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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bartlebyesque un-post.

1.   In which I am Bartleby, that strange curled-up, non-reader

As I have written and then deleted three posts (forever, in ruthlessness and high boredom), I find that I must be a Melvillean Bartleby today, one who unaccountably prefers not to--at least in the matter of posts. Because it might be dangerous to wander past that point of preferring-not.

2. Whatever

shall I write a post about, since I throw everything away? Requests and questions solicited. Am thinking of making some podcasts... Or perhaps I prefer not to. Perhaps I prefer something else. A little ragery or growlery or some skipping-about. Or not. Please relieve the agony of my not-preferring with a request that I might possibly prefer. That might make me wonderfully frisky and manic, outpouring nonsense and ideas and dancing with the Wild Things. Or not. Hey, Muse of Blogs (MOB), over here!

3.   Thaliad elsewhere--favorite public mentions from the last few days. You know, perhaps it's a splot of flapdoodle, and perhaps it's true. The only way to find out is by curling up to read. Please do.
  •  novelist Nathan Balligrud at facebook:  I just finished reading Thaliad, by Marly Youmans: a story of group of children discovering how to live after an apocalypse, told in blank verse. It's brutal and gorgeous, and like nothing else out there.
                "I want to go where ground is not a waste,
                 And where my life is not a ruined town."  
  • poet and writer William P. Baldwin at facebook:  I finished Thaliad in the wee hours of the morning. An amazing read. Starts strong and gets better and better. You're something else, Marly. Again. Amazing.

  • more Nathan: This joins Anna Tambour's Crandolin as a work that deserves to be on the World Fantasy ballot, but is probably published by too small a press to get sufficient attention. There's such wonderful work being done out of the spotlight.
4.  Other comments were good but I especially liked these because: 
  • a.    Who doesn't want the brand new book to be like nothing else?
  • b.    Who doesn't want it to get better and better?
  • c.    Ms. Bartleby needs some refreshing words now and then to encourage her to prefer.
  • d.    And I love book recommendations Crandolin looks wild! 

    by Anna Tambour

    Publication Date: 14th Nov, 2012
    ISBN: 978-1-907681-19-6
    Paperback, 382 pages

    In a medieval cookbook in a special-collections library, near-future London, jaded food and drink authority Nick Kippax finds an alluring stain next to a recipe for the mythical crandolin. He tastes it, ravishing the page. Then he disappears.
    So begins an adwentour that quantum-leapfrogs time, place, singularities, and Quests – from the secrets of confectionery to the agonies of making a truly great moustache, from maidens in towers to tiffs between cosmic forces. Food, music, science, fruitloopery, superstition, railways, bladder-pipes and birth-marked Soviet statesmen; all are present in an extraordinary novel that is truly for the adwentoursomme.


  1. Please do podcasts! I think your blogging style would translate well to audio. And please note, I probably listen to 1-2 podcasts a month, and think they should be regulated like radioactive chemicals are, so I do not say this lightly.

  2. Really? I may well do it. I sometimes listen to them. Just listened to a strange one about a Neolithic site with later intrusion of clay floor with even later holes cut through it and lined with skins and feathers--some strange Cornish witchcraft tradition.

    Thought I might read a chapter of the novel as well. Dunno. And there is a movie-ish thing in the works for which I need to record some pages from Thaliad.

    Oh, and thank you very much for saving a bit of your precious tax-return gold for "Thaliad." Much appreciated. I hope it pleases.

  3. I like it when you talk about poetry. Not that, as far as I recall, Bartleby talked about poetry.

    I've just ordered a copy of Thaliad. Another writer and I have been invited to talk to a group of advanced (whatever that means) middle school students about reading and history. I'm going to talk about how much I loved Homer and Virgil when I was a lad. If I love your book (and why wouldn't I, right?) I will give it a plug.

    Is all of this too crass? Wait: "Oh, Melville, yes I'm a tremendous fan. Not so keen on Benito Cereno, but Bartleby and Moby-Dick, my god, Moby-Dick, they were life-changing."

    I really do love Melville.

  4. Okay, a vote for more poetry. Thanks!

    Novelist Midori Snyder wrote a piece on her blog, In the Labyrinth, that tilted Thaliad toward y. a. readers (actually I don't believe in those divisions so would be perfectly happy about the under-21 set as readers. Not sure how far down that would go, though.

    I really do love him too. "Moby-Dick" still wrests me away from ordinary life with its beauty and strangeness. I love the short stories. I need to reread the poems.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.