Book Reviews

Enrique Vila-Matas’s “The Illogic of Kassel”

Kassel is a work of chaos. On the surface, this is narrative by association, the aestheticization of the experience of confronting contemporary art, which inevitably includes the turning over of one’s ideas of what is and what isn’t art.


Urs Allemann’s “The Old Man and the Bench”

In following its own strict logic, Allemann’s fine-tuned absurdism evokes Beckett, who would feel equally at home in the old man's house, with its “bottle room” and “paper bag room,” and on his bench.


Yuri Herrera’s “Signs Preceding the End of the World”

It’s a novel of thresholds and permeable borders, but it begins with holes: a sinkhole that forms as the protagonist, Makina, is watching, in a town “riddled with bullet holes and tunnels bored by five centuries of voracious silver lust.” This is an opening scene which fuses the upheavals of nature with human violence and greed, underlining the instability that runs throughout.


June 2015

Connections, Missed and Made: The Queer Issue

These are stirring notes as we launch our sixth annual Queer issue.


Pansies

I’d never found the plant or flower that could serve as punctuation.


A Faun’s Afternoon

The hand of the pocket watch winds on with a sound like mocking laughter.


From “The Year of Pearls”

The label reads: RENATA. IN THE EVENT OF MY DEATH DESTROY WITHOUT READING.


Fakes

How could anyone accuse Mr. Pawlikowski of something so awful?


From “The Memory of a Secret”

What do we know about our parents?


Read More of this Issue