“2016.05” and “2016.08,” poems from my ongoing sonnet sequence, are in the tenth-anniversary issue of the Sugar House Review.
Bradley J Fest
Words for the New Year 2019
I will again be reading some poems on New Year’s Eve this year with a bunch of other great poets from all around the Catskills. In Oneonta, New York on the Main Stage of the Foothills Performing Arts Center at 5 pm on December 31, 2019, Eva Davidson, Kirby Olson, Bertha Rogers, Julia Suarez Hayes, Jo Mish, and myself will be reading as part of Oneonta’s First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Julia Suarez Hayes at email@example.com.
Syllabi Available on Academia.Edu
I’ve moved select syllabi from the blog to my Academia.edu account. So if you’re looking for an old syllabus and can’t find it, look there or get in touch with me.
The Shape of Things: Sold Out
Well, it looks like my second poetry collection, The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), has sold out. Interested readers, however, can now access a copy on Academia.edu. So check out The Shape of Things (for the first time).
MLA 2020 Panel: Bad Books
At this year’s Modern Language Association Convention in Seattle (January 9-12, 2020), I will be speaking on a round table discussing Bad Books. I have included the information about the panel and a tentative abstract for the paper I will be presenting below.
338. Bad Books
Friday, January 10, 2020, 1:45-3:00 pm, 617 (WSCC)
Presiding: Eric Loy
1. “Notes on Notes on Notes: Glenn Ligon Reads James Baldwin,” Paul Benzon (Skidmore C)
2. “Books Behaving Badly: The Raison d’Être behind Perec’s La Disparition,” Priya Wadhera (Adelphi U)
3. “Debilitated Forms and Forms of Debility: On Writing a Failed Book,” Sharon Tran (U of Maryland Baltimore County)
4. “The Space of Megatexts: ‘Reading’ Mark Leach’s Marienbad My Love,” Bradley J. Fest (Hartwick C)
The Space of Megatexts: “Reading” Mark Leach’s Marienbad My Love
At over seventeen million words and consisting of seventeen volumes printed in dense eight-point font, the second edition of Mark Leach’s Marienbad My Love (2008; 2nd ed., 2013) currently holds the record as the world’s longest novel and is what I have elsewhere called a megatext. Composed over the course of thirty years using a number of digital techniques, the result is one of the more spatially imposing works of literature to ever sit on a shelf. Because of this, it also appears that no one has really bothered to read it. Whether this is due to some prejudice against self-publication or critics’ perceptions of authorial vanity, the sheer unreadable size of the text has discouraged anyone from taking Leach’s work all that seriously. I believe this is a mistake and this paper aims to seriously consider a remarkable project that rebelliously pushes against the conceptual, temporal, and physical boundaries of the codex novel. The revisions made to the second edition of the text indicate that not only does Leach intend for people to actually read his book, but also that Marienbad My Love is in fact a complex theoretical statement about the novel in the digital age and a meditation on the present and future of literary writing. In this paper, I will argue that accounting for Marienbad My Love’s material size by finding ways to speculatively (and actually) read this unreadable text will encourage us to rethink how we theorize the novel in the twenty-first century.
For previous essays of mine on megatexts and unreadable texts, see:
“Toward a Theory of the Megatext: Speculative Criticism and Richard Grossman’s ‘Breeze Avenue Working Paper.'”
“Reading Now and Again: Hyperarchivalism and Democracy in Ranjan Ghosh and J. Hillis Miller’s Thinking Literature across Continents.”
“Writing Briefly about Really Big Things.”
“The Megatext and Neoliberalism.”
“The Time of Megatexts: Dark Accumulation and Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar.”
“Ekphraseis” in Masque & Spectacle
Another poem from my new project, “Ekphraseis,” a poem for/about Taylor Baldwin‘s The Oracle (2016; above), is in the new issue (no. 18) of Masque & Spectacle. I previously published “2016.01,” “2016.19,” and “2016.23” in the September 2016 issue (no. 9) of Masque & Spectacle.
Fall Semester 2019: Syllabus
This fall, my third at Hartwick College, and as 2019-20 Winifred D. Wandersee Scholar in Residence, I’ll be teaching just one class, ENGL 312 Intermediate Poetry Workshop. Here’s the syllabus.
The Visiting Writers Series at Hartwick College, Fall 2019
This fall, Hartwick College and the Department of English will present the first four readings of the 2019-20 Visiting Writers Series. All readings take place at 7 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Admission is free of charge and the public is invited.
New Hartwick faculty member, assistant professor of English Tessa Yang, will read on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
George Hovis will read on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
Lauren Russell will read on Thursday, November 7, 2019.
And Alice Lichtenstein will read from her forthcoming novel, The Crime of Being, on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.
For more information, visit the Visiting Writers Series webpage.
2019-20 Winifred D. Wandersee Scholar in Residence at Hartwick College
I am thrilled and honored to announced that I have been named one of the 2019-20 Winifred D. Wandersee Scholars in Residence at Hartwick College. This award and program will support continued work on my current book project, Too Big to Read: The Megatext in the Twenty-First Century.
For a glimpse into this work in progress, see my essay, “Toward a Theory of the Megatext: Speculative Criticism and Richard Grossman’s ‘Breeze Avenue Working Paper.'”
“Writing Briefly about Really Big Things” in Joseph A. Dane’s Begging the Question
I have a collaborative essay, “Coda: Writing Briefly about Really Big Things,” in Joseph A. Dane‘s new book, Begging the Question: Critical Reasoning in Chaucer Studies, Book History, and Humanistic Inquiry (Mythodologies II) (Marymount Institute Press, 2019). Though brief, it speaks to some of the ongoing concerns in my megatext project, particularly how to situate the project in the field and in conversation with others. My thanks to Dane for inviting me to collaborate with him on this and including my piece in his book.