The White Review No. 18 features interviews with the one-time US presidential candidate Eileen Myles, touching upon the responsibilities of the artist and the shifting preoccupations of New York’s avant-garde; Lee Ufan, a founder of the influential Japanese movement ‘Mono-ha’ who makes the case for a style of art privileging nature over artifice; and Argentine writer César Aira, the great experimenter who nonetheless laments that critics pay so little attention to the ‘simple pleasure of the story’.
We are particularly excited, in this issue, to present short stories by two startling new talents. Jen George and Sally Rooney’s stories further this magazine’s mission to present the best new writing, while a collection of haunting, witty micro-fictions by the Syrian writer Osama Alomar (translated with C.J. Collins) fulfill our commitment to formally experimental literature in translation.
The relationship between art and literature is another of this magazine’s key concerns, and Leslie Jamison’s essay in response to the emotionally charged films of Ellen Cantor marks a significant contribution to that productive discussion between disciplines. Moving in the other direction, Denise Kupferschmidt’s drawings on book paper consider the female form in the format, if not the language, of literature. In London, Rosanna Mclaughlin frames the art fair as microcosm of the commercial and institutional art world, while Yanyan Huang’s delicate paintings and assemblages respond to the place and time of their making.
We have long admired the witty, disjointed, occasionally absurdist poems of Sam Riviere, and so are particularly pleased to present a series of his new work. These are joined by five poems by the much admired Dorothea Lasky, who concludes an issue which has for its cover two paintings by Mooni Perry.
THE WHITE REVIEW No. 17 features interview with writer George Saunders and film-maker and photographer Stan Douglas; fiction by Kyle Coma-Thompson, Joanna Kavenna, Clemens Meyer, and 2016 short story prize winner Sophie Mackintosh; the final instalment of Caleb Klaces’ three-part poem (which we have published in serial form over the past two years) and Galina Rymbu’s poems in translation; art from Batia Suter and Benoît Maire; Alexander Christie-Miller’s history of a submerged island on the Danube, and Patrick Langley’s report back from Oberhausen Film Festival. Cover art is by Anthony Lepore.
The White Review no. 16 features interviews with Elizabeth Peyton, who discusses her emotionally charged still lifes and portraits, Cally Spooner on her performance art, and writer, artist and filmmaker Gary Indiana, who talks about how it is possible to transform personal experience into literature. Also in this issue: Orit Gat considers the tendency towards homogeneity in the way that art is presented on the internet, and Evan Harris discusses his experience of the failures of British education. Lawrence Abu Hamdan – an artist and ‘private ear’ – offers a verbatim transcription of an interview undertaken by a refugee in application for asylum. The applicant is asked to speak, without pause, for fifteen minutes, so that her accent can be used to identify her. The White Review continues to publish a plurality of voices in new literature, from Martin MacInnes’s systematic critique, to Chris Kraus and Alexandra Kleeman, who use fiction to explore how time changes our relationship to place, to other people and ourselves. In translation, Tristan Garcia delivers a story on pop music, plagiarism, and the fallacy of creative inspiration. Lastly, we bring you the lyrical experimentalism of Geoffrey G. O’Brien’s poetry, alongside Sophie Seita’s investigation into language.
The White Review No. 15 features new literature in translation – from the extraordinary French novelist Maylis de Kerangal, the great Hungarian László Krasznahorkai and the celebrated Korean poet Ko Un – and some of the most exciting voices to have emerged from Britain and Ireland over recent years in Caleb Klaces, Declan Ryan and Luke Brown.
We are excited to publish interviews with two longstanding heroes of the editors: Zadie Smith, arguably the most important British novelist and critic of her generation, and Rosalind E. Krauss, whose extraordinary body of work over the past forty years dispels the pernicious myth that art criticism must be inscrutable, obscurantist, or anything other than an intellectually and aesthetically exciting experience.
Our dedication to hybrid, radical forms is apparent in the publication of Anne Carson’s ‘lyric lecture with chorus’ – a work that could as easily be produced on stage or film as within these pages – and Brian Dillon’s ekphrastic meditation on charisma, faith, and loss.
The combination of art and literature has always been a guiding principle of this project, and we are delighted to present works by installation artist Alicja Kwade, a photographic series from Germany’s Annette Kelm, and new work by Swiss artists Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs. These run alongside a long-form essay on a camp in which one comes to terms with one’s own death, by Gabriela Wiener, and another on translation and human subjectivity, by Kate Briggs. Cover art is courtesy of Navine G. Khan-Dossos.
The White Review No. 14 features interviews with the art critic, historian and October journal editor Hal Foster; British artist Mark Leckey, whose hugely influential film ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ was memorably described by Ed Atkins as ‘better than art’; and the novelist Rachel Cusk, who talks about her commitment to ‘writing sentences that aren’t the product of sentences written by other people.’
Emmanuel Carrère, a long-time favourite of The White Review, contributes a newly-translated piece reflecting on his search for ‘the dice man’, an American author whose account of giving his life up to chance has inspired a cult following to do likewise. In his account of another underground movement, Thomas Dylan Eaton reflects on ‘Necrorealism’, an punk-infused, dadaist art collective that flourished in Russia during Glasnost. Elsewhere, John Douglas Millar queries the current vogue for conceptual poetry, wondering if it is anything more than a thin copy of a worn-out conceit borrowed from the art world. The young Irish writer Kevin Breathnach, meanwhile, debuts in the magazine with an essay on the difficulties of being an Irishman in Madrid in the middle of winter. ‘I had not given the idea of living alone much thought,’ he writes. ‘What do people do? I unpacked a bit. I tried to get the internet working.’
Painter and sculptor Henning Bohl’s playful, minimalist explorations of three-dimensional form and the possibilities of representation occupy our central pages; emerging British artist Oliver Osborne contributes a pull-out insert; and our cover is by Chicago-born feminist painter Sue Williams.
2013 Granta Best of Young British Joanna Kavenna’s short story ‘Beetle’ is an unsettling, surreal account of how to disappear in a surveilled society, and we are delighted to publish the winner of our 2015 Short Story Prize, Owen Booth’s picaresque ‘I Told You I’d Buy You Anything So You Asked For A Submarine Fleet’. We also present poems by one of the UK’s brightest young talents, London-born poet Rebecca Tamás, and Zimbabwean poet Togara Muzanenhamo.
The White Review No. 13 features an interview with poet and novelist Ben Lerner, touching on what it means for art to be politically engaged and the potential of writing to defeat time. Painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye discusses the confluence of technique and feeling in her portraiture, while novelist Michel Faber talks about love, loss and language. The potential of art to accurately capture the human subject is a theme of the issue, one taken up by painter Luke Rudolf and the Japanese photographer Daisuke Yokota in two series reproduced within. New forms, and new grammars, are characteristic of the celebrated work of Jorie Graham – featured here – and the British poet and sound artist Holly Pester.
Self-declared left wing anarch Federico Campagna, meanwhile, considers whether the new Pope might really be the unlikely saviour of the global Left, while Enrique Vila-Matas (translated by our very own J. S. Tennant) reflects on Roberto Bolaño and the ‘times when writers were like gods and lived in the mountains like craven hermits or lunatic aristocrats’. Back in London, Jon Day recounts stories from the curious subculture of the capital’s bicycle couriers and the ‘heroic age’ of cycling. One of Britain’s most innovative young writers, Helen Oyeyemi, contributes a new story, and we are delighted to print a section from Edouard Levé’s newly-translated (by Jan Steyn and Caite Dolan-Leach) Newspaper. In an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, Paul Murray presents a Dublin banker whose already unreal lifestyle threatens to fade into fiction. Finally, as the third White Review Short Story Prize comes to its conclusion, we are thrilled to publish a new story by Claire-Louise Bennett, our inaugural laureate, from her forthcoming collection, Pond.
The White Review No. 12 features interviews with choreographer Yvonne Rainer and novelist/artist Douglas Coupland. The incomparable Lydia Davis translates the ‘zeer korte verhalen’ (‘very short stories’) of Dutch writer A. L. Snijders; Mexican author Álvaro Enrigue gives us the story of a samurai in sixteenth-century Acapulco; Natasha Soobramanien & Luke Williams present the first installment of their collaborative novel; and Mark von Schlegell envisages a time travel bureau that pilfers plot lines from a paranoid writer popular with ‘the European crowd’.
