the plastic animals in my plant are gifts from Barbara Browning (deer) and Jon-Jon Goulian (pig). They seem happy there. The deer is a reference to the deer Fang leaves in the plants when she house-sits in I’m Trying To Reach You. I forget what the pig is about but it seems to be a helpful talisman of luck.
tx to my favorite shop Article& for taking these great photos and doing this cool interview about Emily Books!

the plastic animals in my plant are gifts from Barbara Browning (deer) and Jon-Jon Goulian (pig). They seem happy there. The deer is a reference to the deer Fang leaves in the plants when she house-sits in I’m Trying To Reach You. I forget what the pig is about but it seems to be a helpful talisman of luck.

tx to my favorite shop Article& for taking these great photos and doing this cool interview about Emily Books!

emilybooks
emilybooks:

If you’re in NYC on May 13, come celebrate Sarah Schulman’s novel Empathy, our April book club pick, with the author and Barbara Browning, who’s also the author of two Emily Books picks.  We’re also thrilled to be cohosting the event with literary event crowdfunding resource Togather, which is buying everyone’s first drink (Thanks, Togather!) By posing a big, unanswerable question we hope to spark a conversation that will leave everyone with more questions. We’re also excited to host a conversation between two novelists who, in very different ways, dazzle and tantalize readers and provoke lingering thoughts about identity.We hope to see you there, and if you can’t make it, we’ll catch you up afterwards right here! 

Mark your calendars!

emilybooks:

If you’re in NYC on May 13, come celebrate Sarah Schulman’s novel Empathy, our April book club pick, with the author and Barbara Browning, who’s also the author of two Emily Books picks.  We’re also thrilled to be cohosting the event with literary event crowdfunding resource Togather, which is buying everyone’s first drink (Thanks, Togather!) 

By posing a big, unanswerable question we hope to spark a conversation that will leave everyone with more questions. We’re also excited to host a conversation between two novelists who, in very different ways, dazzle and tantalize readers and provoke lingering thoughts about identity.

We hope to see you there, and if you can’t make it, we’ll catch you up afterwards right here! 

Mark your calendars!

emilybooks
I wanted the characters to be willing to casually say “fuck” and “omg” on the page of a book not to get a rise but because this is how we really speak. I wanted to read about academics doing something else (having affairs, writing dirty emails, browsing YouTube) to avoid doing the work they’re supposed to be doing. Like so many of us do. Like you might be doing now.
Last night I went to see Barbara Browning, Kate Zambreno and Matthias Viegener read and converse at McNally Jackson.  Barbara read the part from I’m Trying To Reach You where the narrator describes John Cage and Merce Cunningham’s relationship and Cage’s death, and also Merce Cunningham’s relationship with one of his longtime dancers and his compassion towards her when it was time for her to stop dancing. The passage ends with the words “People often know when they don’t say enough.”  Barbara cried a little bit and it was very moving. 
After everyone read they had a conversation that began with a suggestion that they start out by talking about “form and formlessness” in their work.  Uh oh.  But the conversation, though super duper formless, wasn’t boring. I did have just one moment of writhing in my seat, though, and this was when they talked briefly about “bloggy writing.”  This started to be an interesting conversation but was curtailed somehow.  The panelists talked about the affectations of bloggy writing they find irritating: faux-chattiness, “Hey guys,” phony intimacy.  Barbara and Kate said they liked “bloggish” writing but Kate said she hated the words bloggy, blog. All the panelists praised the merits of compression, which Matthias funnily misheard at one point as “confession.” (I’m sorry if I’m misstating any of this or compressing it too much, btw, but I have ten minutes to write this before I leave for work.)
ISN’T BLOGGING A FORM OF PERFORMANCE? I wanted to shout, but it wasn’t Q&A time yet. CAN BLOGGING BE A FORM OF DURATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART? ISN’T ONE OF THE WEIRDEST AND COOLEST THINGS ABOUT BEING ALIVE RIGHT NOW HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING WORDS AND IMAGES TO PERFORM AN IDENTITY ONLINE?  ISN’T THERE A REAL INTIMACY TRAPPED IN FAKE INTIMACY THAT IS SOMETIMES MORE INTERESTING THAN OVERT INTIMACY? 
But even I know that it is rude to ask yes/no questions/non-questions during a q&a so I didn’t do this.  I’d like this panel to reconvene and discuss only my pet themes, please. 

Last night I went to see Barbara Browning, Kate Zambreno and Matthias Viegener read and converse at McNally Jackson.  Barbara read the part from I’m Trying To Reach You where the narrator describes John Cage and Merce Cunningham’s relationship and Cage’s death, and also Merce Cunningham’s relationship with one of his longtime dancers and his compassion towards her when it was time for her to stop dancing. The passage ends with the words “People often know when they don’t say enough.”  Barbara cried a little bit and it was very moving. 

