Photo

Eula Biss’s On Immunity: An Inoculation is at once a work of deep research and intense personal experience. It’s difficult to bring a work of research to life. History is the narrative, not something that simply exists waiting to be mined. It is assembled through language, people, and events. Each choice made in this assemblage informs the narrative as a whole, re-creating the past and presenting it in a form that is made, not from an objective recounting of events but from human hands.

Read my review of On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss

Eula Biss’s On Immunity: An Inoculation is at once a work of deep research and intense personal experience. It’s difficult to bring a work of research to life. History is the narrative, not something that simply exists waiting to be mined. It is assembled through language, people, and events. Each choice made in this assemblage informs the narrative as a whole, re-creating the past and presenting it in a form that is made, not from an objective recounting of events but from human hands.

Read my review of On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss

Photo

October means waking up on a Saturday morning drinking a cup of coffee in bed with a good book. It means being so engrossed in the book you’re reading that you’re surprised when a leaf crunches under your foot. It’s the peak of fall and you need a book to pair perfectly with the weather. Here are some good choices.

Here are some cool books to read in October. 

October means waking up on a Saturday morning drinking a cup of coffee in bed with a good book. It means being so engrossed in the book you’re reading that you’re surprised when a leaf crunches under your foot. It’s the peak of fall and you need a book to pair perfectly with the weather. Here are some good choices.

Here are some cool books to read in October. 

Link

lookedlikelaughing:

you were the knuckles of gold mexico
direct descendant of Ole and horses
building a pyramid inside of your chest
trading our heritage for confederacy
leaving our amber blood on the stones
sinking into the volcanic soil of Izapa
our aztec progenitors all sucked into
memory.

then there was me with…

Video

I have a limited amount of time to make sure that everyone knows about this song exists. 

Photo
R.L. Stine signs a fan-made clay replica of one of his Goosebumps monsters in Green-Wood Cemetery. #BKBF14

R.L. Stine signs a fan-made clay replica of one of his Goosebumps monsters in Green-Wood Cemetery. #BKBF14

Tags: bkbf14
Photo

I feel like a lot of people, for a while now, have talked about how Twitter is a place where you actually talk to the people you want to talk to as opposed to the weird social obligation you have to your friends on Facebook. But in this collection, the way you handle people and the way they interact through social media feels like some of the most natural seeming writing, not clunky in the way a lot of writing that incorporates social media can feel. Do you find it difficult to get that just right?
JT: The one thing you don’t want to do is fetishize the technology. Nothing ages faster or more poorly than one’s sense of what constitutes the cutting edge. You try to learn enough about it to describe it with competence, then write it the way it feels to the character using it. It’s an essentially naturalist approach. And if you’re writing about contemporary characters, young or old, it’s probably more difficult to exclude social media and digital interactions than it is to include them.
In “Flings” a character named Ellen anticipates someone proposing to her and imagines the photo she’s going to post to her Facebook page of the ring on her finger. It’s a perfectly normal daydream for her to have and so you write it that way. Then’s there a character like Carol, the older woman in “Carol, Alone,” who’s checking her email, but is using a desktop computer her son set up for her. There’s two or three things she knows how to do on it and she feels good about them, but beyond that she’s simply not going to get involved.

Read my interview with Justin Taylor about his new short story collection, Flings: Religion, Writing, And The Gospel According To Jam Bands

I feel like a lot of people, for a while now, have talked about how Twitter is a place where you actually talk to the people you want to talk to as opposed to the weird social obligation you have to your friends on Facebook. But in this collection, the way you handle people and the way they interact through social media feels like some of the most natural seeming writing, not clunky in the way a lot of writing that incorporates social media can feel. Do you find it difficult to get that just right?

JT: The one thing you don’t want to do is fetishize the technology. Nothing ages faster or more poorly than one’s sense of what constitutes the cutting edge. You try to learn enough about it to describe it with competence, then write it the way it feels to the character using it. It’s an essentially naturalist approach. And if you’re writing about contemporary characters, young or old, it’s probably more difficult to exclude social media and digital interactions than it is to include them.

In “Flings” a character named Ellen anticipates someone proposing to her and imagines the photo she’s going to post to her Facebook page of the ring on her finger. It’s a perfectly normal daydream for her to have and so you write it that way. Then’s there a character like Carol, the older woman in “Carol, Alone,” who’s checking her email, but is using a desktop computer her son set up for her. There’s two or three things she knows how to do on it and she feels good about them, but beyond that she’s simply not going to get involved.