Johanna Drucker rails against the impotence of contemporary art’s critical establishment and the failure of critique (citing counterexamples including Marcia Hafif, whose work is reproduced on a pull out card); elsewhere Owen Hatherley compares urbanism in Hamburg to the parlous state of British town planning. Caleb Klaces contributes a long, looping poem and we publish a series by New York-based poet Lonely Christopher. We are pleased to include series by British photographer Clare Strand and Dutch artist Parra. Our guest foreword is courtesy of George Szirtes, while the cover comes from Andrew Brischler.
The White Review No. 11 features interviews with artist Philippe Parreno, novelist Pierre Guyotat and poet Alice Oswald alongside new fiction by Pola Oloixarac, Evan Lavender-Smith, and Ruby Cowling, winner of the The White Review Short Story Prize 2014. Essays are provided by McKenzie Wark, on the science of climate change, Alexander Christie-Miller on falconers of the Black Sea and Basia Lewandowska Cummings on a new style of cinema. The featured poets are Sophie Collins, Rob Halpern and Gëzim Hajdari (translated from Italian). Artwork is provided by photographers Sarah Jones and Victoria Jenkins, with a cover by Natasha Cox.
The White Review No. 10 features interviews with French philosopher Jacques Ranciere, the short story writer and translator Lydia Davis, and Camille Henrot, winner of the Silver Lion for most promising young artist at the 2013 Venice Biennale. It includes new fiction by the playwright Benedict Andrews, art critic and novelist Chris Kraus (interviewed in The White Review No. 8), novelist Nicola Barker and Greg Baxter. The issue features essays by Belgian novelist Jean-Philippe Toussaint on the qualities – urgency and patience – necessary in the act of writing, the artist William E. Jones on the mystery of the Pop painter Vern Blosum, Orit Gat on what art magazines can be, and new poems by Wesley Rothman, Vidyan Rathinviran, Mark Prince, Laura Elliott and Najwan Darwish (translated from Arabic). Art comes from Joshua Abelow, an artist who makes paintings and drawings that, in his own words, ‘mock the idea of artistic genius’, plus a series by German photographer Isabelle Wenzel and a cover by Christian Newby.
The White Review No. 9 features interviews with veteran artist and political activist Gustav Metzger, writer and cultural historian Rebecca Solnit and the brilliant, avant-garde Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin. We also have fiction by the British artist Ed Atkins, the Italian writer Francesco Pacifico and emerging talent Zoe Pilger, plus an essay by one of the most brilliant writers in Spanish, Enrique Vila-Matas, on the anachronism or otherwise of literary theories. Also in this issue: Patrick Langley’s essay in fragments on the edge land of Silvertown, Hunter Braithwaite on swimming pools, Miami and Ballard, and new poetry by Adam Fitzgerald, Matthew Gregory, George Szirtes and Gerdur Kristny. Art is provided by one of our favourite contemporary artists, Marcel Dzama (also the only of our contributors to have ever, to our knowledge, designed the costumes for a Bob Dylan music video), the legendary British filmmaker, painter and poet Jeff Keen, Mark Mulroney and Raphael Garnier, who supplies our limited-edition, fold out cover.
The White Review No. 8 features, among other things, interviews with artist Sophie Calle, novelist Deborah Levy and the author and filmmaker Chris Kraus, fiction by China Mieville and inaugural White Review Short Story Prize winner Claire Louise-Bennett, essays on écriture féminine by Lauren Elkin and American art collaborative Bruce High Quality Foundation by Legacy Russell, poetry by John Ashbery, Jack Underwood and Eugene Ostashevsky, and artwork by Claudia Weiser, Ben Berlow and Guy Gormley.
The White Review No. 7 features interviews with artists Luc Tuymans and John Stezaker, and poet Keston Sutherland; essays on the state of British fiction by Jennifer Hodgson and on London’s twenty-first century architecture by Lawrence Lek; alongside fiction by Peter Stamm and Jesse Loncraine; and cover art by Mai-Thu Perret.
The White Review No. 6 features, among other things, interviews with China Mieville, Julia Kristeva and Edmund de Waal, new fiction by Helen DeWitt, Jack Cox and Cesar Aira, essays on Béla Tarr and J. H. Prynne, poetry by Emily Berry and Sarah Hesketh, and art by Matt Connors, Garth Weiser and Erik van der Weijde.
The White Review No.5 features interviews with novelist Ben Marcus and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, a novella by Joshua Cohen, a feature on the late German artist and filmmaker Christoph Schlingensief and poetry by ex-Sandinista Gioconda Belli and Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate Herta Muller. Artist Camille Henrot contributes a series of Ikebana images. Cover art is by German artist Franziska Holstein.The issue also features essays, fiction, poetry and artwork by Ivan Vladislavic, David Auerbach, Max McGuinness, Michael Amherst, Emily Critchley and Niall McLelland.
This issue features interviews with art and fashion photographer Juergen Teller and writers Ahdaf Soueif and Brian Dillon; fiction by Jesse Ball and Deborah Levy (plus some hidden Vladimir Nabokov prose); poetry by Michael Horovitz and Sarah Howe; essays on political poetry, imagining radical futures and Tibetan kitsch; artwork by Nick Van Woert, Julie Brook and Gabriele Beveridge.
The White Review No. 3 features interviews with writers Will Self and Marina Warner, and conceptual art duo Elmgreen & Dragset. It also includes fiction by Federico Falco, Jeremy M. Davies and K. J. Orr, reportage by Melanie Challenger on whale fishing in the southern Atlantic, essays on boredom, the graphic novel and Georges Perec, alongside photography by Stephen Gill and Oliver Griffin and artwork by Alison Rossiter and Matthew Allen.
In our second issue: Michael Hardt tells us that we live in ‘exciting’ times, William Boyd on fiction, art and the combination of the two and Richard Wentworth on his own ‘criminal intelligence’. Features short stories by Joshua Cohen and Diego Trelles Paz, a limited edition print by artist Sophie von Cundale, photography by JH Engstrom, essays on Naples and Sri Lanka and cover art by Lewis Irvine that unfolds into a typographical narrative.
Our inaugural issue features Paula Rego on art and storytelling, Tom McCarthy on writing, art and cricket (‘How can cricket not be German?’) and Andre Schiffrin on the prospects for print publishing. Our sold out debut also features fiction by Patrick Langley and Desmond Hogan, poetry by Alexander Nemser and photography by Marcus Leatherdale. Removable dust jacket with a limited edition print by artist Viktor Timofeev.
In our lead interview J.W. McCormack engages Brian Evenson, whose work has variously been described as belonging to the genres of ‘weird’, ‘dark’, and even ‘literary’ fiction, in a conversation on such topics as ‘solipsism, disembodied heartbeats, religious apostasy and the unspeakable’. We soon learn that his work is, like The White Review, ‘more interested in how we think about narrative than in residing in any one genre’. Considering how one creative discipline might inflect another, Kristin Posehn describes the intervention into two characters’ lives of a sculpture by Charles Ray in ‘Boy with Frog’. We’re also pleased to present ‘No Holds Barred’ by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated by Brian Hagenbuch, which exemplifies the Guatemalan writer’s ability to weave social commentary, domestic drama, and horror into a single story. Three poems by Sarah V. Schweig conjure a comparably unsettling combination of the mundane and the menacing. The German artist Daniel Sinsel, meanwhile, offers up the possibility that painting might allow some ‘respite’ from the rancour engulfing both sides of the Atlantic. In a media landscape skewed by the clamorous proliferation of images, Sinsel speaks about reserving a space for ‘secrets’ and the inner logic of ‘sublimated messages and suppressed desire’. The relationship of culture to society, and its interpretation, is also the subject of Izabella Scott’s appraisal of an ambitious exhibition of contemporary Chinese artists in the British countryside; while Jen Kabat’s impressionistic essay on Bristol’s urban architecture considers how the city’s past is embedded in its present. We hope you enjoy.
