as present and carved out as the people in the books. In Novi Sad, the haunted city and decaying rooms feel like living and breathing entities – lonely souls unable to fully connect with those who temporarily inhabit them. Landscapes suffer violence and are left wounded; they feel equivalent to the corpses strewn within them.

JJ: Many sections of Novi Sad were written at the same time as Mira Corpora and were included in any early draft of that novel. These versions proved too wooly and surreal to make the final cut, but the basic material sprung from that same universe.

I radically reworked this material to make it stand on its own for Novi Sad, but the books still share some characters – though they’ve taken on slightly different forms. Environment and setting are hugely important connections as well. There are images and themes that echo across the books: bodies found in rivers, possible supernatural occurrences, dogs, pills, erotic paintings, etc. And both books present stories that are being self-consciously reconstructed and refashioned from old memories.

TM: Actually, having thought about that last question my brain is making comparisons with how place is used in the writing of Alain Robbe-Grillet. Specifically I’m thinking about his novel, Jealousy and how that book is just consumed by place and the mapping out of buildings and rooms. I don’t think I’ve spoken with you about Robbe-Grillet before but there feels to be a definite link between your respective works – especially when it comes to the role of place and setting.

JJ: I love Robbe-Grillet! I’m flattered he came to mind. Jealousy is one of my favorites. It’s a perfect novel. Reading Robbe-Grillet’s fiction – and watching his films – has made me think more concretely about place and how that can affect the characters and play an important dramatic role in itself. Part of reworking the original material for Novi Sad was more thoroughly mapping out and exploring the layout of the blue hotel where the kids stay throughout the book. I’m also obsessed with Robbe-Grillet’s use of repetitions and rhyming images. He’s masterful on many levels.

TM: Now this is a question that I wasn’t really sure how to word – but I want to know about how the “real” world has impacted upon the writing of Novi Sad. As in, were you conscious of parallels that one could make between what some see as a certain type of chaos specific to this point in time and the chaos that is contained with your new book? It’s strange because the world created in Novi Sad – like that in Mira Corpora – feels very unique to itself and hermetic in a way – it’s this fully formed organism that operates in itself – but the crumbling cities and dying people within them – there are echoes of the world that you the writer is living in … I don’t know if political is quite the right word but … Did it feel like the real world was playing into your fictional world in a direct way?

JJ: The real world definitely impacts my fiction. The raw urban landscapes I’ve lived in, world events like 9/11 I’ve witnessed and ones that I’ve watched on television, local scenes of kids in distress – it all feeds into the work. But it gets actively filtered and reimagined into something that’s more heighted, stylized, and like you said, hermetic. I’m glad you can see recognizable echoes of the world we inhabit in both books. That’s important to me. Those echoes in Novi Sad feel much stronger now than when I drafted the original version. And sure, in a larger sense, this process is also political.

TM: Do you have a set writing routine? How did you write Novi Sad?

JJ: I wish I had more of a set routine. For Novi Sad, a big part of the process was reacquainting myself with material that had been set aside for many years. I’d written another full-length novel since I last looked at these pages. It took me a while to reconnect with my original impulses and figure out what I needed to do to make these episodes stand on their own and tell a single cohesive story. I scribbled a lot of notes and embarked on a few lurching false starts before things began to fall into place.

TM: Could you talk a little bit about the structural workings of Novi Sad? I love how the final Appendix section of the book serves as a final, deep dissection of what’s happened – the almost clinical implications of that kind of section of a book end up perversely have a tremendously emotional impact.

JJ: I’m happy the appendix had that impact on you. I’m interested finding different ways to tell stories that still include emotion and excitement. Novi Sad is structured so there are large gaps between each section that the reader has to negotiate for themselves and fill in what happened. The final gap leads to the appendix which describes photographs the narrator has collected of his absent friends. You get a snapshot of them that captures one fleeting moment, but hopefully that moment resonates. I’m drawn to the possibilities of things like appendixes, author notes, indexes, dedications, etc. to deliver unexpected types of information. Despite what often fills mainstream fiction, literature remains full of possibilities.

 

ARTWORK:
Some of Michael Salerno’s artwork featured in Novi Sad.

