Friday, August 9, 2013

The Great Fire of London//Place Names in Fiction

I was at The Word bookstore on Milton Street today, rewarding myself for having achieved 750 quality words on one of two large research proposals that I'm devoting most of August to completing.  There's a book I've been circling around over three visits to this wonderful place, and today I finally made the right decision to purchase it (at $8 it didn't break the bank either).  Published by Dalkey Archive, Roubaud's The Great Fire of London promises to be a feast of fictional/mathematical experimentation, and I can't wait to indulge in a few more pages each day once I've made my quota.

The Word Bookstore, 469 Rue Milton, Montreal, Quebec
image source:

The top image in this blog post reflects the cover on the paperback version I purchased, and the one below it is the first image that appears in the book itself.  Dalkey does indeed produce an archive of quality literature that might not otherwise have a very long shelf-life, for the same reason that arty-cinema often doesn't register in the popular imagination.  You have to know where to go, or to look, to find it, and often that takes some work.  You have to want to find it too.

Dalkey does us an immense service by keeping books like William Gass's The Tunnel and Gilbert Sorrentino's The Sky Changes in print.  These are masterpieces of fiction that without such efforts might submerge before receiving their fair share of attention.

It is also always inspiring to find place-based fiction, or at least fiction that is not hostile to space.  Another amazing title with Dalkey Archive is called...Place Names (in English Translation) by Jean Ricardou (see blurry cover image below).

No comments:

Post a Comment