Our latest free online edition features an interview with the Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei, on the occasion of her solo exhibition at MoMA PS1. Fei talks of her incursions into the virtual cities of Second Life, the misrepresentation of her work by Western art critics, the influence of her father (a socialist realist sculptor) upon her practice, and her collaboration with Asian gangsta rap group, Notorious MSG. We’re excited to present a timely and persuasively argued essay on heteronormativity by American novelist Jacinda Townsend, which she defines as the ‘cultural bias in favour of opposite-gendered sexual and marital relationships’, but also more expansively as a prejudice that undergirds a wide range of social and economic structures. In a lucid and autobiographical piece, Townsend examines the prevailing rhetoric around single motherhood in the US today. Alongside this, we’re publishing an extract from Paul Kingsnorth’s much anticipated novel, Beast (Faber & Faber, July), the second installment in the Buckmaster Trilogy, following a man – Edward Buckmaster – alone on a moor, grappling with the elements and ultimately with himself. Kingsnorth’s first novel, The Wake, was longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Elsewhere, Rye Holmboe offers an illuminating essay on sculptor Luke Hart and his installation piece, WALL. Recently on show at William Benington Gallery in London, WALL is a lattice of steel held together by sinewy rubber joints; Holmboe takes on the functionality of art and of WALL’s desire for a material realism over representation: the desire to be what it is, and nothing else. Finally, we are publishing three new poems by Chloe Stopa-Hunt, part of a sequence entitled Germinal. Awarded an Eric Gregory Prize in 2014, Stopa-Hunt’s pamphlet White Hills was recently published by Clinic.
May’s online issue features a piece by Edwina Attlee on Sharon Hayes’ video installation, In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You, currently exhibited at Studio Voltaire, which engages with contemporary feminist and queer politics. Elsewhere in this issue, White Review contributor Jonathan Gibbs discusses the dynamics of representation in the film Wanda alongside Nathalie Léger’s account of the film in her book, Suite For Barbara Loden.
We’re also excited to publish a piece by Sydney Ribot, a filmmaker living in Istanbul, who reports on the Istiklal bombing earlier this year. We have new literature from Joanna Quinn, a contributor of the Flood House project, whose story ‘Every Woman to the Rope’ was shortlisted in our annual Short Story Competition last year, and poetry by Sam Buchan-Watts, whose pamphlet was recently published by Faber as part of the Faber New Poets scheme.
Lastly, you can read an excerpt from Panty, the first novel from Tilted Axis Press, a not-for-profit press based in south London. Panty, written by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay (translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha), paints a fraught picture of gender and sexuality in contemporary India. The novel is out next month.
We are, as ever, excited to bring you our twenty-eighth online issue (we counted last week, on account of it being our fifth birthday). It features an interview with Korean novelist Han Kang, author of the critically acclaimed novels The Vegetarian and Human Acts. In a wide-ranging discussion with Sarah Shin, she touches on the trauma of Korea’s twentieth century history on the national psyche, and the reception of her work in a highly charged political context.
We’re also excited to publish a conversation between writer, media theorist and activist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi and Seth Wheeler, on the ‘suicidal drive that is permeating contemporary culture’, activism for the digital generation, and his friendship with Felix Guattari.
Elsewhere, Anna Gritz explores the Chisenhale Gallery’s current exhibition, the first UK solo show by sculpture, sound and text artist Park McArthur, whose work is infused with ‘complex social dynamics, social anxieties and authorial hierarchies’.
We also feature debut fiction by Madeleine Watts, whose story ‘Red’ follows the teenage narrator on a drive across Australia in the heat of summer, on the trail of a man whose mysterious aura ‘pitched her into disarray, into an uncontained state of wanting’.
Finally, we run Annina Lehmann’s essay ‘Behind the Yellow Curtain’, on her experience at a theatre workshop in Oxford run by Ariane Mnouchkine, director of the Théatre du Soleil.
We’re delighted to be unveiling our latest online issue today, featuring an interview with Irish artist Gerard Byrne. His latest work, currently on show at Mead Gallery at the Warwick Arts Centre, takes as a starting point a large-scale nineteenth-century diorama in a half-forgotten natural history museum in Sweden, which depicts the Nordic wilderness in 3D fantasy form, with painted oceans, papier-mâché cliffs and taxidermied birds.
Also online this month, we’re excited to publish young South African novelist Masande Ntshanga for the first time in the UK, alongside newly translated fiction from Swedish author Lina Wolff (translated by Frank Perry), whose collection Brett Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs is just out with And Other Stories. Elsewhere we have a piece by long-time White Review contributor Alice Hattrick on Jordan Baseman’s films, currently exhibited at TAP in Southend-on-Sea; and new poetry by the American poet and member of Ugly Duckling Press collective Anna Moschovakis.
The third annual January translation online issue, edited by Daniel Medin, opens with an interview with the foremost Afrikaans writer of her generation, the novelist, poet, critic and scholar Marlene van Niekerk, whose ‘work casts an unflinching, penetrating regard on post-apartheid South African society, registering beauty and frailty alongside almost unbearable cruelty’. Alongside her, Russian poet Galina Rymbu contributes a long poem, ‘Sex Is a Desert’. We also have new short stories by Bolivian writer Liliana Colanzi, a rising star in Latin American fiction; and Indonesian novelist Eka Kurniawan, whose novels Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger were published last year in English to great critical acclaim.
Also representing Asia we’re excited to publish Li Er’s story about Chang’e, goddess of the moon. Unrelated but similarly themed, we have an excerpt from Wioletta Greg’s forthcoming novel, ‘The Bees’, and new translations of Monika Rinck’s poems , ‘Three Honey Protocols’. The German language is also represented by Esther Kinsky’s ‘By the River’, a meditative excerpt from her eponymous novel; and Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s astute elegy to Renata Adler’s Speedboat.
Elsewhere we have new Ukraine-themed poems by Elena Fanailova; an excerpt from Israeli novelist Nir Baram’s forthcoming Good People, about the NKVD in pre-war Berlin; and a short story by Bulgarian Georgi Gospodinov on the last ever sunset. Representing the French language, finally, we’re excited to run a long conversation between Congolese writer and jazz fan Fiston Mwanza Mujila and his translator, Roland Glasser, and Pierre Senges’ manifesto ‘Suite’, a ‘droll demonstration of its author’s daringly agile imagination’.
The capacity of art and culture to reach across entrenched social divides is nowhere more disputed than in Jerusalem, a city defined by partition. Francesca Wade (winner of the 2015 Tony Lothian Prize for biography) travels to a place in which ‘history, religion, current events are all the same thing’ to witness how disparate cultures persist, exchange and collide in the city’s contested streets.
In an interview with Helen Mackreath, artist and activist Dor Guez discusses his refusal to accept the Israeli ‘formalisation of what identity is supposed to be, since none of us fit into the formal definition of a national identity.’ He talks about the possibility of assuming different identities according to context, a practice formalised in his recent project The Sick Man of Europe, which addresses the relationship between individual perspective and artistic creativity.
Identity is also the subject of a new essay by Anna Coatman, which takes Rachel Maclean’s Feed Me as the starting point for an exploration of the way that an emerging generation of video and performance artists are re-figuring the relationship of the individual to society through the use of alter egos, multiple personae and digital avatars.
Duncan Wheeler takes up similar themes in his essay on Javier Cercas, one of Spain’s greatest living novelist, whose work interrogates the legacy of the Civil War and Franco in his home country.
In the short story Wolves, Korean author Jeon Sungtae, translated by Sora Kim-Russell, merges different voices – the monk, the chief, the hunter and the acrobat – to tell the story of a great hunt and a dying tradition. We’re excited, too, to publish a short story by Danish author Naja Marie Aidt, who recently read at the US launch of our fourteenth print issue at Signal Gallery, Brooklyn.
In advance of the publication of our fifteenth print issue we publish recent translations form the 30-volume magnum opus of Ko Un, Korea’s foremost living poet. We’re excited to publish more from Maninbo, and brand new work, in the upcoming print issue.
In this month’s online issue, the first to be published since the conclusion of our successful fundraising campaign (thank you!) we’re very pleased to bring you a typically diverse collection of fiction, essays, art and interviews, free for your reading pleasure.
