Mark Z. Danielewski on Facebook Live and “The Time of Megatexts”

Note: it appears that Danielewski had to postpone the Facebook Live event due to technical difficulties. I’ll be posting again when it has been rescheduled.

Mark Z. Danielewski will be appearing on Facebook Live to talk with the members of The Familiar (Volume 1-5) Book Club about his remarkable novel, The Familiar (2015-). He has distributed my recent conference paper, “The Time of Megatexts: Dark Accumulation and Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar,” in advance. I invite you to read my essay and join in what should be an interesting conversation.

End of the Semester Links, Fall 2017

It’s been a fun, eventful, interesting, and, of course, busy first semester at Hartwick College. Everything else, however, is quite dark. Some links.

Nuclear and Environmental

US Global Change Research Program, “Climate Science Special Report.”

Tim Collins, “The Chance of ‘Catastrophic’ Climate Change Completely Wiping Out Humanity by 2100 Is Now 1-in-20.”

Damian Carrington, “Warning of ‘Ecological Armageddon’ after Dramatic Plunge in Insect Numbers.”

Ariel Norfman, “Nuclear Apocalypse Now?”

Elizabeth Kolbert, “Going Negative: Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?”

Mike Davis, “Nuclear Imperialism and Extended Deterrence.”

Neena Satija,  Kiah Collier, Al Shaw, and Jeff Larson, “Hell or High Water.”

Democracy Now, “As Catastrophic Flooding Hits Houston, Fears Grow of Pollution from Oil Refineries & Superfund Sites.”

Steve George, “A Third of Bangladesh under Water as Flood Devastation Widens.”

Naomi Klein, “Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism” and “Season of Smoke.”

Jeremy Adelman, “Why the Idea That the World Is in Terminal Decline Is So Dangerous.”

Brian Merchant, “Climate Change Denial Should Be a Crime.”

 

Trump, Politics, and History

The Editorial Board of The New York Times, “A Historic Tax Heist.”

Vice News Tonight, “Charlottesville: Race and Terror.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The First White President” and “We Should Have Seen Trump Coming.”

Michael Eric Dyson, “Charlottesville and the Bigotocracy.”

Bonnie Honig, “(Un)Reality TV: Trump, Kelly, and the Revolving Door of Whiteness.”

Mark Sussman, “Monsters of Adaptability.”

Stephen Metcalf, “Neoliberalism: The Idea that Swallowed the World.”

Jack Goldsmith, “Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?”

Joseph S. O’Leary, “Steve Bannon’s Ghostly Triumph.”

David Singh Grewal and Jedediah Purdy, “Law and Neoliberalism.”

Laurie Penny, “The Global Jitters.”

Jonathan Franzen, “Is It Too Late to Save the World?”

David Zirin, “For the NFL, It Was ‘Choose-Your-Side Sunday’.”

Bill Simmons, “Donald Trump and the NFL’s Unsolvable Crisis.”

Joshua M. Patton, “The Most Deplorable Man in America.”

Susan Sontag, “Fascinating Fascism.”

Gabriel Winant, “Not Every Kid-Bond Matures.”

 

Hyperarchival

James Bridle, “Something Is Wrong on the Internet.”

Rebecca Losin, “Against the Universal Library.”

Ian Bogost, “Network Neutrality Can’t Fix the Internet.”

Democracy Now, “DHS Planning to Collect Social Media Information on All Immigrants.”

JFK Files Released.

Rhizome, Net Art Anthology.

Brewster Kahle, “Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!”

Stuart Kells, “Blood, Bookworms, Bosoms, and Bottoms: The Secret Life of Libraries.”

Brigit Katz, “Lost Languages Discovered in One of the World’s Oldest Continuously Run Libraries.”

Visit a New Digital Archive of 2.2 Million Images from the First Hundred Years of Photography.

Gertrude Stein: The Complete Writings (2017).

Emily Temple, “10 Famous Book Hoarders.”

Postmodernism Generator.

Olivia Solon, “Deus Ex Machina: Former Google Engineer Is Developing an AI God.”

Literature Tree: The Academic Genealogy of Literature.

Rachel Botsman, “Big Data Meets Big Brother as China Moves to Rate Its Citizens.”

“The History of Punk Rock in 200 Tracks: An 11-Hour Playlist Takes You From 1965 to 2016.”

And Scott Huler, review of The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.

 

Criticism and Theory

Charlie Schlenker, “ISU’s Charlie Harris Passes Away.”

Jeff Downing, “Charlie Harris.”

Remembering Arif Dirlk: at boundary 2“The Rise of China and the End of the World As We Know It,” and “Crisis and Criticism: The Predicament of Global Modernity.”

David Golumbia, “The Militarization of Language: Cryptographic Politics and the War of All against All.”

Alexander R. Galloway, “Peak Deleuze and the ‘Red Bull Sublime.'”

Bruce Robbins, introduction to The Beneficiary and “The Other Foucault.”

