Couple new things upcoming in the way of mobile fiction experimentation, namely the first CellStories.net contribution from THE2NDHAND, David Wirthlin’s “Nine Items From Your Disappearance,” to be broadcast via the exclusively mobile literary short site Thursday; Doug Milam, in turn, will be engaging his Twitter feed in our second live itinerary this Friday here. Follow him for the goods, though we’ll be publishing the results, er… would posthumously be the right word here? Assuming most microblog posts officially die after a few minutes, of course.
Likewise, those of you still reading words on paper, I recently finished one book and came upon another, and both make frantic literary hay of experimental typography. The first, Edgar Mollere’s Driven or forced onward by or as if by wind or water, is a tale somewhat in the tradition of Faulkner’s rural-South mythologizing, though its brutal end is more in keeping with the our time’s extremes of temperament/action.
It follows — through the shifting, often combined (on the same page, even) points of view of several children of a rural family — an eldest sibling’s evolution to monster. I haven’t read a more chillingly compelling book since Book IV of Roberto Bolano’s 2666. Released by Austin-based Vagabond Press (also the publisher of our compatriot Spencer Dew‘s excellent Songs of Insurgency), Driven is a comparatively small book, at only 133 pages, many of them scantly peppered with text. But in the white spaces rests ample opportunity for readers to imaginatively engage the brilliant, macabre story. I read the gruesome and foreshadowing (however educational) “Butchering” chapter under a small light on a screen porch late one night and, crickets loud at work in the background, out there in the dark, felt the world opening up in every last bit of its unexplored, terrifying glory. Pick it up soon.
The second book is Nashville-based Eric Durchholz’s Heartless. I met Durchholz one slightly hungover day (Susannah had taken me to the Patterson House on Division — that’s Nashville, Chicago folks — for a birthday outing the previous night) last week at the Portland Brew here in East Nashville by chance; turns out he was a little hungover, too, or at least I’d assume so given the pub crawl release he staged for the novel the night before in Five Points. I can’t say much about the book right now, but look for an excerpt at THE2NDHAND.com fairly soon. What I’ve read so far brings to mind Stephen Elliott’s A Life Without Consequences and, well, Mollere, simply for nature of the typographical experimentation going on. There’s a 100-page pdf via heartless.me you can sample, in the meantime.