As the struggle for Kurdish independence plays out in the shadow of wider regional crises, Alex Christie-Miller reports on the history of a conflict that has come to symbolise the twenty-first century crises of statehood, democracy and cultural diversity.
We’re delighted to publish an interview with acclaimed Mexican novelist Valeria Luiselli, the author of Story of My Teeth – the formula for which she has described as ‘Dickens + MP3 ÷ Balzac + JPEG’ – and the composer of a ballet libretto, among other things. Here she talks about ghosts, literary readymades and her ignorance of health and balance.
To accompany the next instalment of White Screen – the artist’s film and new writing initiative we’ve undertaken in collaboration with Film and Video Umbrella – we also publish an interview with French artist Marine Hugonnier, touching upon issue of conflict, cartography, surveillance and the way we engage with images today.
Book fetishists will relish Tess Little’s true story tracing the mystery of hundreds of missing pages from the British Library’s rare books, the world’s greatest stolen library, and a bibliomaniacal Iranian academic. Thirza Wakefield contributes a piece on the pioneering British film-maker Mark Cousins, and we’re excited to publish a new story emerging writer Julianne Pachico. Robert Herbert McClean, who comes with high recommendation from poets including Sam Riviere and Jack Underwood, contributes two poems.
Our new online issue has – by accident rather than design – a strong focus on the themes of place and identity. Patrick deWitt’s Undermajordomo Minor begins with a young man’s escape from the small town of his childhood. A surreal, funny and surprisingly poignant tale of love and the transition to adulthood, the novel is deWitt’s first since The Sisters Brothers, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. His writing process he summarises as follows: ‘I know if I’m bored the reader will also be bored.’
Described as an ‘artist of immense stature’ by László Krasznahorkai, Wolfgang Hilbig was among the great chroniclers of the postwar German experience. Here we publish an excerpt from The Sleep of the Righteous on a subject to which he returned many times in his poetry and prose: the relationship of individual identity to place. ‘How can one demand of a shadow that he describe the image of a shadow town?’ The half-German, half-American, part-Christian, part-Jewish writer Benjamin Markovits, meanwhile, considers what it means to be an immigrant in Britain and the freedom of non-belonging.
Katrina Palmer, described by the Guardian‘s Miranda Sawyer as ‘a sculptor who builds sculptures using words’, is at the vanguard of a new generation of British artists. She was recently awarded the prestigious BBC/Artangel Open, and used the commission to document her stay on the remote Isle of Portland through a book, an audiowalk, and other literary constructions. In our September issue she talks to Jamie Sutcliffe about the ‘relationship between writing and making’.
In an essay touching on the possibility of art and language to express landscape, Gareth Evans travels to the English countryside to experience the ‘terrain transformed’ by the historic American artist of light and space, James Turrell. We are pleased too, to present a selection of paintings by Allison Katz, accompanied by her conversation with curator Frances Loeffler on the subject of puns, the possibilities of painting, and El Chapo’s bid for freedom. Finally we are excited to publish poems by Natalia Litvinova, translated by Daniela Camozzi.
Our July online issue features an essay by regular White Review contributor Rose McLaren on the work of American novelist Denis Johnson. ‘Obviously he isn’t the only freak in contemporary fiction,’ writes McLaren, ‘and he bears comparison with other infra-realists such as Karl Ove Knausgaard or Roberto Bolaño. But unlike them, his work is not primarily concerned with literature itself.’
This month we’re also featuring a selection of paintings from Michaël Borremans’ latest exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery, titled Black Mould. Ben Eastham speaks with the curator of the show, Jeffrey Grove, about the fluid associations and implications of Borremans’s work, and the ‘shift towards the narrative potential of drawing’ that his work has gone through over the past few years.
Also in the issue: a debut short story by Toronto-based writer Camilla Grudova, exploring the strange, hypnotic workings of Agata’s machine; another story by Jessie Greengrass from her debut collection An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It (published in July by JM Originals); and a selection of poetry by the Russian poet, film-maker and artist, Tatiana Daniliyants (translated by Katherine Young).
Finally, we publish an interview with American writer Sarah Manguso. Manguso’s third book, Ongoingness, was published earlier this year in the US and was applauded for its distinctive form, an ‘antidote both to the diary, and to the nervous record-keeping that the diary represented’. Here, Manguso discusses the process of journal-keeping, and tells us how she came to write in the short, fragmented form that so distinguishes her work.
Our June online issue features an interview with Canadian artist and writer Moyra Davey. As interviewer Hannah Gregory points out, Davey’s photography has a kind of ‘literariness, without any heaviness’, and the artist herself sees photography as ‘a type of reading … a reading/writing machine’. In the interview, which is appropriately an epistolary one, she unpacks this relationship, touching on her affinities for walking, Sontag, and Elizabeth Bishop, among others.
Also in the issue: an excerpt from Hollow Heart, the second book from Italian novelist Viola Di Grado, who’s work has been lauded as a ‘sophisticated, subtle meditation on language and its failures’; Chris Power tussles with CRPGs in his short story, ‘Gandalf Goes East’; selections from a new series by New York poet Mónica de la Torre; William Watkin considers the cultural history of beheading and imagines Jihadi John as a student in his lecture; and Chelsea Hogue weighs Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature against the ways ‘sisterhood’ is ‘metastasised as commercial’ in soap adverts.
We’ve also featured a selection from Somerset House’s inaugural photography fair, Photo London, including works from such artists as Noemie Goudal, William Klein, and Berenice Abbott. At the fair, the John Kobal Foundation residency award for the most outstanding emerging photographer was presented to Daisuke Yokota, featured in The White Review No. 13, for ‘his meticulous approach to photographic experimentation, combined at times with visceral performances’.
Published at the same time but separate to this month’s online issue is Jennifer Hodgson & Patricia Waugh’s ‘On the Exaggerated Notions of a Decline in British Fiction’. ‘In a culture where all too often literary ‘innovation’ is read as ‘degeneration’, where the experimental novelist is viewed as a case of narcissistic personality disorder, and where the new is identified with a ‘creeping’ cosmopolitanism that dilutes the local produce,’ write Hodgson & Waugh, ‘the very idea of British innovative fiction comes to sound like an oxymoronic supplement – a kind of pharmakon – to the idea of the moronic inferno.’ Originally published in The White Review No. 7, this essay is now available online, in full, and is essential reading for anyone interested in the state of the British novel.
This May online issue features Owen Booth’s short story ‘I Told You I’d Buy You Anything You Wanted So You Asked For A Submarine Fleet’, winner of the 2015 White Review Short Story Prize. The story will also appear in the next print issue of the magazine. We’re also excited to present an excerpt from Argentinian novelist Alan Pauls’s forthcoming novel, A History of Money.
We also have an interview with Maggie Nelson on her writing practice, motherhood, queerness and representation, and a conversation between Catherine Lacey and Will Chancellor, two debut novelists. We also publish Bidoun contributing editor Anna della Subin’s essay on Ras Tafari.
Finally, we are excited to publish Kirill Medvedev’s long prose poem, ‘Europe’ – a poet his translator, Keith Gessen, has described as the ‘first authentic post-Soviet writer’. We also feature the paintings of (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, a member of the avant-garde ‘New Artists’ movement that sprang out of the St Petersburg arts scene in the early 1980s.
This March online issue features a forgotten essay by Roger Caillois, a French intellectual whose idiosyncratic work brought together literary criticism, sociology, and philosophy by focusing on diverse subjects such as games, play and the sacred. ‘All humanity wears or has worn a mask,’ writes Caillois in ‘The Mask’, newly translated and illustrated by the artist Jeffrey Stuker. Drawing on the story of the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, the early writings of Napoleon Bonaparte, and Jorge Luis Borges, Caillois highlights the family resemblance between human and insects, and argues that humankind has relinquished its claims on the mask.
The Danish novelist Helle Helle’s short fiction ‘Wedding Watcher’ might suggest otherwise, as we follow the story of Regitze, a young Danish woman attending a wedding at which she knows no one. Also in this issue, a powerful and eerie story of neglect and ruin lust, by the young American writer Amelia Gray. We also have some poems by poet and literary critic Elizabeth Willis.
