I first came across Tony Fitzpatrick's wonderful collage art when this post came up in google alert for Roberto Bolaño. Explaining his "Bird for the Daughters of Juarez" (below), he writes:
The underlying thematic device, for me, seems to be the world’s rapid untethering from any idea of sanity. The murdered women part of '2666' is where we hear Bolaño at his most ferocious. The murder of innocents is still a thing of incomprehensible sadness; well-worthy of moral outrage even in an insane world.
I’ve heard people describe this book as “apocolyptic” or “millennial,” whatever the fuck that means. I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure about anything with '2666' – even as to whether it was completed or not. Oddly enough though, I was convinced I’d read a great book – in fact, a great few books.
After looking through his blog and at many more beautiful Juarez-inspired pieces (here, here, and here, for example), I got in touch with him and offered to send him some of our Bolaño novels. When he got the package, he called to thank me and we ended up talking for an hour — about everything from Charles Bowden to boxing. Needless to say, I'm a fan.
And then yesterday he posted this image:
New Directions' kindred spirit that he seems to be, Fitzpatrick has had a long and loving relationship with the city of New Orleans, and specifically with Tennessee Williams. In the accompanying text, he writes:
The one who interests me the most in this most American of plays is Stella. Stella Kowalski knows her mentally-challenged, Pop-Tart of a sister and her brutal, sexually rapacious husband are headed toward one another like two locomotives, and it has always seemed to me that she practically curtsies to get out of the way as this happens; knowing that both will exact their temporary satisfaction, as well as their own damning punishments from this act.
After Stanley rapes Blanche, he is finished as a man. Even he knows it. Blanche is taken away to an institution and grateful for “the kindness of strangers” and Williams hints that they get not only what they deserve, but perhaps, darkly, what they actually want.
June 2013 News from New Directions
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ND editor Michael Barron interviewed Elaine Lustig for Bomb's blog. Read it here.
May 2013 News from New Directions
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Rebecca Ariel Porte, in a beautiful essay written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, dicusses Susan Howe's Sorting Facts: Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker, addressing Chris Marker's films, as well. Definitely worth a read — here.
Writing for Bookslut, Christopher Merkel reviews the 65th anniversary edition of the classic modernist text. Read it here.