I have reviewed two recent publications by James Davies for Stride magazine. Published by Ma Bibliothèque in their Good Reader series, The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton, performs a series of ten variations on the opening page of Philip K. Dick’s 1965 novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. The sequence Forty-Four Poems and a Volta, published by Red Ceilings Press, is composed of forty-five short texts, each centered on its page, each of two parts, the second of which is in parentheses.
Both of Davies’ sequences work at the business of language, at its use in naming or making distinctions, separating same from different, the operation of the word as label, the functioning of a textual instance as example or test. Here Wittgenstein’s language games, language as function and operation, meet scanning errors and search results, language as sortable or reordered matter. Two books to read both for the (fragmentary) narratives they tell, and for the (novel) ways they deploy the stuff of writing.
On Wednesday September 11th, in the Clore Studio of South London Gallery, a number of contributors will present an evening of readings celebrating the launch of The Graveside Orations of Carl Einstein. Published by Ma Bibliothèque, the book collates contributions by artists, poets, critics, and philosophers speculating on a speech given by political radical Carl Einstein at a memorial for Rosa Luxemburg in 1919. Readers on the evening will include: Pil Galia Kollectiv, Rebekah Georgiou-Tolley, Dale Holmes, Sarah Wood, Alison J.Carr, Sharon Kivland, Mark Leahy and others. Places can be reserved via this LINK.
My contribution ‘What did he do with his pipe?’ is included in The Graveside Orations of Karl Einstein, a new publication from Ma Bibliotheque, edited by Dale Holmes and Sharon Kivland.
At the memorial for Rosa Luxemburg on 13 June 1919, the political radical, art historian, critic, and writer Carl Einstein gave an oration. There is no record of what Einstein said, how he said it, or what it addressed. This collection assembles a broad range of texts from artists, film-makers, writers, poets, critics, philosophers, and art historians. Each contribution is a speculation on what Einstein might have delivered, each as likely and as unlikely to be Einstein’s as any other.
In my piece I present a fictional or imagined synthesis of accounts made by government or right wing spies who attempt, but fail, to record Einstein’s speech. Their observations and annotations generate a faulty record of the gestures of the speaker.