Elswehere, Tom Overton reports on Plastic Words, a six-week series of thirteen events at Raven Row, in which writers, artists and theorists such as Helen DeWitt, Tom McCarthy, Peter Osborne and Janice Kerbel discussed ‘the contested space between art and literature’. One of the participants, McKenzie Wark, has a new book out next month (Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene, Verso). We published an excerpt from this in our eleventh print issue, which is now published online in full. We’re also pleased to publish a slideshow of images by the German artist Lothar Hempel, whose show Tropenkoller (Tropical Madness) is currently on at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London.
Finally, this issue features an interview with writer and film-maker Jonathan Meades, whose new spoken-word vinyl LP Pedigree Mongrel (Test Centre, April 2015) is composed of specially-recorded readings from his books Pompey (1993), Museum Without Walls (2012) and An Encyclopaedia of Myself (2014), combined with the distinctive soundscapes of Mordant Music. Pedigree Mongrel brings together the varied preoccupations of Meades’ work – his interest in history and biography, architecture and topography, the brutal and the grotesque.
Our February online issue features interviews with a writer and an artist whose work might at first seem diametrically opposed. Eddie Peake is the art world’s latest enfant terrible, known as much for his semi-permanent nudity as for the boundary-hopping thrills of his work in performance, dance and film. In this interview with Lily Le Brun he discusses some of the ‘horrible and addictive things’ that inspire him. At the opposite end of his career, the British novelist Nicholas Mosley reflects upon a life spent in reflection upon the human condition. Yet he, too, admits to being inspired to write by the human proclivity to unhappiness and conflict, wondering, even as a lifelong Christian, ‘whether one could call God a lunatic.’
We are pleased to publish a slideshow of new paintings by the London-based artist Rob Sherwood (one of which features above). These are accompanied by an essay by Rye Dag Holmboe on the subject of kitsch, lucre and the allure of images. In the wake of the election of Syriza in Greece, Joshua Barley surveys recent writing in the country, and literature’s contribution to its ‘defiance in the face of hopelessness and uncertainty, and a restoration of faith in the people, their language and their tradition’.
Shawn Wen casts a clear eye over the cult of Joan Didion, the ‘widespread romanticisation’ of whom has recently gained further momentum. We also have new poems in translation from the Hungarian Péter Závada, in one of which it is considered that, against the brutality of war, ‘there’s safety in knowing, I thought.’ It seems like a fitting epigraph to this issue.
This issue opens with an excerpt from the only novel completed by the surrealist Romanian writer Max Blecher before his untimely death at the age of 28. His Adventures in Immediate Irreality is introduced here by the Nobel-prize winning novelist, poet and essayist Herta Müller (whose cut-ups we published as a pull-out concertina in The White Review No. 5).
We are excited to publish an excerpt from an as-yet-untranslated 2008 novel by Spain’s Enrique Vila-Matas (whose work featured in The White Review No. 9) entitled Dietario Voluble; a story by the Finnish artist and novelist Tove Jansson; Uday Prakash’s story, translated from Hindi, on Judge Sa’b’s woes in modern India; an excerpt from Han Kang’s new novel The Vegetarian, on the difficulties of going without meat South Korea; a section from the acclaimed Japanese writer Minae Mizumura’s bilingual, experimental Shishosetsu from left to right; and newly translated prose by the acclaimed Mexican author Daniel Sada, whom Roberto Bolaño considered to be without rival among Mexican writers of his generation.
Elsewhere we have poems from Alejandra Pizarnik, a friend and collaborator of Julio Cortazar and Octavio Paz whose life ended tragically at 36 in 1972; a sequence from the Brazilian Angélica Freitas; and new poetry from the Austrian writer Clemens J. Setz. The issue concludes with two extensive interviews with the Guatemalan writer Rodrigo Rey Rosa and the Polish novelist Magdalena Tulli.
This issue was edited by Daniel Medin, a contributing editor of The White Review. He helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris, and is an editor of the Cahiers Series and Music & Literature.
‘The fight for a space to know oneself better. What sort of a space is this?’ In a new essay published this month Scott Esposito explores the relationship between writing and self-understanding, searching ‘along the border separating real and fake, invented and recorded’. ‘The Last Redoubt’ measures Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s docufiction Close-Up against the plasticity of self-identity, and the politics of a ‘second self’.
Also in the November online issue is our interview with Spanish émigré writer Juan Goytisolo, whose politically-charged novels were banned by Franco; a conversation between writer-artist Louise Stern and theatre director Omar Elerian re-composed as imagistic, textual collage (see above image); Paul Currion traverses both sides of military spectacle at the start of the Iraq War; new stories by Jeremy Chambers and Bethan Roberts; and newly translated poems from two-time Premio Nacional de Poesía winner Pere Gimferrer.
We’re excited to be publishing a contemporary version of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by artists Vanessa Hodgkinson and James Bridle, which you can download, print out, and make into a miniature book. Hodgkinson and Bridle’s essays on the text and type accompany the book. Following our event at Printed Matter’s 2014 New York Art Book Fair with BOMB Magazine, our October online issue features an interview with innovative New York filmmaker Jem Cohen, who navigates the vernacular of commercialism, and the intersections of narrative, documentary, music, activism and film.
Also in the issue are an interview with Nigerian multimedia artist Otobong Nkanga; another with conceptual poet Vanessa Place, whose latest venture VanessaPlaceInc. is ‘a trans-national corporation whose sole mission is to design and manufacture objects to meet the poetic needs of the human heart, face, and form’; new poetry by the Danish poet Martin Glaz Serup; an excerpt from Forrest Gander’s forthcoming novel, The Trace; a video from New York experimental opera group Object Collection; and Laurence A. Rickels’s essay on undeath in the work of Ulrike Ottinger and Elfriede Jelinek.
The July 2014 online issue leads with an interview with the acclaimed novelist and critic Geoff Dyer. Conducted next to the John Berger and D. H. Lawrence archives at the British Library, the interview traces the impact of Berger and Lawrence on writers in their wake, the weariness of Bloom’s notion of ‘influence’, and the irony of those ‘scourges of the establishment being canonised’.
The issue also features an essay by Alice Hattrick on the work of dOCUMENTA alumnus Kristina Buch; a selection of panels from Patrick Goddard’s graphic bildungsroman Operation Paperclip, following the reluctant clone of Adolf Hitler (also the subject of a text by Naomi Pearce); a new poet’s play from Fence Modern Poetry Prize winner Joyelle McSweeney; an essay by Orlando Whitfield locating the political nuance of the Fast & Furious film franchise; and journalist Paul Cochrane’s account of a turbulent decade in Beirut.
In a notably international issue, highlights include Youssef Rakha on the intersection of shaabi (urban folk) music and revolution in Cairo, and Brazilian novelist Daniel Galera’s essay on Prince of Persia and ‘the great sensory and aesthetic pleasure that video games are able to provide’ (originally published in Brazil’s preeminent literary magazine Serrote, and translated for The White Review by Rahul Bery).
Originally published in 2002, Édouard Levé’s Oeuvres proposed something uniquely ‘misleading without being false’: a photo series of American towns bearing names homonymous to those in other countries. In 2006 Levé realised this project as Amérique, and for our July online issue we’re featuring a selection from the series alongside an excerpt from the forthcoming translation, originally published in The White Review No. 7, out this month from Dalkey Archive Press.
Also this month: an extract from Mexican poet Tedi López Mills’ English-language debut, Death on Rua Augusta; Chilean writer Juan Pablo Meneses’ chronicle of hooliganism, football and a derelict grenade (taken from The Football Crónicas, a collection of South American writings on football, published this month by Ragpicker Press); Charmian Griffin and artist Amanda Loomes construct a narrative of concrete; new fiction and an interview from American short story writer Diane Williams; and Simon Hammond maps contemporary anti-fiction, taking BS Johnson as his point of departure.
