Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hallucination City

Here are some pieces I published this year.

Dana Spiotta interview.

Larissa Pham interview. (This was really fun and you should check out her book, Fantasian.)

Short story: "In Love with and Anarchist" (Thanks to Laurel Lathrop for commissioning this story--I've had it for a few years but never found a home for it.)

My friend Elisa Gabbert published this monster essay on disasters, Magnificent Desolation. She also has a book of poetry you should check out: http://www.blackocean.org/catalog1/lheure-bleue-or-the-judy-poems

Elisa mentions my twitter comment about the Twin Towers's sexiness at night but that doesn't really sum up what I think about the Twin Towers so here goes:

Were the Twin Towers objectively ugly or beautiful? Having seen them on fire while standing on Fifth Avenue, I bring too much context before and after to objectively decide: ugly or beautiful. When I said they were sexy at night I was probably side stepping objectivity, but I did think more about why I resisted calling them ugly. The Twin Towers did what every skyscraper does—light up at night—but I think what I meant was that in their unadorned state, they were chic in a way Manhattan used to be chic despite much of its ugliness. On June 13, 2001 I saw a performance of Glenn Branca’s 13th Symphony for 100 Electric Guitars (Hallucination City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuTGSVYS494) at the base of the Twin Towers. While you could imagine hearing jazz or classical music at the base of the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building, the imposing and ominous Twin Towers were the perfect backdrop for this buzzing, dissonant noise. Not quite beautiful, but compelling and sexy. Those are characteristics I’m more drawn to than beauty. You can attempt objectivity about beauty, and you can separate a thing from its context, but why? Would it have been more of a disaster if the Twin Towers were beautiful? Neither changes the fact that what was there is no longer there. 

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