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BOOK EXTRACT:

WE GATHER AT THE DOCKS before dawn to watch them dredge the river for floaters. Sure enough, there’s a new one every day. We stand along the concrete pier while the rest of the city sleeps. It’s so early the sun isn’t stirring below the horizon. The light is a diffuse combination of distant streetlamps and nearby stars. The smell of seaweed and sewer backwash tickles the nose. Wavelets of brackish water gently kick against the pilings. The faint rattle of a boat’s engine echoes as it approaches shore. Markus says: “They’re late.” Lena says: “Maybe it’s a different crew.” Rupesh half-sings: “Old man river, he keep on rolling.” Blue remains silent. She seems asleep on her feet, features obscured beneath a hooded sweatshirt, a triangle of pink tongue stuck between her lips. But if you look closely, her left eyelid twitches uncontrollably.

Everyone is on edge before the boat arrives. I softly practice my birdcalls, trying to lure some seagulls out of the inky haze. Markus punches me in the arm and whispers to shut the fuck up. We’re the only ones on the dock this morning. Some of us haven’t slept and others are half-stuck inside whatever fleeting dreams we managed to conjure. As the battered trawler pulls alongside the pier, the captain idles the motor and greets us with a businesslike nod. The crew raises the nets and sets about sorting the last load of refuse. It’s usually some unsightly combo of trash salvage, auto parts, and toxic paraphernalia. Rarely produces much drama. The day’s corpse is already stacked on deck.

We hold our breath as two sailors unload the body. They crouch on either side of the corpse, one grabs the shoulders and the other the feet, and count to three. Instinctively I pinch my nostrils. Lena shields her face. Markus bites his lower lip. Rupesh whistles through his teeth. Blue spreads her eyes wide to take in everything.

The body is ghostly pale, water-logged, wrapped in a strands of kelp. It resembles most of the others – serious bloat, pervasive spots of purplish gray mold, pasty skin peeling off in layers like old wallpaper. The most alarming feature is the cloudy eyes. They resemble a raw and slimy delicacy, two fresh jewels set in a side of decomposing meat.

The sailors lay the floater flat on the pier. A palpitation shoots through our lungs that might be described as a sigh of relief. The shriveled body is too old. This is an elderly woman with close-cropped steel gray hair, tattered black dress clinging to her sorry form, tarnished copper chain looped around her sagging neck. Somebody’s grandmother, maybe. Markus tells Lena that it’s okay to look. We stand silently over the body for a minute out of a theoretical sense of decency for the generalized loss. The moral protocol here is pretty murky. We feel grateful, mostly.

We slip away while the crew unloads the more mundane cargo. Lena wraps her arm around Blue’s shoulder and gives a quick squeeze. “I knew it was a false alarm,” Rupesh murmurs. We walk through the old fish market, which has been razed flat except for a few wooden stalls heaped high with cod. A crowd of children stand under a sodium lamp, their fingers prodding the piles of white bellies.

Nobody speaks Hank’s name, but we each nurse our private theories about his disappearance as we walk up the main artery that leads away from the waterfront. The asphalt beneath our feet has eroded to cobbles. Intermittent street lamps offer flashes of our faces while concealing the sprawling cavities of rubble that line the street.

As we head toward Novi Sad, the sky’s deep hues begin to lighten….

 

