THE ABSOLUTION OF ROBERTO ACESTES LAING
“A haunting debut novel . . . I want to keep thinking about it knowing I’ll never fully understand it, and I consider that the highest praise. Like the best of Borges (Borges, another film scholar and curator of secret histories), this novel has the erudite and exegetic tone that suggests answers and solutions, while understanding that riddles don’t resonate because of their answers, but because of what they ask.” –The Los Angeles Review of Books
“Excellent and nightmarish . . . Rombes’s novel is a love letter to this art of misremembering': these destroyed films become as real as any film playing at a theater near you.” –The Paris Review.
“A strong contender for novel of the year.” –3:AM Magazine
“Rombes’s knowledge and caretaking of film history, as well as the strange feeling of imagining lost artworks by some of our greatest directors, makes this debut novel addictive reading.” –Blake Butler, Vice
“I very much enjoyed this weird, disturbing, sometimes effe-ed up novel about strange films, lost films, and the fragile faith in the difference between our fictions and our realities.” –Jeff VanderMeer, author of The Southern Reach Trilogy
Interview (including the part about the knife fight . . .) at Weird Fiction Review.
Profile over at The Irish Times.
Thank you to Flavorwire for including Laing as one of the best indie books of 2014.
The second trailer for the Laing novel is up over at Vimeo.The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing, trailer #2 from Nicholas Rombes on Vimeo.
Thank you to Glenn Kenny for his kind write-up about the novel, over here. In part: “[a]n uncanny pleasure, a secret history in a series of alchemical celluloid prose poems. I enjoyed the hell out of it even as it began to conspire with my dreams.”
I’m in conversation at Electric Literature with Colin Winnette about Joan Didion’s novel Play It As It Lays (from which I nicked the name “Lang / Laing).
I’ve annotated a section of the novel at LitGenius.
At Necessary Fiction Steve Himmer kindly invited me to contribute to “Research Notes” for the novel, I write about two filmic influences: Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.