Read my interview with Justin Taylor about his new short story collection, Flings: Religion, Writing, And The Gospel According To Jam Bands

Text

Anonymous said: Thoughts on pitchfork review?

foxesinfiction:

It really hurt to read if I can be totally honest. it came at the end of what was the worst date on our tour where some of the craziest things happened; finding out a family member had been in a head-on car collision, someone in our van having a mental breakdown, the show in Austin getting cancelled due to weather, Owen Pallett’s drummer throwing out his back and having to sit the show out. Some of these things are far worse than others and I feel like a piece of shit for talking about in the same breath as music criticism but reading it after all those things came up yesterday made it feel a lot more devastating that it should have.

I don’t know, I am fairly unguarded with a lot of things like this and it really bummed me out to see him talk about something I put my whole self into for three years in such a disparaging way that invoked things like disparate levels of class, especially when my friends like Owen and the Orchid Tapes families are negatively implicated in a lot of what’s said there.

Ultimately I will try and pay it no mind, because I don’t expect a straight-white-dude critic at Pitchfork who is, above all else, notorious for being a mean-spirited writer to understand what I’m trying to do with my music, especially when I know so many other people do. I will try and turn it into an exercise of considering, but ultimately emotionally distancing myself from the effects of both criticism and praise alike. I feel like it is an all-or-nothing game with this sort of thing, and I think as both a label-operator and as someone who makes music, this is important.

I’m starting to think that Orchid Tapes / Foxes in Fiction isn’t something that I should continue trying to fit into an arena like Pitchfork. We’ve been having a lot of conversations on this tour about music writing and about what is considered objectively good in the minds of writers at places like Pitchfork, and I’m starting to see how that criteria sometimes disfavors people who are outsiders, or queers, or women or who are mentally ill; things we have tried to be inclusive about with Orchid Tapes forever. We’ve done so well because of smaller press and our amazing supporters, and I feel like maybe I tried to take too many steps forward with Ontario Gothic because I believe in it so much and am so in love with all my friend’s work on it. I’ve been thinking about this sort of stuff and how it implicates our release for a while, and I think it may be the time to do some thinking / decision-making and take a step back for the sake of maintaining what is important about the label.

The review opens with “At no point during Ontario Gothic does it sound like an album that would be subject to outside expectations, let alone hype.” and closes with “That speaks to the appeal of Orchid Tapes in the first place, a collective that stands to snag the interest of anyone invested in the concepts of “punk”, “indie”, “scene”, and “DIY””. Both of these statements miss the aim and intention of Foxes in Fiction & Orchid Tapes so grandly that the rest of the review kind of loses power on me. I’m not making or releasing music with the label I founded to satisfy expectations or play into ideas of hype, I am doing it for people who are mentally ill, who are queer, who are who are young and living in an awful small town and need a connection with music, for disenfranchised and marginalized people who have been in similar situations to me where music was able to help me though it and ultimately inspire me to start something like Foxes in Fiction or Orchid Tapes. If one person at an institution-as-website doesn’t get that, that’s fine.

Important. 

Photoset

eddieclaiborne:

OCT045: FOXES IN FICTION - ONTARIO GOTHIC

"Ontario Gothic is an album comprised of seven songs dealing with individual instances of loss, grief and the process of healing over the five years following my younger brother’s death in 2008 and how I navigated life in the wake of that tragedy. It was recorded in Toronto and New York between fall 2011 and spring 2014."

Stream the full album now via Pitchfork Advance

Pre-order the 12” via Orchid Tapes

So good.

(via foxesinfiction)

Photo

It may be impossible to find a review of John Darnielle’s first novel, Wolf in White Van, that doesn’t explicitly bring up the Mountain Goats, the name of the songwriting project under whose name Darnielle has been releasing music for more than two decades. Though he has published before (a story formed around a Black Sabbath album released by 33 1/3), it’s only fair that it’s mentioned. The Mountain Goats is fairly popular and has a deeply devoted fan base populated by those who could probably go on and on about which songs resonate with them the most. But I’m afraid that this association will only result in one question: What drove Darnielle to write a novel, after years of almost exclusively making music? I hope Darnielle isn’t presented with this question too often, because it’s entirely beside the point.

I reviewed Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle (who’s also now on the NBA long list) for Everyday eBooks. 

It may be impossible to find a review of John Darnielle’s first novel, Wolf in White Van, that doesn’t explicitly bring up the Mountain Goats, the name of the songwriting project under whose name Darnielle has been releasing music for more than two decades. Though he has published before (a story formed around a Black Sabbath album released by 33 1/3), it’s only fair that it’s mentioned. The Mountain Goats is fairly popular and has a deeply devoted fan base populated by those who could probably go on and on about which songs resonate with them the most. But I’m afraid that this association will only result in one question: What drove Darnielle to write a novel, after years of almost exclusively making music? I hope Darnielle isn’t presented with this question too often, because it’s entirely beside the point.

I reviewed Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle (who’s also now on the NBA long list) for Everyday eBooks. 

Photo
There’s some really good books coming out this September and I wrote about some of them.

There’s some really good books coming out this September and I wrote about some of them.