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John Holten’s debut novel The Readymades uses and abuses a number of literary genres: found texts from the history of modern art, witness testimonies, press releases and the narrative style of art-historical accounts The novel emerges from one of Félix Fénéon’s infamous three-sentence ‘novels’ – appropriated mini-stories from French newspapers – and from the starting point of Fénéon’s narrative readymade, Holten has extrapolated a whole missing art movement and their contemporary European picaresque saga The action begins during October 2008 in Paris, with John, a young Irish publisher, meeting the jaded Serbian artist Djordje Bojić Bojić tells John about the manuscript he is writing: the history of the LGB Group – an Eastern European neo-avant-garde collective that arose in the turbulent environment of mid-1990s Belgrade, when Bojić and his friends, recently returned from the war in Bosnia, started to produce art in order to escape the hysterical nationalism all around them  Bojić’s manuscript makes up the final part of the novel Starting out as an academic attempt to document the LGB Group, the sober attitude of the art-historical account soon collapses, and the narrative gradually turns into a disclosing life-story of violence and existential decay As the manuscript moves closer to the horrific truths of Bojić’s own war experiences, the testimony gradually fails, becomes full of mute lacunas in order to finally reach the ineffable climax of the testimony: the aphasia of trauma, the dumbness of loss, and the ultimate silence of Bojić’s own death  By juxtaposing the experience of war, the urge for artistic creation and the act of narrating the past, The Readymades launches a double strategy in which the artistic gesture becomes an attempt to overcome war, while simultaneously forced to partake in it Because art (at least since the original Dada gesture) has sought its own raison d’être in an ongoing dialectic of defiance, transgression and negation of the status quo, it must inevitably find its own dynamic intrinsically linked to acts of violence  With a unique
March’s Book of the Month, The Brothers, by Asko Sahlberg comes from Pereine Press’s new series of Small Epics Is the promise of a small epic too good to be true? Well no, apparently not The Brothers is a heart-stoppingly intense historical novel of grand scope and, at 112 pages, it’s small enough to fit in your pocket The translation by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah is pristine, the pace is break-neck and really there’s no excuse not to read it So as always, we hope you enjoy this month’s choice and encourage comments and suggestions (you know the drill) via Twitter, Facebook or email Pereine Press was founded in 2008 by Meike Ziervogel It specialises in contemporary European fiction in translation Each year Pereine publish three books related by a theme 2012’s theme is ‘Small Epic’ What’s more, all their books are under 200 pages and can be read in the time it would take to watch a DVD
The White Review launches its fourth issue featuring new fiction, essays, poetry, artwork and interviews with Juergen Teller, Ahdaf Soueif and Brian Dillon To celebrate the launch, Swimming Home author Deborah Levy will read from her work and British Beat poet and musician Michael Horovitz will perform in an evening of drinks and discussion moderated by White Review editors Benjamin Eastham and Jacques Testard Please RSVP at editors@thewhiterevieworg or through Facebook as space is limited There will be a list on the door There will also be wine And copies of The White Review No 4 And, of course, tote bags The launch after-party will take place at the Phoenix Artist Club across the road from Foyles till late If for whatever reason you cannot get in to Foyles or arrive late, meet us there! We’ve booked the place out so meet us there if you’re late for the launch or join us later for a drink Bring friends, family, family friends, friends of family friends: it will be fun Just remember to mention ‘The White Review’ on the door We look forward to seeing you on Thursday  The Editors
The White Review is pleased to announce our book choice for February: A Place to Stop by Susan Wicks, published by Salt Although perhaps better known as a writer and translator of poetry, in her latest novel Susan Wicks proves that she is also a novelist of extraordinary talent A Place to Stop follows the intersecting stories of a group of villagers in South West France and is (we thought) particularly remarkable for its acuity and lightness of touch We hope that you enjoy A Place to Stop and as always, we encourage you to get in touch via email (isabel [at] thewhiterevieworg), Twitter (@thewhitereview) or Facebook to let us know what you thought Salt’s origins date back to 1990 when poet John Kinsella launched Salt Magazine in Western Australia The journal rapidly developed an international reputation as a leading publisher of new poetry and poetics and over the next decade went on to develop Folio(Salt), publishing and co-publishing works focused on a pluralist vision of contemporary poetry which extended across national boundaries and a wide range of poetic practices; a vision which is still upheld in the books it publishes today In 1999 it became Salt Publishing and in 2002 was relaunched in the UK Since that time Salt has rapidly expanded its size and the range of the publishing programme From its offices in Cambridge, Salt now publishes over 80 books a year, focussing on poetry, biography, critical companions, essays, literary criticism and text books by authors from the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean and mainland Europe 


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