*

p.s. Hey. Today the blog has the immense pleasure of doing its small part to help usher Jeff Jackson’s — aka, to blog familiars, Chilly Jay Chill’s — new novella Novi Sad into the widest possible world. If you haven’t yet scored yourself a copy, please rectify that absence, and, in any case, do enjoy exploring the book’s ins and outs and backstories. Thanks! ** Jamie McMorrow, Hey, Jamie! Cambridge was/is a funny place, from what I got to see of it, which was basically the sprawling campus and its fringes. Cool, awesome that the post coincided with your internal world a little. My weekend was pretty uneventful except in parts but pretty A-okay. So, are you in Edinburgh still? How and what was the Beuys exhibit? Hope you had or are having a ton of fun there or here! Love, me. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, David. I am, to some degree. I did an Ulli Lommel post here some time time back, and I think it had some of his horrors in there. Unfortunately, due to Google’s act of murder, that post is in an uncheckable shambles until I inevitably restore it. I hope you had a lovely weekend! ** Steevee, Hi, Steve. Okay, I’ll send you that link. Thanks! And how were those films? Busy sounding, in the good way, weekend you had there. ** Bill, Hi, Bill! Ha, well, since I didn’t see anything about the unattended bag incident on the news, I’m guessing it contained someone’s underwear. No, I weirdly did not take a single photo the entire time I was in the UK, which is quite unlike me. Oops. No, I never did end up seeing ‘It Follows’, very strangely. I keep forgetting that my TV has Netflix on it, but I’ll open it and see if ‘IF’ is there, which seems like a fairly good bet. ** Nemo, Hi, J. Oh, well, my pleasure, sir. Yeah, I didn’t get your email? ** Frederick Maheux, Hello, greetings, welcome to here! I just used the link and saw a bit of the interview video, and I’m definitely intrigued, and, of course would love to see ‘Ana’. You can get to me at: denniscooper72@outlook.com. Thank you very much! ** H, Hi. Busyness, yes, I can relate and commiserate. I always keep busy but I’ve never been this busy and loaded up projects before ever. May we both not only succeed but survive. Oh, okay, I’ll avoid instant ramen. I knew about the lack of vegetarian packaged ramen options, and I actually checked my local health food store the other day just in case, but nope. ** Ferdinand, Hey. Wow, nice adds, man. I know Richard Kern’s films, but most of the others are total news to me. I do know ‘Beyond the black rainbow’, and, yeah, it’s a sweetie. I’ll use the appropriate links when I’m freed of the p.s. in just a while. Thanks a lot again! ** Liquoredgoat, Hey there! Good to see you, buddy! How’s Arizonian tricks? I am currently, albeit quite gradually, reading ‘In The Deep’, and liking it very much, of course. Yeah, my true loves amongst Guyotat’s work are the really dense, hallucinatory books like ‘Eden Eden Eden’, the slice of ‘Prostitution’ that got published some while back, and ‘Tomb …’, but apparently those books of his are immensely difficult to translate to the point where doing even one of them would amount to a translator’s life work or something, or so I’m told, so the ‘easier’ ones are getting English-ized instead. And I like and admire those books a lot, but, yeah, I crave more of the really ‘difficult’ ones. How are you finding ”ITD’? ** Dóra Grőber, Hi, Dóra! Thanks, it’s nice to be back. Yeah, I’m a person who doesn’t really enjoy being the center of attention. It weirds me out. But, at the same time, it’s pretty amazing to have people so interested in my work, and, in the case of the Sussex event, it was wonderful because my interlocutor was super smart and great, and the students asked and said very interesting things. So it was a total honor, and, ultimately, even a real personal pleasure. I read some pieces from my book ‘Ugly Man’. The pieces in that book are pretty straightforward, relatively speaking, for my work, and that makes reading them feel less like a huge compromise than when I’m asked to read from my novels, for instance. Great that you have enough stuff to be able to work on the body of your thesis. How is that going? Is it more or less difficult than you had imagined? My weekend was good. Saw a couple of really good friends who were visiting from Barcelona. A little work. Some prep stuff related to the upcoming film showings and the forthcoming gif novel. It was fine. Zac is going through the music video footage, and I think we’ll start editing it properly this week. How was your weekend? How are you today? ** Kyler, Hi, K. Oh, yeah, I came across that weird, cool Bosch animation video the other day. Thanks a bunch for the alert. ** MANCY, Hi, Steven. ‘Night of the Lepus’ is kind of low grade psycho/dumb in a good way. New GIF cycle! Awesome! Of course I would love to see any of it. And I’m hugely intrigued and bated in the breath department about your audio work with Mark. Whoa. Can you, like, describe it, if that’s interesting? ** Chris dankland, Hi, Chris! Cool, glad the horror things hit your spots. I’m, needless to say, thrilled that you’re focusing so much on your writing, and I was very happy to see that announcement thing you put on Facebook in that regard. Yes! I’m really bad with comix stuff so I don’t know what Dr. Strange is. Kind of sad. I will go see, seeing as how your enthusiasm is magnetizing. Yeah, we shot the Xiu Xiu video a couple of weeks ago. I think we’re going to start editing it this week. The finished product is due on November 1st. Ha, good question about how it went. I think it went well. We shot it a little randomly with the idea of making it into something in the editing, and I feel pretty confident that it will end up being something strange in hopefully the best way. The new Rob Zombie is only ok? That’s too bad. I think I’m going to see it at the Sitges Festival in Spain where Zac and I will be showing LCTG later this week. How is Malcom McDowell? I’m mostly excited to see him in it ‘cos I’m a huge MMc fanboy. The creepy clown phenom in the US is very, very interesting. I keep wanting to understand it. Oh, for whatever reason, I tend to go into horror movies with a kind of studious attitude. I approach them looking to see how each one handles the conventions and formalities of the genre, because I really like the genre, and, at the same time, am always looking for films that innovate within it. And I think that kind of protects me from the scares. But then I tend to approach everything like that — novels, music films, art — i.e., things’ content usually just seems like a property of the construction or something to me. Kind of very nerdy, ha ha, but there you go. My only guess about why ‘Blair Witch Project’ managed to transcend that and actually scare me is because the whole ‘found footage’ thing was brand new back then, so I couldn’t approach it as the usual formalist I normally am. It threw me or something. Or that’s my guess? Hugs galore back to you, my pal. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I strangely wasn’t that taken with ‘Begotten’, and I don’t really remember why now. I think the hype = my heightened expectations was a problem. But I did and do really, really like Shipley’s ‘You With Your Memory Are Dead’ a lot. So, I don’t know? ** Montse, Hi!!! It was so truly wonderful to see you and Xet! A total joy! And, yes, I’m excited to see you in Barcelona, and excited for you guys to meet Zac and vice versa! Hooray! Lots and lots of love! ** Right. Please concentrate your local time on Jeff Jackson’s new book, won’t you? Thanks. See you tomorrow.

