March 17, 2010

New Fiction at Harp & Altar

The hill on which the hotel stood was like an island, except instead of the sea it was surrounded by tarmac. There was the little tarmac of the motorways and the big tarmac of the runways of the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and like the sea there was hissing and roaring, audible from this distance, among the hotels of the hill . . .

My story, "Return to the Chateau," is now live in the latest issue of one of my favorite online literary journals, Harp & Altar. The issue also includes new work by Cynthia Arrieu-King, Ana Božičević, Matthew Klane, Michael O’Brien, Alejandra Pizarnik translated by Jason Stumpf, Brett Price, Jared White, Susan Daitch, Luca Dipierro, Craig Foltz, A.D. Jameson, Matthew Kirkpatrick, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, and more. My story includes rabbits, ravening dogs, shuttle-buses, Ukranian housekeepers, a French person in Italian shoes, an American woman with feral powers of concentration, a distinctive sans serif typeface created by Adrian Frutiger, and erotic clothing as the last refuge of the sacred in a secular age. It's a chapter from an experimental novel-in-stories, HUMAN WISHES / ENEMY COMBATANT, which explores the ambiance and anti-narrative possibilities of contemporary "non-places" such as airport baggage-claim terminals, highway rest-stops, shopping malls, and Gitmo cells. If you like it half as much as I do, then I like it twice as much as you do.


American woman with feral powers said...

Don't know which part I like the best:

The contest of whose large nose can rise higher or fall faster, between the Frenchman's supercilious sniffing and the groveling, submissive hero, whose free-floating anxiety is never so acute as when he worries he may be mistaken for an Arab


The "return to the Chateau" when the sex-obsessed hero fleetingly thinks he has stumbled, a la Alice-in-Wonderland, into Pauline Reage's Story of O.

Steven Augustine said...

Speaking of leonine: we are busy lionizing the f___ out of you over this wonderfilled new apparition from The Text

stefan michael said...

I’m waiting in line at a CVS pharmacy to pick up my wife’s prescriptions; staring me in the face is Celine Dion on the cover of People magazine with a headline in large, guileless, xanthic letters that reads, My Private Heartbreak.

I had just been thinking about what you refer to as,"i.e. simulacra of simulacra" when I looped upon a link to your story. I think I like it twice as much as you do and would like to discuss every sentence but realize I would just end up where I began.

I liked that Tom Hanks made an appearance (of sorts) and immediately thought of the anti-color/light of his office in Joe vs. the Volcano and brainclouds.

Edmond Caldwell said...

Thank you for reading & for the kind remarks, Stefan.

I, too, have stood in line for my wife's prescriptions at CVS pharmacy -- in fact I believe it is this year's measuring out one's life in coffee spoons.

Thank you also for "xanthic."

American woman said...

So how do I know that the hero is sex-obsessed yet also groveling, submissive and plagued by worries he may be mistaken for an Arab? Enemy Combatant is funny, erudite, clever and never ceases to entertain and inform us about topics ranging from Taylor's scientific management at the turn of the century (origins of the assembly line) to the 1948 Lydda Death March in Palestine. There's a lost Beckett play, writerly musings in St. Petersburg, a plan to impersonate James Wood, and the pieces all wrap around on each other and connect. Yes, the American-born hero is an Arab but that's not why he is (and he is) an Enemy Combatant. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Edmond -- get thee to a publisher!