Fred Moten, preface to Black and Blur.

Peter Gratton, “Foucault Now.”

Ivana Perić, “Remembering Edward W. Said.”

Robert T. Tally, Jr., “Fredric Jameson and the Controversy over ‘Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism.'”

Sarah Brouillette, “On Some Recent Worrying over World Literature’s Commodity Status.”

N. Katherine Hayles, review of Plain Text: The Poetics of Computation, by Dennis Tenen.

Anthony Galluzzo, “Utopia as Method, Social Science Fiction, and the Flight From Reality,” review of Four Futures: Life after Capitalism, by Peter Frase.

Tom Eyers, “The Matter of Poetry,” review of The Limits of Fabrication: Materials Science, Materialist Poetics, by Nathan Brown.

Nicola Masicandaro, “Everything Is Your Fault.”

Anastasia Ulanowicz and Manisha Basu, eds., The Aesthetics and Politics of Global Hunger.

 

John Ashbery (1927-2017)

David Orr and Dinitia Smith, “John Ashbery Is Dead at 90; a Poetic Voice Often Echoed, Never Matched.”

John Ashbery, “Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse.”

John Ashbery reading in 1963.

John Ashbery on PennSound.

Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Ashbery on Film.

WNYC, “Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass and Milton Babbitt Set the Words of the Late Poet John Ashbery.”

Charles Bernstein, “In the Wild: Remembering John Ashbery.”

Eileen Myles, “On John Ashbery.”

Anselm Berrigan, “When Most Needed: Remembering John Ashbery.”

Christian Lorentzen, “Listening to John Ashbery.”

Matthew Zapruder, “John Ashbery, a Poet of the Ineffable who Mastered Many Modes.”

Kimberly Quiogue Andrews, “Learning to Read (with) John Ashbery.”

 

Literature and Culture

Racheal Fest, “Wicked Whitmans on TV.”

Claire Dederer, “What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?”

Ben Lerner, “Beyond ‘Lyric Shame.'”

David Streitfeld, “Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin.”

McKenzie Wark, “On the Obsolescence of the Bourgeois Novel in the Anthropocene” and “My Collectible Ass.”

Sarah Brouillette, “Tragedy Mistaken for Management Theory: On Kazuo Ishiguro and the Nobel Prize in Literature.”

Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer, “The Rise of Science Fiction from Pulp Mags to Cyberpunk.”

Alex Sorondo, “Meta-Pleasure,” review of The Familiar, vol. 5, by Mark Z. Danielewski.

Aaron Bady and Sarah Mesle, Game of Thrones, ‘Beyond the Wall'” and “‘The Dragon and the Wolf.'”

Mary Pappalardo, “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Chris Kraus, “Sex, Tattle and Soul: How Kathy Acker Shocked and Seduced the Literary World,” Kraus and Jarett Kobek, “Transgression Has Become So Banal,” and  Matias Viegener interviews Kraus, “The Life, Death, and Afterlife of Kathy Acker.”

Morgan Teicher, “Deep Dives Into How Poetry Works (and Why You Should Care),” review of A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry, by Robert Haas, and American Originality: Essays on Poetry, by Louise Glück.

Evan Kindley, “How Poets Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Academy.”

Matthew Zapruder, “What Poetry Can Teach Us about Power.”

Charles Bernstein, foreword to Maxwell Clark’s (((…))).

Francesca Pellas, “‘What I’m Trying to Leave Behind’: An Interview with Jhumpa Lahiri.”

Molly Fisher, “The Instagram Poet Outselling Homer Ten to One: Rupi Kuar.”

Martin Hägglund, “Knausgaard’s Secular Confession.”

Len Gutkin, Twin Peaks: The Return: Genre Mistuned.”

J. D. Connor, “Variety Show.”

David Auerbach, Twin Peaks Finale: A Theory of Cooper, Laura, Diane, and Judy.”

Jonathan Foltz, “David Lynch’s Late Style.”

Aaron Bady, “You’ll Never See the Northern Lights.”

Matthew Friedman, “Days of Future Past in Blade Runner 2049.”

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, “All Snowflakes Must Melt: Blade Runner 2049.”

Jordan Brower, “Hacking It: Blade Runner 2049.”

Wil Collins, “The Secret History of Dune.”

Harris Feinsod, The Poetry of the Americas: From Good Neighbors to Countercultures.

Evan Calder Williams, “Snake Plissken’s Letter to Sallie Mae Student Loan Services.”

Venkatesh Rao, “The Premium Mediocre Life of Maya Millennial.”

Rachel Stone, “The Trump-Era Boom in Erasure Poetry.”

Lauren Russell, What’s Hanging on the Hush.

Schuyler Chapman, “How Professional Wrestling Flung Itself Into the Arena of the Opinionated Class.”

Salvatore Pane, “The Existential Despair of Magikarp Jump.”

Mike Good, review of I Know Your Kind, by William Brewer.

Nick Greer, “IIIII. Rite of the Many Shells.”

