26 May 2006

Christian Bok's Eunoia

A writing colleague brought this to my attention and I think it's worth sharing here:

As mentioned in Harper's this month, Christian Bok has a book forthcoming called Eunoia which is only five chapters long but each chapter ONLY uses a single vowel. Here is an extract from the 'i' chapter: Fishing till twilight, I sit, drifting in this birch skiff jigging kingfish with jigs, bringing in fish which nip this bright string (its vivid glint bristling with stick pins.) Whilst I slit this fish in its gills knifing it, slicing it, killing it with skill, shipwrights might trim this jib, swinging it right, hitching it tight, riding brisk winds which pitch this skiff, tipping it, tilting it, till this ship in crisis flips. Riging rips. Christ, this ship is sinking. Diving in, I swim, fighting this frigid swirl, kicking, kicking, swimming in it till I sight high cliffs rising indistinct in thick mists, lit with lightning.

I was wondering who'd publish such a wild and wonderful book, and it's Coach House (also listed on this blog).

As an addendum to my comment to Michael M's post, I forgot that Amazon now publishes stories one can download for a modest amount of money. I'm wondering if we (and other "innovative" writers) should consider forming an e-fiction, fusion and book collective, using the crowdsourcing model but without the corporation.

In dementia perpetua,



Joe Amato said...

Carol, Eunoia was first published by Coach House in 2001. Evidently Soft Skull is reissuing the book.

Well worth reading!



Carol Novack said...

I did look it up on Amazon, and did the google. Didn't find a mention of Soft Skull. Interesting. I gather it's the Coach House version Amazon was selling for $10.95.

Whatever version,I'm looking forward to reading Bok's book!


Raw Dog Screaming said...

Wow, what a bold idea! And Bok pulls it off nicely. Thanks, Carol, for posting about this.

As for e-fiction, I say it's worth a shot. I personally hate reading stuff on a screen, but we've had some decent sales for the e-versions of our titles. The thing is that on a $5 eBook we have the same profit margin as for our full-priced trade paperbacks and hardcovers (even giving the e-distributors 50% of the retail). No printing, shipping, or warehousing costs. It's wonderful.

At the same time, people seem to like "the real thing" more than e-versions, so I guess the jury is still out.

Carol Novack said...

Hi there John: Well how bout instead of e-books, simply Portable Whatnots by your favorite innovative writer, brought to you by The Collective of Imaginary Authors? One could download a whatnot, staple it, and take it all over the place. :-)

Let's see if anyone else goes for this concept.


kevin.thurston said...

Portable Whatnots by your favorite innovative writer, brought to you by The Collective of Imaginary Authors?

this reads as an absolutely beautiful idea. as long as those are the closest thing(s) to ownership the innovative writer and collective of imaginary authors get, ie, those names on the work.