This month we’re featuring interviews with Eimear McBride, whose novel A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing won last year’s inaugural Goldsmiths Prize and has been the subject of much critical excitement, and artist Conrad Shawcross, whose sculptures combine mechanical innovation and philosophical experiment. We’re also publishing fictional field-writings from art writer and Happy Hypocrite editor Maria Fusco’s residency at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale; David Auerbach on the narrative modalities of gaming and ‘the Quick Time Event’; and Rose McLaren who, astonishingly, manages to say something original about Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle cycle, arguing that his ‘closest artistic relatives are the Northern Renaissance painters’. Finally, we have a suite of paintings by the Turner Prize-nominated artist and one-time punk Dexter Dalwood, fiction from Guernsey-born, California-based Ben Hinshaw, and poetry by England’s New York School heir, David Andrew.
This month’s features an interview with Antón Arrufat, the novelist and playwright who was among the country’s post-revolutionary vanguard, invited Ginsberg to Cuba, and was barred in 1968 from publishing for offending the Castro regime only to be awarded, decades later, the nation’s highest honour for writers. He talks to The White Review about revolution, censorship, and what it means to write.
Paige K. Bradley discusses the work of the great contemporary American painter Amy Sillman with reference to the problems with abstraction, the treatment of art made by women and the existential crises of Daffy Duck. Having last month published two poems by Derek Jarman, we’re pleased this month to carry an interview with the structuralist film-maker John Smith, recent winner of the prestigious Film London Jarman Award. Elsewhere, the radical poet and playwright Heathcote Williams recalls the time he spent with William Burroughs in London.
We’re delighted to bring you a novel extract by the brilliant American writer Micheline Aharonian Marcom, whose novels have been acclaimed by Scott Esposito and Chris Kraus. Martin Monahan contributes a surreal tale of occupation and utopia, while the Welsh writer Joe Dunthorne – author of Submarine and Wild Abandon – contributes two poems.
This month we honour the literary output of two of Britain’s cinematic avant-gardes: two poems from the forthcoming reproduction of Derek Jarman’s ultra-recherché A Finger in the Fishes Mouth, published by Test Centre as part of the year-long series of events, ‘Jarman 2014’; along with an interview with Patrick Keiller (London, Robinson in Space), whose essay collection The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes was released by Verso Books last year. Keiller featured in the second instalment of The White Review‘s Video Arcades radio series, ‘Landscaping’. The issue also includes an essay by Daniel F. Hermann, curator of the acclaimed Hannah Höch exhibition currently showing at The Whitechapel Gallery, locating her at the centre of the Dada movement; a conversation with Beckettian actress Lisa Dwan; Chen Wei’s account of censorship, innovation and experimentation in the Chinese literary sphere; a short story by R.B. Pillay (last year’s Daniel T.K. Wong Fellow at UEA); and an essay on presence and writing by Scott Esposito.
This is our biggest online issue yet, a translation-only number curated by contributing editor to The White Review Daniel Medin. Paul Griffiths’ ‘Hagoromo’, taken from The Tilted Cup: Noh Stories, No. 22 in Sylph Editions’ Cahiers Series opens the issue, which also features extracts from: the late, brilliant Brazilian Hilda Hilst’s Letters from a Seducer, from her ‘pornographic tetralogy’; Humphrey Davies’ translation of Ahmad Fāris al-Shidyāq’s ‘unique and unclassifiable’ Leg over Leg, first published in 1855, in which the Fāriyāqiyyah and his wife discuss the physical and moral significance of the buttocks, among other things; Israeli writer Orly Castel-Bloom’s latest novel Textile, on Dael Gruber, ‘a sensitive sniper with a delicate soul’; Portobello Books’ edition of Dutch author Hella S. Haasse’s classic The Black Lake, set in Dutch Indonesia; Korean novelist Yi-mun Yol’s noir novel Son of Man, translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé; and acclaimed Hungarian poet Szilárd Borbély’s first novel, The Dispossessed, a portrayal of growing up in the country’s rural northeast during the beginning of the Kádár era (1956-1988).
We also have new short stories by Granta ‘Best of Young Spanish-Language’ novelist Samanta Schweblin, ‘To Kill a Dog’, and Chinese author Can Xue, ‘Vertical Motion’, three new poems by Antjie Krog (translated by the poet herself from the Afrikaans) and a selection from Czech novelist Jáchym Topol’s early poetry, inspired by Native Americans, World War II atrocities, and the spy and adventure stories he devoured as a boy. Finally, the poet and translator George Szirtes proclaims ‘The Death of the Translator’ in an afterword. ‘They lined up the translators and shot them. Which one was the poet? asked the soldier. Fourth one along. Maybe fifth. Not that it matters,’ writes Szirtes.
Our mid-December online issue includes an interview with artist Tess Jaray on ‘the essence of painting’, new fiction by Katie Kitamura, a response to Michael Sayeau’s critique of Slavoj Žižek by Houman Harouni, and a new essay by Masha Tupitsyn on the cinematic culture of the 1990s.
Our November 2013 online issue features an interview with Spanish novelist (and King of Redonda) Javier Marías. Described by the New York Times Book Review as ‘one of the most original writers today’ Marias’ Your Face Tomorrow trilogy was declared by the Guardian to be ‘the first authentic literary masterpiece of the twenty-first century’. This interview, conducted by the British poet Oli Hazzard, touches on his writing practice, the influence of his work as a translator on his own writing, and why Spanish football referees all have two surnames.
Elsewhere, we’re thrilled to be publishing Marina Warner and Clare Finburgh’s new translations of the Moroccan poet Abdelfattah Kilito’s ‘miniatures’; an essay by David Shields on the history of plagiarism across art forms; short stories by Guatemalan novelist Eduardo Halfon (identified as being among the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá) and Iphgenia Baal; and an essay on the art of re-enactment by Natasha Hoare.
This online issue features an interview with writer and filmmaker Chris Petit on driving, drifting and his new project The Museum of Loneliness. ‘It’s hard to imagine now but there was a time when getting one’s driving licence was the start of a certain kind of irresponsibility,’ says the artist. ‘I remember thinking when I got mine, “This is the last time I’m going to let anyone test me.”‘
Also online this month, Michael Sayeau argues that analysing ‘why Žižek has become the world’s favourite radical thinker can help us to understand both what is wrong with our intellectual situation and some of the impediments limiting the progress of this disunited worldwide movement for change.’ The White Review‘s editors welcome responses to this piece, the first in an ongoing series of essays on the state of the Left today.
This issue also features a review of the Tate Britain’s ‘Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm’ show by Joe Moshenska; Jess Cotton on dissent within the military as seen through the work of Jo Metson Scott and Akram Zaatari (whose work featured at Venice this year); and an interview with Nick Goss, one Britain’s most feted young painters, whose painting ‘Dancing Under the Lindens’ is above.
We are also thrilled to be publishing a short story, ‘Last Supper in Seduction City’, by Mexican author Alvaro Enrigue, in which a successful chef recounts a trip home to Mexico City; André Naffis-Sahely on his participation in Breyten Breytenbach’s literary festival in Stellenbosch, a reflection on both contemporary poetry and South Africa; and two poems, ‘Steam’ and ‘Transylvania’, by Jon Stone.
This issue features an exclusive interview with one of our favourite contemporary European novelists, the great László Krasznahorkai, conducted by poet and translator George Szirtes. The interview is accompanied by an excerpt from Krasznahorkai’s forthcoming novel, Seiobo There Below.
Continuing our remit to juxtapose writing by new and established names, this online edition includes a memoir on his deployment as a British soldier in the Iraq War by the previously unpublished Adnan Sarwar. As the West considers a new intervention in the Middle East, Adnan reflects upon his own experience as a British Muslim in combat. This piece is published alongside the American novelist Joseph McElroy’s personal recollections of 11 September 2001.
Elsewhere there’s an interview with the German artist Max Neumann (whose ‘Animalinside’ painting, at the top of this email, was recently published as a collaboration with Krasznahorkai by The Cahiers Series) conducted by the poet Joachim Sartorius, a witty and illuminating essay by Anna Della Subin on the unwilling apotheosis of leaders including Nasser, Nehru and Gandhi, and translations by Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk of poems by Osip Mandelstam, one of the great, persecuted writers of post-revolutionary Russia. Kaya Genç, in a brilliant piece that takes as its starting point the socio-political implications of adopting a uniform, sheds light on the cultural tensions undermining contemporary Turkish society. In a wide-ranging essay, drawing on H.G. Wells, Futurama and Fredric Jameson (among other reference points), Henry Little presents a cultural history of the moon.
