07 January 2012
Favorite Things 2011: Jared Schickling
Hmmmm… a list of my favorite paper things read this past year (what is or was or will prove to have been or be 2011). I’ve never made such a list so maybe I went a little overboard, and looking at the small stack here, I’m wondering if any were published this year. The criteria I made for inclusion was simple: the enjoyment I received from the work, that it was actually read during or after January 2011 (this ruled out many great works I would otherwise have included), and perceived forms of contemporary relevance. I’ve included some notes here and there. Most of these were new to me, but some keep re-occurring; most were read during the first six months of the year, go figure.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert (Simon & Schuster, 1989)—an almost mystical consideration of sound and noise in the form of a melodic introduction to linguistics for pre-linguistic learners (i.e. a kid’s book).
Bacacay, stories by Witold Gombrowicz, trans. Bill Johnston (Archipelago Books, 2004)
Ideas in Context, ed. Joseph Satin (The Riverside Press, 1958)
Paths to the Present: Aspects of European Thought from Romanticism to Existentialism, “Readings chosen, discussed, and edited by EUGEN WEBER” (Dodd, Mead & Co., Inc., 1960)
British Poetry and Prose vol. 1: From Beowulf to Blake, ed. Paul Robert Lieder, Robert Morss Lovett, Robert Kilburn Root (The Riverside Press, 1950)
A Children’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Alexander Dobkin (The World Publishing Company, 1946)
[All four of these books were found on the bounteous free shelf at the town dump in Farmington, Maine, next to an unused pair of aluminum crutches.]
The Life of the Mind by Hannah Arendt (Harcourt, 1978)
Flux, Clot & Froth by John Bloomberg-Rissman (Meritage Press, 2010)
So It Seams by Chuck Richardson (BlazeVOX [books], 2010).
The 60’s and 70’s from “The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick” by Deborah Meadows (Tinfish Press, 2003)—I’m a sucker for great works on Melville.
Shaved Code by Frances Richard (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008)
“A” by Louis Zukofsky (U of California Press, 1978)
Fragments of a Forgotten Genesis by Abdellatif Laâbi, trans. Nancy Hadfield and Gordon Hadfield (Leafe Press, 2009)
Field Work: Notes, Songs, Poems 1997-2010 by David Hadbawnik (BlazeVOX [books], 2011)
Poems of Akhmatova by Anna Akhmatova, trans. Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward (Mariner Books, 1973)—I’m not sure how close Kunitz and Hayward’s English is to the Russian but based on their translator’s note and the alternatives available online I can safely say I prefer reading them this way.
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, illustrated by Quentin Blake with photographs by Jan Baldwin (Scholastic, 1995)
Paper Waste Shooting by Luc Fierens (“le Sud du Nord Editions,” Belgium, 2007)—tremendous book art.
A, a, a, a, a by Sara Larsen (Berkeley Neo-Baroque, 2011)
The Unparalleled Adventure of Hans Phaall and “Pure Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe (Sea Urchin Editions, 2001)
Heroisms by Dan Beachy-Quick (Poor Claudia, 2011)
Tropisms by Nathalie Sarraute, trans. Maria Jolas (George Braziller, Inc, 1963)
The History of Violets by Marosa di Giorgio, trans. Jeannine Marie Pitas (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010)
RENEGADE by Andrew Topel (unarmed chapbook, 2010?)
Two Books by C. J. Martin (Compline, 2011)
John M. Bennett’s poems and ephemera (Luna Bisonte Prods, ongoing)
Following Ghosts Upriver by Marc Pietrzykowski (Main Street Rag, 2011)—a perfect blend of vividly anarchic avant sensibilities with formalist concerns and procedures. In short, brilliant poetry and thinking.
Maribor by Demosthenes Agrafiotis, trans. John Sakkis and Angelos Sakkis (The Post-Apollo Press, 2009)
Rainbows Are Made “by” Carl Sandburg, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg (Harcourt BJ, 1982)—a compilation of Sandburg lines and passages, extracted and re-situated within the themed chapters of this book, geared towards the eyes and ears of children. Also found at the town dump in Maine.
The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb (Norton, 2009)—Crumb includes an introductory note on his translation, describing the process by which he has “to the best of [his] ability, faithfully reproduced every word of the original text, which [he] derived from several sources…” With his alternative read and his graphic depiction of the first book of the bible, “adult supervision [is] recommended for minors.”
A WRITER I WISH TO EXPLORE MORE CLOSELY IN THE COMING YEAR: