By John Domini
A witty and complex exam of nontraditional storytelling in modern artwork and literature, The Sea-God's Herb includes stories and essays on the most attention-grabbing authors and artists of the final 40 years. From William Gass and Thomas Pynchon to Brian Evenson and Steve Erickson, John Domini takes readers past that that's "impossible" to provide an explanation for.
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Additional resources for The Sea-God's Herb: Essays & Criticism, 1975–2014
Anyone who senses that has an aversion to uncut books; the virginal ones provide no pleasure. III What books say from the outside , as a promise , is vague; in that lies thei r si milarity with thei r contents. Music has realized this in one aspect JO NO TES TO LITERATURE II/ of its notation ; notes are not only signs but also i mages of what is sounded , in thei r lines, their heads, the arcs of their phrases, and count less other graphic moments. They i mprison on a surface something that occurs withi n time and hurries away with ti me-at the price , of course, of time itself, of a physical , bodily unfolding.
What happens is intimidating by virtue of its i neluctable logic; there are a thousand arguments to prove to the resister that it has to be this way and no other and that he is hopelessly reactionary. Is the idea of the book itself reactionary? Yet we have no other representation of spirit in lan guage that might exist without betraying truth. III One may accuse the collector's attitude of making it more important to possess boo ks than to read the m . Certainly the collector demonstrates that books say something without being read , and that sometimes it is not the least important thing.
It was not Mann who performed the projection but public opinion , which falsely imputed something in the work to the 17 TOWARD A PORTRAIT or THOMAS MANN author. The imputation was truly false. For what people take as a sign of vanity in the work is the ineradicable scar of the efforts made to perfect it. Mann needs to be defended against the abominable German tendency to equate passion for the work and its integral form with striv ing for status; against an ethos of alienation from art that attacks the demand for coherent elaboration as though it were some kind of inhu man "art pour farl.