Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘cess’

Paris Review interviews GORDON LISH

Monday, December 7th, 2015

In the latest issue of The Paris Review, Christian Lorentzen interviews Gordon Lish:

Christian Lorentzen: You were talking about your inability to apprehend the word when you walked down the street or to put your experience into words. What is the difference between that and sitting down with the text as an editor?

Gordon Lish: Entirely separate actions of the mind, of the heart. Words seem to me safe sites for me to inhabit. I think I’ve always been afraid of everything actual, and less afraid – or not afraid at all, finally – of what can constitute the made, and the made apart from the given. I’m afraid of my children. I’m afraid of my wives. I’m afraid of my friends, of my father, of you. I find succour in my playthings, the components of a composition I’m conniving with.

For those without a subscription, enjoy an extract from the interview on The Guardian.

“A mystery novel in disguise” CESS reviewed in Electric Literature

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Leave it to Lish then, to construct a narrative that is almost exclusively filler, to bury any conventional meaning in the filler itself, and to make it all work. Sometimes the point of wading through the cesspool is the unknowingness, the fear buried in the back of one’s mind that language might not be doing what it’s supposed to be doing. That is, after all, where it all begins to come together.

To read the rest of the review, visit Electric Literature.

“The Lishiest Lish” Biblioklept reviews CESS

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

And then, of course, there are all sorts of digressions that digress, maybe, around language’s gaps, its failures to mean with the absolute authority we might wish it to possess. Which is what Cess is about. And is. But like I was saying, there’s a lot in that second note—a riff on the Lish-narrator (Gordon!) going on a date with Marlon Brando’s mistress, for example. Lots of fun funny stuff, and as always, it’s the voice, the force of the language that compels us to read Lish.

To read the rest of the review, visit Biblioklept.

CESS: A SPOKENING has a power and pointed veracity as a language game and fiction of distinction.” Tears in the Fence reviews CESS

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

The sentences are rich in rhythms, asides and resonate with biographical detail creating a memorable persona. The reader tends to look back on the long list as a conceit, a way into the deeper layers of language, and wants more engagement with the nature and uses of language. This then becomes the point of the list an insistence on grappling with the use of words within lived experience and literature. The final note succinctly illustrates this with its combination of a probing, quizzical tone and continual search for the right word. The narrator drew lessons from his Aunt and her witty and joyous list. Who would not like to discover more about such words as fent, spall, fard, slub, doce, pelf, frit, sot, ort and orse?

Cess: A Spokening has a power and pointed veracity as a language game and fiction of distinction.

To read the rest of the review, visit Tears in the Fence.

“Stupendous” M Sarki reviews CESS

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Then, after I finished reading the book and faithfully reported to my wife that Gordo has gone and done it again, written another great work, I decided to revisit the list test of Aunt Adele’s. Seems there were a few words important enough to me to take another look. But not all than the more than thirty-five hundred of them that he persistently listed. I began to place into order what words I believed Gordon absolutely wanted me to know that I might prove to him my strict and undying adherence to his tyrannical orders, and to muster the required energy to prevail against my own ineptitude. My short list held the following: impudent, sepulchral, millenary, jocundity, saxifrage, spiracle, promiscuous, vignette, seditious, spall, nocturne, civility, rosette, shibboleth, axiomatic, egodicy, foolocracy, emiserate, palimpsest, inglorious, unction, possibles, nondurables, possibles (again), pizzlelicker, possibles (again), fettled, saxifrage (again), spiracle, factitious, possibles (again), swale, slaverous, soffit, jissam, cambered, riprap, doggery, bibulous, ponderables, recumbent, adamant, repulse, supersaturate, fugacious, facticity, locutive, penchant, adamic, plenum, and tell me please you finally get my drift.

To read the rest of the review, visit .

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