After everyone read they had a conversation that began with a suggestion that they start out by talking about “form and formlessness” in their work.  Uh oh.  But the conversation, though super duper formless, wasn’t boring. I did have just one moment of writhing in my seat, though, and this was when they talked briefly about “bloggy writing.”  This started to be an interesting conversation but was curtailed somehow.  The panelists talked about the affectations of bloggy writing they find irritating: faux-chattiness, “Hey guys,” phony intimacy.  Barbara and Kate said they liked “bloggish” writing but Kate said she hated the words bloggy, blog. All the panelists praised the merits of compression, which Matthias funnily misheard at one point as “confession.” (I’m sorry if I’m misstating any of this or compressing it too much, btw, but I have ten minutes to write this before I leave for work.)

ISN’T BLOGGING A FORM OF PERFORMANCE? I wanted to shout, but it wasn’t Q&A time yet. CAN BLOGGING BE A FORM OF DURATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART? ISN’T ONE OF THE WEIRDEST AND COOLEST THINGS ABOUT BEING ALIVE RIGHT NOW HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING WORDS AND IMAGES TO PERFORM AN IDENTITY ONLINE?  ISN’T THERE A REAL INTIMACY TRAPPED IN FAKE INTIMACY THAT IS SOMETIMES MORE INTERESTING THAN OVERT INTIMACY? 

But even I know that it is rude to ask yes/no questions/non-questions during a q&a so I didn’t do this.  I’d like this panel to reconvene and discuss only my pet themes, please. 

emilybooks
emilybooks:

A scene from The Correspondence Artist that I particularly appreciated because it is very funny, and because it reminded me of the scene in Terry Castle’s memoir where she is miserable at a dinner party where everyone is extremely famous, and because I have a feeling — an unconfirmed feeling — that everyone who lives in New York long enough eventually finds himself in some analogous situation.  Of course, because of the nature of The Correspondence Artist, this itself is an analogue of a similar situation that Browning found herself in with her real-life paramour.  (Probably.)  
The Correspondence Artist is our January pick, incidentally! 

"Binh and Matthew Barney exchanged some kind of special, complicated handshake."

emilybooks:

A scene from The Correspondence Artist that I particularly appreciated because it is very funny, and because it reminded me of the scene in Terry Castle’s memoir where she is miserable at a dinner party where everyone is extremely famous, and because I have a feeling — an unconfirmed feeling — that everyone who lives in New York long enough eventually finds himself in some analogous situation.  Of course, because of the nature of The Correspondence Artist, this itself is an analogue of a similar situation that Browning found herself in with her real-life paramour.  (Probably.)  

The Correspondence Artist is our January pick, incidentally! 

"Binh and Matthew Barney exchanged some kind of special, complicated handshake."

emilybooks
I was really energized and wowed by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry’s curation of their ebook venture Emily Books– my favorite types of novels, the ones that cannot be categorized, a curious blend of fiction and nonfiction — like the bonkers and amazing Making Scenes by the pseudonymous Adrienne Eisen; also I’m Trying to Reach You, Barbara Browning’s multimedia noirish conspiracy set in the world of performance theory published by the always amazing Two Dollar Radio; and Tamara Faith Berger’s brilliant and philosophical erotic novel, Maidenhead, put out by Toronto’s Coach House. Emily Books also featured my good friend Suzanne Scanlon’s Promising Young Women, published by Danielle Dutton’s exciting Dorothy Project, a series of fragmented, poetic portraits of girls in a psych ward, pieces marked by Suzanne’s really gorgeous, wry, erudite voice.
Kate Zambreno’s Year in Reading featured Making Scenes, I’m Trying To Reach You, Maidenhead and Promising Young Women, plus many other books that should and maybe will be Emily Books someday. Thank you, Kate!   (via emilybooks)
emilybooks
The Internet works like the subconscious - I’m sure somebody’s said that already, it’s so obvious, I just can’t think who it would have been. The point is, this is how dreamwork works: you wake up and think, “Why the hell did I dream that my 2nd grade teacher was masturbating my dental hygienist?” If you were in analysis, you’d probably be able to figure it out if you really wanted to, just like you could probably eventually figure out why YouTube thinks some SpongeBob SquarePants video is related to Natalya Makarova dancing the dying swan. I do like to understand some of the connections, and for others to remain mysterious. This is how I feel about my subconscious as well. And I never really find it a waste of time. If you think about it, you always find something out. Gray seems to be wasting a lot of time, but in his quiet way, he’s figuring out how to deal with the fact that the people we love die. I really don’t think that’s a waste of time. Also, for the record, I really don’t think looking at art (MJ, Pina, Merce) over and over and over, trying to understand what it’s trying to tell you, is a waste of time. I think it may be the most meaningful thing we do. I tell my graduate students this all the time. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad about this.

Emily Books: “The Internet works like the subconscious”: An interview with Barbara Browning 

looking at art over and over = don’t let anybody make you feel bad

watching a cat video over and over = well, it depends