PELT, “Temporalities,” vol. 4.

Taylor Baldwin.

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Wendy Brown, “The Grad Tax Is an Assault on the Public Good.”

Derek Thompson, “The Republican War on College.”

Marilynne Robinson, “What Are We Doing Here?”

Andrew Goldstone, “The Uncounted: Jobs and Graduates.”

Andrew Piper and Chad Wellmon, “How the Academic Elite Reproduces Itself.”

Electric Lit, “The Entire President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Just Resigned.”

Timothy Brennan, “The Digital-Humanities Bust.”

K. A. Amienne, “Abusers and Enablers in Faculty Culture.”

Eva Swidler, “The Pernicious Silencing of Adjunct Faculty.”

Alastair Gee, “Facing Poverty, Academics Turn to Sex Work and Sleeping in Cars.”

Jon Marcus, “The Looming Decline of the Public Research University.”

André Spicer, “Universities Are Broke: So Let’s Cut the Pointless Admin and Get Back to Teaching.”

Rebecca Schumann, “Rate My JIL 2018!”

Geoffrey, “Le Vostre GC” Chaucer, “Advyce For The Sesoun Of Returninge To Scole.”

John Rauschenberg, “Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, Reimagined for Linguistic Transgressions.”

And Tiffany Ball, “Academic Job Market or Terminal Illness?”

Reading at Hartwick College on November 16

To welcome me as a new faculty member in the Department of English at Hartwick College, I have been invited to give a reading from my new book, The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), on Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 pm as part of the Visiting Writers Series. The reading will take place in the Eaton Lounge of Bresee Hall, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY. One of my students at Hartwick, Chelsea Jacobson, will be reading some poems as well.

The Time of Megatexts: Dark Accumulation and Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar

Next week I will be presenting a paper on a panel titled “The Power of Digital Talk” at the 2017 Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Conference at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, November 9-12. The abstract for the paper is below.

 

Thursday, November 9, Session 1 2:00-3:30pm: 1E “The Power of Digital Talk”

Chair: Julie Funk

“The Time of Megatexts: Dark Accumulation and Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar,” Bradley J. Fest, Hartwick College.

“A Tech-Lover’s Discourse: Roland Barthes, Longing, Loss, and Separation Anxiety in Non-Use Discourse,” Julie Funk, University of Waterloo, Critical Media Lab.

“World Wide Walden: Toward a Thoreauvian Ethics of Screen Time,” John Tinnell, University of Colorado.

 

The Time of Megatexts: Dark Accumulation and Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar

With the disastrous effects of rising atmospheric carbon becoming increasingly observable and the relentless pace of neoliberal capital pursuing ever-increasing profit, the twenty-first century appears to be a time of dark accumulation. Increasingly, the risks facing the overdeveloped world stem not from absence but from overwhelming presence: everywhere there is a problem of too much. And it appears that such horrifying accumulation goes for contemporary experiences of time as well. An author known, perhaps most famously, for exploring spatial and textual accumulation, Mark Z. Danielewski’s new project, The Familiar (2015–), a twenty-seven-volume serial novel in progress, turns his attention to the multiplying temporalities of the Anthropocene. From the deep time of its cosmic frame tale and the shifting temporalities of globalization experienced by its cosmopolitan characters, to its confrontation with planetarity and its bi-annual, serialized release schedule, The Familiar asks its readers to confront what it means to live in and at too many times. In this paper I will explore The Familiar as an example of what I call a megatext—an unreadably large yet concrete aesthetic and rhetorical transmedia object, produced and conceived as a singular work, and which depends upon digital technology and collaborative authorship for its production—and argue that Danielewski’s massive novel emerges from and responds to a world in which time is no longer out of joint, but overwhelmingly and catastrophically multiple.

For a previous paper on The Familiar, delivered at the 2016 Society for Novel Studies Conference, see my “The Megatext and Neoliberalism.” (This links to my academia.edu page.)

Pre-order Scale in Literature and Culture and Reading Inside Out: Interviews and Conversations, by J. Hillis Miller

Two new books are available for pre-order in which I have contributions.

Scale in Literature and Culture Cover

Scale in Literature and Culture, edited by Michael Tavel Clarke and David Wittenberg, and including essays by Bruno Latour and Mark McGurl, can now be ordered from Palgrave Macmillan. My contribution is the first part of my new project on megatexts: “Toward a Theory of the Megatext: Speculative Criticism and Richard Grossman’s ‘Breeze Avenue Working Paper.'”

J Hillis Miller CoverJ. Hillis Miller’s Reading Inside Out: Interviews and Conversations, edited by David Jonathan Y. Bayot, is forthcoming from Sussex Academic Press and reprints my interview with Professor Miller from 2014, “Isn’t It a Beautiful Day?,” originally published in boundary 2.

Both books are also available on Amazon (here and here). (As both are also potentially prohibitively expensive, please do not hesitate to contact me requesting the essay or interview.)