Jul/Aug 2019

e c l e c t i c a   r e v i e w s  & 
i n t e r v i e w s

Reviews & Interviews

(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Ann Skea reviews...

Mac's Problem
by Enrique Vila-Matas

Mac's concerns—the obsessions and problems he explores in his diary—are repetition ("We come into this world in order to repeat what those before us also repeated") and the incomplete—mostly books and art works but actions, too. His vocation, he writes at one point, is "as a modifier of things." But he is also interested in the origins of story and the art of novel writing, and at times his ramblings explore these things, and his diary is his practical exploration of them.

PD Mallamo reviews...

The Current
by Tim Johnston

Tim Johnston draws his mythical simple/strange Iowa with a kind of long-view immediacy, understanding in a way most writers do not that in fiction, as life, the most interesting, if not common, resolutions are the almost invisible and all-but-unknown ones. In the naively confident positivism of our 21st Century we think we know better than to disbelieve an ultimately unbelievable scientific legend of simple arithmetic progression from self-replicating molecule to miraculous sentience—but Johnston seems to disagree, and he does so quietly with great confidence in this intricate tale of two murders connected across years by unseen bonds.

Gilbert Wesley Purdy reviews...

Everything that Rises
by Joseph Stroud

The volume Everything that Rises begins with a section of six line epigrams. This has become a form with Stroud. A discipline that forces him to be incisive where he would naturally be discursive or narrative (his habitual mode). On rare occasion he also requires himself to write informal groups of epigrammatic stanzas vaguely reminiscent of the Tang poets.

by John Balaban

Balaban's volumes tend to appear every eight years or so. This volume waited thirteen. They are slim. They do not romanticize their topics. They are veristic—when the occasion calls for it, even clinical.

and discusses...

Time Constraints, Landlords, and Other Challenges

Unfortunately, the rep had failed to do one of the actions we agreed he would do. I requested another chat. After once again entering to preliminary information required before a chat, and clicking the "Chat" link, Norton redirected me to an FAQ page. It would not send me to the chat page. Several attempts made it clear I would not be permitted to chat with Norton reps any more for the time being. I simply would not be permitted under any circumstances to access the chat feature.