Monday, May 11, 2009
My issue of Conjunctions: 52: Betwixt the Between: Impossible Realism arrived this afternoon. In the course of the two-page introduction written by Bradford Morrow and Brian Evenson, as well as on the magazine's website, each of the terms listed in my title were used. While I'll leave the semantic debates to others at the present (at least until I've read the current 347 page issue), I have to admit this issue has really piqued my interest ever since I've learned about it from Jeff VanderMeer several months ago.
Each of the labels assigned to this issue seem to indicate some sort of "gap," a space in which previously-accepted definitions of what constituted the "real" and the "unreal" do not operate. A place in which fluidity of meaning and perhaps of existence rule. A notion that depends as much upon how words and images are conceived and crafted as upon anything else.
At least that's what I suspect much of this issue will be about. It's being touted as a follow-up of sorts to the Peter Straub-edited Conjunctions: 39: The New Wave Fabulists, the Fall 2002 issue which despite its flaws seemed to emerge just when that "it" thing, the newly-emergent "New Weird" movement-moment-discontinuity-etc. began to appear on the radars of readers of all sorts of literary genres. I will reserve judgment on this issue until I have read it, but I have to say the lineup has me curious:
Stephen Wright, Brain Jelly
Elizabeth Hand, Hungerford Bridge
Ben Marcus, Secret Breathing Techniques
Stephen Marche, The Personasts: My Journeys Through Soft Evenings and Famous Secrets
J. W. McCormack, POIUYT!
Joyce Carol Oates, Uranus
China Miéville, From The City & the City
Jon Enfield, BiotekaKF
Julia Elliott, Feral
Jedediah Berry, Ourselves, Multiplied
Jonathan Carroll, The Stolen Church
Scott Geiger, A Design History of Icebergs and Their Applications
Karen Russell, Dowsing for Shadows
Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, La Tête (translated from the French by Edward Gauvin)
James Morrow, Bigfoot and the Bodhisattva
Theodore Enslin, The Spirit of a Lark
Edie Meidav, The Golden Rule, or, I Am Trying to Do the Right Thing
Stephen O’Connor, Disappearance And
Jeff VanderMeer, Predecessor
Shelley Jackson, Flat Daddy
Michael J. Lee, The Next Country
Rob Walsh, Dr. Eric
Micaela Morrissette, The Familiars
Patrick Crerand, A Man of Vision
Robert Kelly, The Logic of the World
I am curious to see what the results will be. For some reason, I am reminded of Bob Dylan and his use of the unreal in his most famous songs of the 1965-1966 period to make the real all that more hallucinatory. What about you? Any thoughts or expectations for this issue (which you can order in book form from Amazon and other outlets)?