46 Comments

  1. Hey guys, couldn’t sleep, so where do I go? Here. I think I’m the first! Super congrats Jeff…looks beautiful…will read in more detail later…and of course, order. Jeff, are you doing any readings in NYC? Dennis, looking forward to Oct 20th very much…see you then!

    • Thank you, Kyler! I’m not doing any readings in NYC since the book isn’t available in any stores there. Doing a few local events in N.C. where I live, but that’s it. Hope you enjoy the book if you check it out.

  2. I was impressed with the vivid descriptions in an excerpt from Mira Corpora. This one will also have to be added to my reading list. I love the look of Jeff’s two books.

    I hate to side track here and go on about my own intrests so early in the thread but there’s a couple of things I’m compelled to mention / ask about. The talk about Pierre Guyotat caught my interest and with the internet’s 3 degrees of separation, I’ve become curious about Virginie Despentes Vernon subutex 1 ( the link between the two being the french x- porn actress Coralie Trinh Thi’s exploration of sexuality sometimes mirroring Guyotat’s “laborous” approach to sex) I’m wondering is “Vernon subutex 1” something you have read Dennis? I’m intrigued by the synopsis.

    Also, I wanted to mention that I’m finding inspiration in Butthole surfers while “pushing the pen” and I’m compelled to set my story in the late 80’s. I wanted to get some feedback from anyone here: What would a few albums be that a teen interested in Rock, punk, metal would pick up from a used records stall in 1988? R.E.M; Husker du, AC/DC, The Replacements, Dead kennedys, what else? I’m interested in a wide selection / consensus / impression of accessible albums available in that time. I could pick from a ready list of album releases but this removed approach seems wooden to me. I’m more interested in what other people find emblematic of that time.
    Also did Hardcore (Punk) still hold sway in 1988, would it be stretch to put some hardcore in this fictive stack of Rock records? Again the lists are available but I would rather get “personal” “first hand” accounts or impressions of this time.

    • Also I just discovered the Minitel ( The Telecommunications device used in France , mainly in 1980 and 1990 , before being supplanted by access to Internet) and along with it the Minitel Rose which Wiki describes as an erotic phone service, and The Guardian as the first platform for cybersex “where people using pseudonyms patiently exchanged steamy messages that took what would now seem an eternity to appear on screen.” Is it just me or is this a goldmine for potential intrigue, humor, and mystery? Maybe there’s potential for a “Minitel day” here on the blog?

    • Thanks Ferdinand! The sharp look of both books is largely thanks to Michael Salerno’s talents and exquisite eye. He’s really outdone himself with Novi Sad.