August’s online issue of The White Review is guest edited by Contributing Editor Jacob Bromberg. Jacob, a poet and translator based in Paris, says: ‘I’ve tried to assemble a grouping of pieces by young writers and artists who are doing work that is off the beaten track.’ David OReilly’s video ‘The External World’ is a mad amalgam of digital worlds with absurd potential and the bleak fragility of life, while his accompanying essay ‘Basic Animation Aesthetics’ outlines a theory of consistency as the baseline of aesthetic harmony.
This issue carries an interview with Turner Prize-nominated artist Spartacus Chetwynd, whose knock-down-drag-out aesthetic makes her work a popular favourite without recourse to the mass-market approach of a Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst. In his essay ‘The Ghosts of Place’, philosopher Dylan Trigg writes of his own experience in a haunted space and evaluates the interpretive lenses of hauntology and neuroscience, finding a space between the two in the fiction of M. R. James.
Irina Arnaut pokes at the figure of the artist to crack the carapace of polished social image in her video ‘Working Title’. Siân Melangell Dafydd’s ‘Foxy’ tells the story of a family member as wild as the taxidermied animal who shares his name. Elsewhere, novelist Will Heinrich writes a parable of the collector in ‘How to Be an American’, Adam Seelig’s ‘drop poem’ ‘To the woman’ creates an echo chamber through its typography, and Sarah Lariviere meditates on physical and emotional erosion.’
In this month’s online issue of The White Review Alexander Christie-Miller reports on the occupation of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, the international symbol for Turkish resistance to the evermore autocratic regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Writing from the city, he charts the growth of demonstration against the destruction of Istanbul’s public spaces into a rallying point for Turkey’s multifarious opposition.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon tells us in an extensive interview conducted in New York that ‘the minute one thinks one knows what one’s doing… one’s probably making a terrible mistake’, which comes as some relief to the editors of The White Review. In his essay on ‘The New Writing’, translated by Rahul Bery, the Argentine author César Aira argues passionately in favour of innovation and progress in contemporary art and literature. The French writer Régis Jauffret is among those writers determined to break new ground in his fiction, and we are delighted to publish an excerpt from an as-yet unpublished translation, by Jeffrey Zuckermann, of univers, univers.
Another of those to fulfil Aira’s ambitions for new writing is Masha Tupitsyn, who riffs on Hamlet, Žižek and the Strokes in an excerpt from Love Dog, her multi-media reflection on love in the digital age. Elsewhere, Louisa Elderton interviews Sadie Coles, Frances Morris and others in the course of her investigation into the continued under-representation of women in the London art world.
Sheila Heti’s sensationally successful novel How Should a Person Be? was dubbed ‘HBO’s Girls in book form’ by the Guardian, while a recent event hosted by The White Review was described by the same newspaper, perhaps in need of some new pop culture references, as conjuring ‘the feel of a books party in Lena Dunham’s Girls with that of a rock gig’s moshpit’. So a collaboration seems overdue. We’re delighted to be publishing Sheila’s fabulous tale on the subject of love, neglect and Princess Catherine, ‘The Cherry Tree’.
In the same month that the editors sit on a panel at the ICA to discuss the future of experimental writing, it seems apt that we are publishing an interview with Lars Iyer, who with his recent trilogy of books Spurious, Dogma and Exodus has established himself among this country’s most exciting new writers. His treatise on contemporary literature, ‘Nude in Your Hot Tub, Facing the Abyss’, remains among the most widely read pieces in the history of this journal. In a similar vein to that piece, John Douglas Millar asks, as we traipse through the endless revisits to modernism occasioned by the centenary of 1913, whether contemporary practice in art and literature is being suffocated by its obsession with the past.
Juan Goytisolo is arguably Spain’s greatest living writer, and among the fiercest critics of both that country’s cultural insularity and European literary conservatism in general. We are honoured then, to carry ‘Jean Genet in Spain’, his personal account of the great French rebel’s time in Barcelona. Elsewhere, we bring you ‘Neologism: How Words Do Things With Words’, Maryam Monalisa Gharavi’s lecture at Art Dubai on ‘the impulse to invent new words’; a new short story, ‘What We Did After We Lost 100 Years’ Wealth in 24 Months’, by Agri Ismail; and two poems by Melissa Lee-Houghton.
First up, we bring you ‘Techno-Primitivism’, a collaboration between David Trotter and Vanessa Hodgkinson (‘a critic’s encounter with work by an artist who had encountered some of his ideas’) on achieving art and progress and literature in engaging with the past. We’re also thrilled to publish an interview with Darian Leader, in which he talks about Lacanian psychoanalysis, his writing career, the Mona Lisa, Big Pharma, and much more.
Fiction-wise, we couldn’t get further from unpublished writers from Britain and Ireland (see short story prize) than Ryu Murakami, ‘one of the few subversive writers we have’ (Nathaniel Rich, New York Times), whose brutal brand of Japanese noir translated by Ralph McCarthy is sure to cause a stir in the coming months as three of his novels are just out by Pushkin Press. Ricky D’Ambrose, the New York-based filmmaker and critic, takes on Michael Haneke, ‘the Last Modernist … [whose] radical scepticism is the flipside of his dandyism’. Saskia Hamilton, finally, contributes two poems, ‘Ad Tertiam’ and ‘Flatlands’.
This issue includes, notably, a conversation with polymath Billy Childish on Dada, his new book of poetry (‘It’s a bit sweary’), Dostoyevsky, Knut Hamsun… and parties. ‘I don’t go to parties,’ says Billy, ‘and I don’t hang out.’
We’re also delighted to publish Yoko Tawada on translating Paul Celan from German into Japanese, translated by Susan Bernofsky from Japanese into English. We’re also running an excerpt from Kate Zambreno’s Heroines, published by MIT Press; and an essay on transmediale, the new media arts festival, by Vid Simoniti.
Also online this month, new online-dating-related fiction by Natasha Soobramanien, ‘If Not, Not’; poems by James Byrne; and an interview with Indian writer Amit Chaudhuri on Calcutta, the subject of his most recent book.
It features a delightful exchange with writer Wayne Koestenbaum on the humiliations of the writing life (‘Writing for me involves anguish, ecstasy, yes – and also frustration, disappointment, horror, embarrassment. I subject myself to inward Karajanesque ferocious coaching; a sadistic répétiteur, I prod myself until the larynx opens.’) Koestenbaum, echoing his ‘Legend’ column, also indulges in some ekphrasis, commenting on a series of images including ‘Nico and Andy Warhol as Batman and Robin’.
Fiction-wise, we’re delighted to introduce Alex Kovacs, whose début novel The Currency of Paper is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press. Here’s the blurb: ‘Maximilian Sacheverell Hollingsworth is a counterfeiter, sculptor, filmmaker, sound artist, mystic, and terminal recluse, and over the course of fifty years, making use of a vast stockpile of illegitimate currency, he funds a great range of secret, large-scale art projects throughout London — from explorations of the far reaches of the imagination to more civic-minded schemes of an equally radical nature. At once a strikingly original satire of the ways in which art and currency conspire to favour certain voices and forms over others, and a story of surreal anti-capitalist machinations reminiscent of the works of B. S. Johnson and Georges Perec, The Currency of Paper announces the arrival of a great new voice in contemporary fiction.’
Also online this month, ‘Famous Tombs: Love in the 90s’, an essay on Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, written by Masha Tupitsyn as part of a series on mourning & melancholia for her new book, Screen to Screen; two new poems by Les Kay; and an essay on art and national trauma by Rob Sharp that takes the work of Haitian artists made in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake as its starting point.
We are delighted to present our (mini) January online edition, including an interview with activist and Adbusters co-founder Kalle Lasn – talking about his new book Meme Wars, Occupy and being open to the future. Also published this month is an essay by poet Stephen Romer on his long-standing friendship with Michael Hofmann and the audacity, irony and silence of his poetry. Lastly, we present new fiction from Patrick Langley written in response to a work of video art from Sophie Von Cundale.
