Tag Archives: 3quarksdaily

Dennis Cooper’s Haunted HTML Novel

Screen_Shot_2015-01-16_at_8.49.26_AM.0.0Paige K. Bradley at Bookforum:

Dennis Cooper’s latest book, Zac’s Haunted House, was released online in mid-January by the Paris-based small press and label Kiddiepunk. Dubbed an “html novel” and offered as a free download, it consists of seven html files, each of which expands into a long, vertical scroll of animated gifs. You could call Zac’s Haunted House many things: net art, a glorified Tumblr, a visual novel, a mood board, or a dark night of the Internet’s soul. It has just a few words—the chapter titles and a few subtitles embedded in some of the gifs—but it still very clearly belongs to Cooper’s own haunted oeuvre, capable of evoking powerful and gnarled emotions. Although it is something of an about-face from his last novel, The Marbled Swarm—with that book’s intentionally contrived, digressive language—Zac’s Haunted House still displays Cooper’s obsessive attention to form and style. It also features his by now nearly classical imagery and interests: The vulnerable young male body juxtaposed with death and failure; charged use of subcultural vernacular; and confused bodies, to say nothing of identities, fumbling through sex and subterfuge. Cooper has always written characters whose ineloquence hints at experiences that defy language; now, telling a story almost exclusively in images, he pushes this inarticulateness in a new direction. The result is surprisingly eloquent, and accurately speaks to our experience of the present, online and IRL.

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The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914

PI_GOLBE_BURNING_SR_002Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set:

The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914 is a document of one man’s attempt to repaint his broken landscape. It is remarkable how quickly his world was lost. In hindsight, we think of the First World War as a four-year affair. We forget, though, that Austria-Hungary lost half of its men within the first two weeks of the war — 400,000 men, including 100,000 who were taken prisoner by the Russians. At the war’s start, the grand Austro-Hungarian soldier, with his long ridiculous sword, was often killed or maimed within days of reaching the battlefield. The injured and insane were sent home to wander their cities like ghosts, to parade before the horrified eyes of their neighbors. And the war kept going on.

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Revolutionary Russia

Kustodiev_The_BolshevikOrlando Figes at Lapham’s Quarterly:

In all revolutions there comes a moment when the high ideals of the revolutionaries crash onto the hard rocks of reality. In Russia that moment came in March 1921, when the Bolsheviks retreated from their first attempt to introduce a planned economy—by which they had thought to impose communism by decree—and let back elements of private trade to rescue their regime from popular rebellions.

Chronic shortages had built up over seven years of war, revolution, and the Civil War, especially in the austere years of the latter, between 1918 and 1920, when the Red Army had fought against the Whites, and leather-jacketed commissars had waged another war on the market.

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