  3. Bonjour, mon ami à Paris!
    I think I’ll be buying this book also. Blue paper seems awfully nice. Thanks for this, Dennis. I like that new gif you’re using for Zac’s Freight Elevator too. Speaking of books by dls of this blog – you don’t happen to know where and when I’ll be able to purchase a copy of Thomas Moore’s new book, do you? I’ve been looking in all the usual places and on the publisher’s site, but I can ‘t find a release date or a purchasing point, and I really really want to read it after those fine reviews. There’s a fair chance that I’m being daft, of course, and missing something very obvious…
    The Joseph Beuys exhibition was a real pleasant surprise, I’m pleased to say. There were two rooms in the galleries downstairs with fliers, posters and contextual stuff which was okay, but upstairs there were four rooms of Beuys’ drawings and painting, none of which I’d seen before and many of which were really very beautiful. I’d mostly known of his more performative things before, so this was an eye-opener. Also, a part of the gallery’s ground floor has been converted into a copy of Eduardo Paolozzi’s studio, which was really cluttered and fascinating. After the exhibition, we visited some friend who are staying at a farmhouse nearby and spent some time in their outdoor hottub, which is not something that you get to do too much round these parts.
    How was your Monday? Busy? Fun? Have I missed you saying stuff about this opera that you’re working on, or is it something that you can’t talk about too much yet? I’m intrigued! Is it an opera opera or a more modern opera? Apologies if this is all stuff you’ve said before.
    Anyway, I hope that things are good with you in Paris. It’s sunny and cold here in Glasgow.
    Lots of love,
    Jamie

  4. Hi!

    Thank you for this book and thank you for today’s post! I’ll definitely order it! I loved the excerpt and the artwork looks stunning!

    It does sound like a complex and all in all pleasurable experience. Do you sometimes read what you write aloud just to yourself? I always do that and there really is a huge difference between certain kinds of pieces – I mean, my diary-like pieces are a lot easier to read aloud without – as you put it – feeling like it’s a huge compromise than my boymuse pieces for example.
    I started working on the main part of my thesis – I’m pretty distracted today so I didn’t make too much progress but at least I worked on it a little. I think staying perfectly accurate and somewhat ‘scientific’ all the time is the hard part, analyzing the interviews and grouping my observations is exciting and fun.
    Ah I’m glad your weekend was so great! I can’t wait for the new gif novel to arrive!!
    I met my writer friend yesterday which was lovely as always. Today… I’m in a bit of a haze, I’m not sure why. There are those days when no matter what I do, I just can’t concentrate and I’m never satisfied with whatever I come up with. It’s one of them. Oh well, I guess. Maybe it passes by tomorrow.
    How are things on your end?

    • Hi Dora – Really appreciate the kind words about the book and ordering a copy. The artwork doesn’t disappoint. Hope you enjoy it.

  5. Ferdinand,

    I read Despentes’ book King Kong Theory, but the book you mentioned seems intriguing. I love to find links like that between writers/artists. Further, I have an investment in the theory of pornography/marginal sexuality so thanks for this!

  6. Dennis,

    Arizona is good. My poetry is unnerving some people in my workshop, and affecting their feedback they give the work, but I’m not too surprised by that, just somewhat disappointed.

    I haven’t really gotten into ITD yet, but once I do I will let you know. Right know I’m reading (and thoroughly enjoying) the poetry of Larry Levis. I remember you did a post on his very, very posthumous collection “The Darkening Trapeze.”I bought his Selected Poems after Norman Dubie told us he is going to show an advanced screening of a documentary about Levis at semester’s end. Dubie is interviewed in the film. Levis and him were close friends.

  7. Jeff and Michael, such a lovely book. Congratulations!

    Hey Dennis, if you haven’t already, you might also enjoy The Incident:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3528756

    Bill

  8. Need to get on ordering a copy of this.
    I’ll hold off on saying much about the collab with Mark for the moment, but I’m very happy with the way it is shaping up.
    Yeah, the new GIF cycle is tentatively called 3LANGUAGES. I posted a couple of stills on FB and such, but I will maybe send you the first complete GIF just to show you what direction I’m heading in with this one.
    Jamie – I believe Thomas’s book is available for preorder from the publisher now. I was lucky enough to read early and it is fucking great. Highest recommendation.

