SHHH, edited and with an introduction by Davis Schneiderman, tells the incredible story of Raymond Federman’s escape from the round-up of French Jews in Paris in 1942, during the Holocaust. As French police came up the stairs to the family s apartment, Federman’s mother said, ‘Shhh,’ and pushed the then-14 year-old boy into a closet. The other members of his family, his father, mother, and two sisters, perished in Auschwitz. But no story by Federman has ever been simply told, and SHHH is no exception. Defying conventions of both the memoir and the novel, Federman tells stories of his childhood that may or may not be true, but can never simply be called false, either. The result is a complex and masterful work by a writer whose final works may be his best – an author who, while too avant-garde for the tastes of American publishers, is considered a major writer in Germany, France, and elsewhere in the world, and has had a small but dedicated following in the US for more than three decades.
About the Author:
Raymond Federman (1928-2009) was one of the most significant fiction writers of recent generations. Federman emigrated to the US in 1947 following the deaths of his mother, father, and two sisters in the extermination camp at Auschwitz. His early experiences in the US included being a American paratrooper in Korea, a saxophone player in Detroit, and a dishwasher and student in Columbia University, before earning a PhD at UCLA and becoming one of the first American critical promoters of the work of Samuel Beckett. Federman taught literature and creative writing at SUNY-Buffalo for 35 years. His numerous experience, exploits, and linguistic inventions have become the basis for nearly than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and criticism, translated into German, Italian, French, Hungarian, Polish, Serbian, Rumanian, Hebrew, Dutch, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, and Swahili. Federman has also been the recipient of numerous awards in the US and abroad, including the American Book Award for Smiles on Washington Square. An important theorist of contemporary writing, Federman always insisted on the integration and inseparability of memory and imagination, fact and fiction. ”I have to still believe,” he once said in an interview, ”as I often do, that one of these days around a street corner I’m going to meet my sisters.”
This second volume of The &Now Awards recognizes the most provocative, hardest-hitting, deadly serious, patently absurd, cutting-edge, avant-everything-and-nothing work from the years 2009–11. The &NOW Awards features writing as a contemporary art form: writing as it is practiced today by authors who consciously treat their work as an art, and as a practice explicitly aware of its own literary and extra-literary history— as much about its form and materials, language, as it about its subject matter. The &NOW conference, moving from the University of Notre Dame (2004), Lake Forest College (2006), Chapman University (2008), the University at Buffalo (2009), the University of California, San Diego (2011), and Paris (Sorbonne and Diderot, 2012)—sets the stage for this aesthetic, while The &Now Awards features work from the wider world of innovative publishing and serves as an ideal survey of the contemporary scene.
This inaugural volume of The &Now Awards recognizes the most provocative, hardest-hitting, deadly serious, patently absurd, cutting-edge, avant-everything-and-nothing work from the years 2004-2009. The &Now Awards features writing as a contemporary art form: writing as it is practiced today by authors who consciously treat their work as an art, and as a practice explicitly aware of its own literary and extra-literary history. This work is as much about its form, materials, and language, as it about its subject matter. The &Now conference – moving from the University of Notre Dame (2004), Lake Forest College (2006), Chapman University (2008), and the University at Buffalo (2009) – sets the stage for this aesthetic, while The &Now Awards features work from the wider world of innovative publishing and serves as an ideal survey of the contemporary scene.
About the Editors:
Robert Archambeau is co-director of Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books and a professor of English at Lake Forest College.
Davis Schneiderman is co-director of Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books and a professor of English at Lake Forest College.
Steve Tomasula is the founder of &NOW and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame.
In a parlor game played by the Surrealist group – the foremost avant-gardists of their time – participants made their marks on the quadrants of a folded sheet of paper: a many-eyed head, a distorted torso, hands fondling swollen breasts, snarling reptilian-dog feet descending from an egg-shaped midsection. The ‘Exquisite Corpse,’ as it was called, is still very much alive, having found artistic and critical expression from the days of the Surrealists down to our own. This method has been used in collective artistic protocols as the ‘rules of engagement’ for experimental art, as a form of social interaction, and as an alternative mode of critical thinking.
This collection is the first to address both historical and contemporary works that employ the ritual of the cadavre exquis. It offers a unique overview of the efforts of scholars and artists to articulate new notions of crossing temporal and spatial boundaries and to experience in a new way the body’s mutability through visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic frames. Bringing together diverse writers from across disciplinary boundaries, this volume continues the cultural and methodological innovations that have unfolded since the first days of the ‘Exquisite Corpse.’
About the Editors:
Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren is an associate professor of performance studies at the University of Washington, Bothell, and author of Hearing Difference: The Third Ear in Experimental, Deaf, and Multicultural Theater.
Davis Schneiderman is chair of the American Studies Program and an associate professor of English at Lake Forest College. He is the author of Multifesto: A Henri d’Mescan Reader.
Tom Denlinger is an adjunct professor in the Department of Art Media and Design at DePaul University in Chicago and the author of Territorial by Design.
Contributors: Tom Denlinger, Don Dingledine, Ray Ellenwood, Elizabeth Finch, Ken Friedman, Oliver Harris, Allen Hibbard, Kimberly Jannarone, Michael Joyce, Anne M. Kern, Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Susan Laxton, Paul D. Miller aka Dj Spooky, Craig Saper, Ingrid Schaffner, and Davis Schneiderman.
This corpse is very living – and here, explored from many vantage points, performative, theoretical, art historical, and experiential. The variety of writing is as wide-ranging as the topic in all its excitement of exchange.
This collection of essays by leading scholars offers an interdisciplinary consideration of Burroughs’s art. It links his lived experience to his many major prose works written from the 1950s on, as well his sound, cinema and media projects. Moving beyond the merely literary, the contributors argue for the continuing social and political relevance of Burroughs’s work for the emerging global order.
Themes include: Burroughs and contemporary theory; debates on ‘reality’; violence; magic and mysticism; cybernetic cultures; language and technology; control and transformation; transgression and addiction; the limits of prose; image politics and the avant-garde.
About the Editors
Philip Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at York University.
Schneiderman and Walsh’s new collection should mark the beginning of a new and wider view of the contemporary implications of Burroughs’s thought. This collection is retaking the universe of Burroughsian interpretation-starting now.
‘Retaking the Universe’ is the first serious and well-conceived study of [Burroughs’s] global influence.
More than any other writer of the last fifty years, William Burroughs cracked the code of the hyperreal, ultra-commodified society of control, and charted out possible lines of escape. These essays testify to the continuing relevance of Burroughs’s words and projects in the twenty-first century.