Our November online issue features an interview with philosopher Simon Critchley – speaking on his recent obsession with ancient tragedy and how his work on that with Judith Butler and his wife, psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster, gave birth to a surprising new book on Hamlet. Also featured is Patrick Goddard’s wry short film, Difficulties in Impression Management, exploring Goffman, dinner parties, pissing on toilet seats/toilet etiquette and the complexities of social mores.
We’re also running an essay by Orlando Reade on new historicism, the London riots and acts of dissent read through the paintings of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; Isabella Maidment on indeterminacy and performance in the groundbreaking live work of artist Cally Spooner, with exclusive film excerpts; and a gallery of photographs by Patricia Niven with an accompanying essay on walking from writer JA Murrin. Also featured in this online issue are fiction by Aidan Cottrell Boyce and poetry from Simon Pomery.
Our October 2012 online issue includes an interview with Icelandic author Sjon – speaking on mythology, folklore, storytelling and song lyrics. We’re also featuring Eddie Wrey’s short film, Palestinian Airlines, documenting the experience of an actor working in independent theatre under Israeli occupation in Ramallah.
We’ve got an essay by Rye Dag Holmboe responding to Philip Pullman on the use of the present tense in fiction and its corresponding modes in film and art; an excerpt from Caspar Henderson’s The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, published by Granta Books; and photographs from Mitra Tabrizian’s Another Country series with an accompanying essay from Matt Mahon. Also featured in this online issue is new fiction by Wayne Holloway, the director of the forthcoming film adaptation of Lee Rourke’s The Canal, and new poems by Stephen Devereux.
This month’s online issue sees Scott Esposito, editor of the Quarterly Conversation, respond to Lars Iyer’s essay-manifesto, ‘Nude in Your Hot Tub’. In his essay, ‘Negation’, Esposito argues against the ‘death of literature’, finding hope in the works of Oulipian writer Jacques Roubaud and the prolific Argentine novelist Cesar Aira.
Elsewhere: artist Lawrence Lek, featured in The White Review No. 1, interviews computational architect Michael Hansmeyer on the relationship between aesthetics and technology; Rye Dag Holmboe chairs a panel discussion with modernist poet John James, ex-Riverside Studios director David Gothard and curator Joe Melvin on performance art and documentation.
We’re also excited to be publishing our very first Russian writer, Maxim Osipov, whose short story ‘Moscow – Petrozavodsk’ is translated by Anne-Marie Jackson. Finally, poet Cutter Streeby contributes two experimental poems, ‘Interview’ and ‘Letter from a New City to an Old Friend’.
This month features an interview with artist Ryan Gander, a piece on the French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux by novelist Ned Beauman, a short story by Jesse Loncraine, and some poems by Campbell McGrath and W. N. Herbert.
Our July online issue includes interviews with Marxist social theorist David Harvey – speaking on social justice and the city across the world, from Occupy Wall Street to Chongqing in China – and artist and filmmaker Ben Rivers, director of Two Years at Sea, on the art of filmmaking.
We’ve also got an essay on the evolution of hashtags as cultural-political forms by Huw Lemmey, a memoir on womanhood, sex and feminism by Saskia Vogel and a piece on the rise of Arab theatre by Tanjil Rashid.
Also featured in this online issue is the winning short story from our Ideas Tap/White Review short story competition, ‘The Pits’ by FMJ Botham; an extract from Simon Okotie’s novel What Happened to Harold Absalon?, forthcoming from Salt Publishing later this year; and new poems by John Clegg and Abigail Nelson.
Our June online issue includes two newly translated poems by Nicaraguan poet and novelist Gioconda Belli, ‘At Night, The Wife Makes Her Point’ and ‘Menopause’. Belli, an ex-Sandinista, appeared at the Poetry Parnassus at Southbank Centre this month.
Following on from our successful event at Maggs Bros. last month, we’re also running an interview with William Burroughs’ friend and collaborator Malcolm McNeill, illustrator of Ah Pook is Here; and an expanded version of Charlie Fox’s captivating reading on Burroughs from said event. Also online this month we’ve got an excerpt from a novel in progress by Susana Medina and an essay on state-use of forensic speech analysis, inspired by Lawrence Abu-Hamdan’s The Freedom of Speech Itself.
Our May 2012 online issue leads with a superb and previously untranslated early short story, ‘Reflux’, by Nobel Prize for Literature laureate José Saramago. Also online this month are a career-retrospective interview with the delightfully jaded Jonathan Safran Foer on the art of writing and how not to conceptualise it; an essay on Russian Ark, art, and the aura according to Walter Benjamin by critic Scott Esposito; a short documentary film on PalFest by Murat Gökmen, introduced by Omar Robert Hamilton; and poems by Sam Riviere and Sarah Howe. We also have new fiction from Seraphina Madsen.
The April online issue includes an interview with Patience (After Sebald) director Grant Gee, an essay on Ryan Trecartin by Patrick Langley, a short story by Chimene Suleyman, a memoir on the destruction of Oradour during the Second World War in France by Will Stone, and poetry by Dana Goodyear and Heather Hartley.
The February 2012 online issue leads with an essay on Geoff Dyer’s Zona, itself an essay on Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky, by Rose McLaren. We also have a short story, ‘A Gift from Bill Gates’ by Wu Ang, translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman; a lexicon of questions with the artistic duo Awst & Walther by Francesca Gavin’; and new poems by Rachael Allen and James Midgley.
This issue features an interview with activist and anthropologist David Graeber, often described as the theorist behind Occupy Wall Street. We also have a video by Omar Robert Hamilton of the Egyptian Revolution’s Bloody Wednesday; a short story by Paul Kavanagh; a presentation of James Richards’ video Not Blacking Out; and poetry by Jeffrey Angles and Minashita Kiriu.
Our November online issue features Lars Iyer’s controversial essay on the death of literature, ‘Nude in Your Hot Tub, Facing the Abyss (A Literary Manifesto after the End of Literature and Manifestos)’. We also publish an interview with Margaret Jull Costa; new fiction by Olivia Heal; a short piece on Occupy Oakland; and new poetry by Elyse Fenton, Eoghan Walls and James Brookes.
Our August-September edition, published over the course of several weeks, features interviews with artists Marnie Weber and Cornelia Parker; new fiction by Andrew Gallix, Patrick Langley and young German novelist Clemens Meyer (translated by Katy Derbyshire); and poems by Rikuda Potash, Michael Earl Craig and Joshua Trotter.
This month features an interview with Steven Shearer, Canada’s representative at the 54th Venice Biennale; an editorial on recent developments in the phone-hacking scandal; a report from an aid worker in Herat, Afghanistan; a new translation of ‘Letter of a Madman’ by Guy de Maupassant; and a new poem by Medbh McGuckian.
Our June online issue, published almost at the same time as The White Review No. 2, is a short one: it features an interview with the novelist Jorge Semprun; new fiction by Michael Amherst; and new poems by Connie Voisine and Camille Guthrie.
Our April-May 2011 online issue features D. W. Wilson’s piece on voice in fiction, in which he declared his undying love for a (fictional?) Annabel – originally featured in The White Review No. 1 – followed by Annabel Howard’s – she wasn’t fictional – response, ‘On the Relative Values of Humility and Arrogance; Or the Confusing Complications of Negative Serendipity’. This is the closest you’ll ever come to a fairy tale ending in The White Review: two years after this very public exchange, D. W. Wilson and Annabel Howard got married.
Also in this issue, a manifesto against cuts to the Arts Council by Charles Boyle, publisher of CB Editions; an interview with Alison Klayman on filming Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry; a short piece on why he writes by Gavin James Bower; and an interview with Desmond Hogan, ‘probably the most famous Irish writer you’ve never heard of’.
This March we feature an essay on the artist Gabriel Orozco, on the occasion of his Tate Modern show; new fiction by Jesse Loncraine; an interview with Booker Prize-winner DBC Pierre; and photos from the Trafalgar Square protest by Cosmo Hildyard.
In the early days of The White Review we didn’t publish dedicated online issues, but rather published pieces as and when they were ready to publish. In our first two months of existence online, we featured: interviews with David Vann and Manfredi Beninati; essays on the beginnings of the Arab Spring, the ‘Twitter’ revolution, being on the dole, China’s CCTV, and the red shirts in Thailand; and fiction by Aidan Cottrell Boyce.