  9. I hope to soon read this book and Mr Moore’s new book. Both sound very beautiful. Like Jamie, I was looking for a place where I could get Mr Moore’s book.

    yes, extremely busy to the point that I feel quite ill. Maybe, it’s a sign that I’m settling here a little. Hope you’re doing great. Oh, I remember your best friend Zac loves Deleuze. I haven’t read ‘Cinema’ in French at all, but it feels like it must be more poetic & clear. I might try some passages for upcoming projects, not the whole thing till this winter.But it’s exciting to plan on it. Have a nice day, and see you on 20th!

  10. Thanks for letting us hijack your blog with Jeff’s book today, Dennis xx

  11. Jeff, the book looks incredible and a really interesting interview on top of that. As I spend most of my quality time behind the keyboard of a laptop, I’m always fascinated in procedures and ways of writing. That, I think goes with the territory. And your book is not in stores, right – distributed or sold by the website? Kiddiepunk’s website is totally fascinating to me.

    • Hi Tosh – Thanks for the kind words. Hope you’ll check it out! It is generally only available from Kiddiepunk’s website.

      That said, a bookstore here in N.C. that specializes in art and photo books and limited editions bought a bunch of copies. I believe you work for a similar type of store, so know that Michael will make deals if they’re interested in stocking this and being the exclusive west coast outlet for it.

  12. Jean Eustache was into Minitel, in the period between the unsuccessful suicide attempt that left him paralyzed and the one that killed him.

    HOMELAND: IRAQ YEAR ZERO was wearying but also one of the best films I’ve ever seen about the Iraq War. The first half takes place in the year before the war began, the second half in the year after the U.S. invaded. Director Abbas Fahdel mostly shoots his family and friends going through everyday tasks, especially in the first half. There’s a fair amount of deprivation even then – the power keeps cutting out – but life seems fairly normal: kids can play in the street safely. Then the Americans arrive, and life gets very dangerous. I think even the most conservative Republican would feel guilty about what the U.S. did to Iraq after seeing this film, especially its shock ending, although it also lays plenty of blame on Saddam and Iraqi looters.

  13. Because it’s relevant to the topic at hand, I’ll just re-post the Goodreads review I wrote for this book earlier last month:

    “This novella, a companion piece of sorts to Jeff Jackson’s superb 2013 novel ‘Mira Corpora’ (though it can hold its own as a stand-alone work), is set in the desolate remains of a bombed-out city, and revolves around a group of young friends who take shelter in an abandoned hotel, where, amidst compact and finely written scenes of urban collapse and apocalyptic imagery, they make a new ramshackle life for themselves while awaiting the end of the world. The narrative deals with the eventual disintegration of this group and how this disintegration affects the narrator (here named “Jeff”). Like all of the books and products released by Kiddiepunk, the presentation here is impeccable, with quite haunting artwork and design by Michael Salerno that compliments the text itself. The decision to have the book printed on blue paper was a nice touch, and further enhances the melancholic feel of the novella, giving one the impression that the words themselves were unable to bear the collective grief of the unfolding narrative, and that this grief flowed from the words onto the very pages, staining them with an azure agony. Highly recommended, grab it while you can.”

  14. Hey – Dennis! As you can tell from my interview in the post – I adore this book. Jeff’s writing and Michael’s artwork are exquisite.

    • Thanks for the wonderful interview, Thomas! Really appreciate it and being part of this day. Looking forward to your book’s release.

  15. Oh – I went to London for the weekend and did the Frieze thing and caught some other shows too. Saw some really cool stuff.

    My second novel is out tomorrow! It’ll be birthed by the time that you respond to this comment, I think. There’s a pre order up at Amazon now: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1608641236/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476117875&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=thomas+moore+in+their+arms

    And it should be up at the UK Amazon and all the other book places very soon. Excited to have it out in the world – finally!

  16. I’ll send you a post about my book in the next few days by the way.

  17. I sprung for this book a few weeks ago. It’s a beautiful thing, and I look forward to making a start on it over the coming days.

    So Morgan’s handed in our Yuck ‘n Yum proposal to Seattle’s SOIL gallery. The gist = we curate, through our many contributors and an open call, a daily feature of text and image responses to be projected in SOIL and available on a website, plus various performances inspired by the texts. It’d be the first YNY venture in a good long while, and we’re all excited to see what comes of it.

