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Date: 02/21/2018
Blogger:
Kira Archibald

“A blue eye, floating in still water, blood vessels showing in the yellow cornea. A small, white liquid ball gathering on the lower eyelid, ready to spill over at any moment. The eye, under slackened folds of skin, swung wildly and stared into my own. Now that the iris had half disappeared into the corner of the eye and more cornea was showing, the glassy fluid overflowed and ran down beside the large, sharp nose . . . . The pupil was locked onto me.” —from “Just a Minute,” by Monica Pareschi. Translated by Elizabeth Harris. Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated
The first book I translated was Mario Rigoni Stern’s Le stagioni di Giacomo, or Giacomo’s Seasons, which I worked on for my MFA...

Date: 02/15/2018
Blogger:
Abby MacGregor
 
I come to claim the white boy who yesterday slaughtered nine 
Black worshippers at prayer. Because to deny him is to deny the
ways he and I are the same, deny the hideous lineage that dogs 
us and feeds us. Gavel and spit. Rope and bumper and chain. I 
claim him but will not say his name. It slips down my throat like
half-gone milk, slick and hard.
 
Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When my parents sold the house I grew up in, one of the things Mom found stashed away was some writing from second grade, including a poem about a goldfish which included the line “my...
Date: 02/12/2018
Blogger:
Abby MacGregor

"The customer comes  in alone. The owner is a bit slow-witted and asks, “How many in your party tonight?” This is a family-style barbecue restaurant, though, so you can’t say she’s that slow-witted. Two servings of pork belly, a bowl of rice, a bottle of soju. Nothing too unusual, but for a woman who came in alone at 7:00 p.m., it is sort of strange. . ." from TABLE FOR ONE, Working Titles 3.1

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated.
Funnily enough, “Table for One” was actually one of the first pieces I translated. I began working on the story in a creative writing workshop I took as an undergraduate at Princeton. I only ended up translating the first few pages in class, but I knew...

Date: 02/08/2018
Blogger:
Abby MacGregor
 
While we compare sex stories,
flaunt lines crossed — 
 
a married man — a loading dock — 
a stripper in the state that pays its strippers best — 
 
the fireflies do their thing,
blinking neon hearts . . .
from “The United States: An Introduction,” Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)
 
Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In 7th grade I was obsessed with Stephen King and wanted to write like him. I wrote a horror story for English class about my sister being cut up into pieces and dragged across the “alabaster” snow, leaving behind “crimson” streaks (I looked up what I thought were sophisticated sounding synonyms for colors in the Thesaurus). My English teacher praised my use of detail but...
Date: 02/05/2018
Blogger:
Abby MacGregor

Imagine that you’re an insatiable reader – poetry, fiction, philosophy, plays, history, noir, CNF, DIY, cookbooks, travelogues, comic books, blogs, clickbait, scrolling ad infinitum. Reading for you is no mere habit and, on some level, not even a proper activity, but a kind of experiential osmosis that positions language as primary and generative in the world to which it refers . . . but another dire consequence that appeared somewhere in the osmotic flux is your desire to focus and channel it all toward some aesthetic end. Therein lies the first gauntlet. —from “You Are the Phenomenology,” Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Well, I didn’t grow up devouring books like many writers do, so the impulse to turn to language as an expressive medium came pretty late for me, and...

Date: 01/31/2018
Blogger:
Kira Archibald


 

Near the end, Ceausescu would only drink juice through a straw.
Twice, he was convinced that his hearing had improved: once
when he heard the sound of a distant train of his youth;
another time when his long-dead mother sang , , ,
from "The Purity Instinct," Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote....

Date: 01/24/2018
Blogger:
Emily Wojcik

The Massachusetts Review presents the latest Working Titles e-book: TABLE FOR ONE by Yun Ko Eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler—available this week!

From TABLE FOR ONE:

THE CUSTOMER COMES in alone. The owner is a bit slow-witted and asks, “How many in your party tonight?” This is a family-style barbecue restaurant, though, so you can’t say she’s that slow-witted. Two servings of pork belly, a bowl of rice, a bottle of soju. Nothing too unusual, but for a woman who came in alone at 7:00 p.m., it is sort of strange.

The woman drinks half a glass of soju for every three pork wraps, using both hands to have a quiet meal. Flipping meat with tongs, cutting it...

Date: 01/24/2018
Blogger:
Thomas Dumm

By Any Means Necessary

(Author’s note: The following is Part Three of a three-part series, which updates a blog post that originally appeared in The Contemporary Condition in May, 2017). Read Part Two here.

To the extent that there is anything that could be called Trumpism, it is the carrying out of the right-wing Christian agenda. Evangelical Christians embrace an authoritarian vision based on submission to a mighty God. The vehicle for the realization of their vision does not need to be pure. Indeed, Trump and Roy Moore, the Republican...

Date: 01/24/2018
Blogger:
Thomas Dumm

Part Two: Trump and the Triumph of Christian Totalism

(Author’s note: The following is Part Two of a three-part series, which updates a blog post that originally appeared in The Contemporary Condition in May, 2017). Read Part One here.

In the case of Trump and other buffoons in power today there is a disjunction between power’s operation and the operator that advances that operation, because within the regime of grotesque sovereignty there is a continuous exposure of the gap between representations of power and its actual operation. (The experience of this gap is both hilarious and terrifying...

Date: 01/24/2018
Blogger:
Thomas Dumm

(Author’s note: The following is Part One of a three-part series, which updates a blog post that originally appeared in The Contemporary Condition in May, 2017)

No one I know of has foreseen an America like the one we live in today. No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as “the worship of jackals by jackasses”) could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U.S.A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon.  —Philip Roth, ...