November 12, 2005

EUROPEANA: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century

I am contributing this review to the blog of what is without any doubt the best book - best experimental novel to have been published since ... do I dare say it ... ah fuck it federman say it -- yes -- since Double or Nothing --

I have now read this book 4 times -- in French -- I met Ouredník in Montpellier last year where we gave a reading together in a fantastic place - it was like a cave -- an underground cave -- perfect for Ouredník and federman -- two of the mad chroniclers of the great historical fiasco of the 20th century --

we exchanged books -- and parted good friends -- in agreement that the 20th century had left a ugly scar on the history of our planet --

since then I've been telling to all my french friends to read this book -- and now that it exists in English -- you out there drop everything you are doing and go immediately read this book -- it's only 132 pages -- reading without stopping - without breathing -- you will have encountered a fantastic writer --

if you have not read this book next time you come to consult this blog you will not be allowed to come in

read EUROPEANA and you will understand why our world is so fucked up now -- and how those guys of the 20th century made a mess of everything and how they left -- yes -- an ugly scar across our history --


below you will find what an old professor of mine -
Judd Hubert - now 85 years old -- wrote me after he read my novel Retour au Fumier.

I was very touched by what Judd wrote. He was one of two professors who really taught me something.

Judd Hubert at UCLA where I got my Ph.D taught me how to read -- how to read a novel below the surface of the story.

William Owens at Columbia University where I started writing taught me how to write -- how to write beyond the story.

Coming from my professor means more than any review the book might get.

Cher Raymond:

Je viens de lire avec enthousiasme et admiration ce texte d'un genre tout à fait nouveau où bien des paragraphes combinent le pathétique avec le cocasse et l'érotique. C'est un chef-d'oeuvre plein d'allusions littéraires et cinématographiques dont le protagoniste est un adolescent Beckettien persécuté par un vieillard.

Les fossés où dorment les croulants de Sam se transforment en granges bousifiées où les mouches bousilllent tout ce qui bouge .Le crado y atteint son comble. Les sabots sont bien pires que les chaussures d’En attendant Godot dont les personnages portent des loques à peu près à leur mesure. Et la fin où on retrouve la ferme est digne de ce héros de Fellini qui n'arrive pas à reconstituer ses souvenirs d'enfance. Enfin, le système narratif rendrait jaloux Jacques le fataliste. Félicitations!


Dear Raymond:

I just finished reading with enthusiasm and admiration Retour au Fumier. A totally new genre, in which paragraphs combine the pathetic with the comical and erotism. It is a master-piece full of literary and cinematographic allusions whose protagonist is a Beckettian adolescent persecuted by an old man.

The ditches where Sam’s bums sleep are transformed here in barns full of cow dung and where flies attack everything that moves. Dirt reaches its maximum. The boy’s clogs are worse than the smelly shoes of Waiting for Godot whose bums wear rags as tattered as that of the boy. The end, when the farm is finally found, is as worthy a moment as when the hero of Fellini who cannot reconstitute his childhood memories. Finally, the narrative system would make the author of Jacques le fataliste envious. Congratulations!


Are you French? i went to one competition where there was a french team from Essec Business School. They did the presentation and i was so amazed with the song. can u help me find the song title?
I've put it on my list of 'books I must read ASAP' -- thanks for the tip! :-D
Interesting. I should be getting my copy soon.
I just ordered it from somewhere in Canada.....
Perhaps Mr. Hubert should write a blurb for the jacket copy of the English version, "Return to Manure." Who then could resist buying it?
Has a date been arranged for the discussion of this book yet? I am just wondering -- I'd hate to miss out on it, you see. Though I am must admit that it will probably be a while before I have the time to read it [however, my copy has arrived]. So I could maybe participate on the sideline -- or merely observe [unnoticed] -- while you guys talk/type/read/chat/discuss....
Ahem! Does anyone read these comments -- and does anyone reply??


[*Sigh* -- I give up.....]
Cool Blog! If you get a chance I would like to invite you to visit the following Family Blog, it is coo to!
Keep up the good work
» » »
I figured could use a little humor.



Day 1.
Just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with not much to celebrate.
When it came time to re-enact our wedding night, he locked himself in
the bathroom and cried.

Day 2.
Today, he says he has a big secret to tell me. He's impotent, he says,
and he wants me to be the first to know. Why doesn't he tell me
something I don't know! I mean, he actually thinks I haven't noticed.

Day 3.
This marriage is in trouble. A woman has needs. Yesterday, I saw a
picture of Nelson's Column and burst into tears.

Day 4.
A miracle has happened! There's a new drug on the market that will fix
his 'problem.' It's called [url=]Viagra[/url]. I told him that if he takes [url=]Viagra[/url],
things will be just like they were on our wedding night. I think this
will work. I replaced his Prozac with the [url=]Viagra[/url], hoping to lift
something other than his mood.

Day 5.
What absolute bliss!!.

Day 6.
Isn't life wonderful but it's difficult to write while he's doing that.

Day 7.
This [url=]Viagra[/url] thing has gone to his head. No pun intended! Yesterday, at
Burger King, the manager asked me if I'd like a Whopper. He thought they
were talking about him. But, have to admit it's very nice - I don't
think I've ever been so happy.

Day 8.
I think he took too many over the weekend. Yesterday, instead of mowing
the lawn, he was using his new friend as a weed whacker. I'm also
getting a bit sore down there.

Day 9.
No time to write. He might catch me.

Day 10.
Okay, I admit it. I'm hiding. I mean, a girl can only take so much. And
to make matters worse, he's washing the [url=]Viagra[/url] down with neat whisky!
What am I going to do? I feel tacky all over....

Day 11.
I'm basically being screwed to death. It's like living with a Black and
Decker drill. I woke up this morning hot-glued to the bed. Even my
armpits hurt. He's a complete pig.

Day 12.
I wish he was gay. I've stopped wearing make-up, cleaning my teeth or
even washing but he still keeps coming after me! Even yawning has become
dangerous ..

Day 13.
Every time I shut my eyes, there's a sneak attack! It's like going to
bed with a scud missile. I can hardly walk and if he tries that "Oops,
sorry" thing again, I'll kill the bastard.

Day 14.
I've done everything to turn him off. Nothing is working. I even started
dressing like a nun but this just seems to make him more horny. Help me.

Day 15.
I think I'll have to kill him. I'm starting to stick to everything I sit
on. The cat and dog won't go near him and our friends don't come over
any more. Last night I told him to go and fuck himself and he did.

Day 16.
The bastard has started to complain about headaches. I hope the bloody
thing explodes. I did suggest he might try stopping the [url=]Viagra[/url] and going
back on Prozac.

Day 17.
Switched the [url=]Viagra[/url] pills but it doesn't seem to have made any
difference......Christ !!! here he comes again with [url=]Viagra[/url].

Day 18.
He's back on [url=]Viagra[/url]. The lazy sod just sits there in front of the TV all
day with that remote control in his hand and expects me to do everything
for him. What absolute bliss!!.


Reply with good jokes if you know any.

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