  18. Hey Dennis,
    Thanks so much for hosting this day. It means so much to have NOVI SAD here on the blog. The book never would’ve happened without this place, since it’s where I first ran across Michael’s wonderful work. So it feels like a real homecoming.

    Sorry I’ve been so AWOL around here lately and simply lurking. This local arts residency has been more demanding than expected and eaten up all my spare time. Plus work has been very chaotic. The residency has been interesting b/c I was expecting to continue making some cardboard assemblages that I’ve created as (more or less) private artwork for the past decade. But instead, with all the space, I’ve started created larger sculptural assemblages from glass shelves, decaying mirrors, oversized bulbs, broken glass, rocks, soap, sleeping pills, etc. Very ritualistic. Sort of been taken over by this, very unexpectedly.

    Hope all’s well with you. xx

  19. Jeff, Muchos kudos, sir. I really liked the extract. (Btw, my grandfather used to dredge the Potomac River back in the 50s. He was a DC Metropolitan policeman and did a many-years stint with the Harbor Police. My mom said he’d come home sick to his stomach many nights. The crabs all feeding on the bodies as they pulled them up, most times flesh slipping off the bones right in his hands. Somehow, he enjoyed the work enough to stay on for quite a while.)

    Dennis, Yes, we’re both back!

    In 2008, when Rigby and I made our way over to you, I got really bad jet lag when I got back home. Only time I’ve had it. I mis-timed everything. Since then, I’ve never had a problem. But the week before last, ugh. Could get no sleep at all.

    Happy almost-Halloween to you.

    I still tell people about that haunted house in NYC. That was fun…and was the last one I’ve done. Sad, no?

    I’ll try to make it to another before I die.

    You might remember that I was supposed to go to NYC this past weekend. When the Chelsea bombing thing happened, the people we were going with bailed. No biggie. I’m still going in December with the kids…and my mom might pop along with us. She’s never been. I think she’ll enjoy it.

    Oh…and welcome back, fine sir. 😀

  20. ya’ll did such an amazing job with the book design, it looks incredible. i got a copy a minute ago. i loved Mira Corpora, & all the excerpts & interviews i’ve been reading about the new book have bumped it to the top of my to-read pile. really excited to dig into this when it arrives. congrats to Jeff & Michael for the cool ass book !!

    @Dennis:

    thanks for answering my question about horror movies — that totally makes sense to me, & fits with what i know of your personality. do u feel the same way about sad movies? do sad movies make u cry very often?

    i saw the Doctor Strange preview & it looks really cool !! the special effects are amazing, very trippy & kaledoscopic — & some of the scenes looked a lot like the comics — Steve Ditko was the main artist who did Doctor Strange in the 60s & some of the ‘doctor strange is tripping balls’ scenes resembled his artwork. Ditko is thought of as an important comic book artist b/c he fucked around a lot with the traditional rectangular panel format, dissolving them in weird ways & bringing in influences like MC Escher & Miro & the surrealists. anyway i’m really excited for the movie. plus Tilda Swinton was really good in the scenes that i saw.

    i thought Malcolm McDowell was good in the new Rob Zombie, but he’s only in the movie for maybe 10 minutes. it’s still a fun movie to watch though, there are some cool, memorable moments. i’m not sure if Zombie is ever gonna top House of 1000 Corpses though.

    good luck with the Xiu Xiu editing !! i feel like you have such an incredible talent & eye for editing, i’m sure it’s gonna turn out A+++

    thanks again for the all the support & encouragement about my writing, as always 🙂

    peaceeeee

  21. The book sounds great, but I wish it was more widely available. Has Kiddiepunk thought about selling it to McNally Jackson? I’d think having it on sale at Manhattan’s sole remaining cool new bookstore would benefit the press.

    • Agreed. I’d like to buy it in person. I used to dislike McNally Jackson ( I guess, I didn’t like some alpha male kinds of staff there) but I love it now. (When I’m in Manhattan, I don’t go anywhere else.) Their selection is very good. And I always see great books from small publishers. (Honestly, it’s better than most of public libraries.) For books, it’s great to meet new unexpected readers. (They used to have Kitchell’s books as well. )

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