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Books and Movies

THE ABSOLUTION OF ROBERTO ACESTES LAING “A haunting debut novel” –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 … Continue reading

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The Story of X

I received, in last week’s mail, in trust for delivery to X, this letter from Berfrois. The note above refers to this communiqué, from X to Berfrois. And the background to all this is an outlandish, “first-frame-of-each-shot-of-Lana De Rey’s video ‘Carmen’”–submitted through … Continue reading

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Four Number-Title Books

  After class the other day, a student told me she had finished reading “twenty-six sixty-six.” It took me a moment to process that she was talking about Roberto Bolaño’s novel. I had mentioned Bolaño in class. It got me thinking: how … Continue reading

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The Pleasure of the Text

One of the nicest side effects of the publication of The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing has been the response to the “Read Your Way to Adventure” form at the back of the book, which invites readers to cut out … Continue reading

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Black Hole / Under the Skin

Black Hole, by Charles Burns (Pantheon, 2005) and the ending of Under the Skin (dir. Jonathan Glazer, 2014). Shedding.

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Phrase-Making

“You might also be stopped in your tracks by phrase-making I doubt could have been produced by anyone else on earth.” A belated thank you to Greil Marcus for this, about A Cultural Dictionary of Punk, which originally appeared (the … Continue reading

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All Roads Lead to the Present

A few years ago I wrote a doomed but sort of fun column over at The Oxford American called “Panel Busting.” One installment looked at a few nineteenth-century cartoons and their relationship to the development of early cinema and since … Continue reading

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