Posts Tagged ‘Joshua Cohen’
June 14, 2013 | by Alexander Nazaryan
It is best to dispense at once with the salacious stuff of Charlie Newman’s life: he was a drunk, a bastard, and a boor. His marriages did not last. His books did not bring fame. When not poisoning his liver or relations with both family and fellow writers, he taught college, smoked a pipe, and trained dogs.
Only the very last of these facts is relevant when reading In Partial Disgrace, a fantastically odd posthumous novel for those who like their beauty strange, their plots unruly, their ideas ambitious. It has been patched together by his nephew Ben Ryder Howe—a former editor at The Paris Review–and released this spring by Dalkey Archive Press. The book is set in a fictional European land called Cannonia, its history based on that of Hungary but its name quite clearly derived from the Latin for dog, canis. The main character, Felix Aufidius Pzalmanazar, is a dog breeder, and there are roughly 0.7 references to the canine species on each page of this gorgeous mess of a novel, which is what Pale Fire (a novel Newman adored) might have read like if given a heavy-handed edit by Cesar “The Dog Whisperer” Millan. Read More »
August 17, 2012 | by Joshua Cohen and Gemma Sieff
This week, we are joined by our friends the novelist Joshua Cohen and the writer and editor Gemma Sieff, who lent us their wit and wisdom in service of your queries.
I want to be a writer—one of those who can make enough money to write all the time. I should be writing every day, shouldn't I?
Gemma: You don’t have to do a huge amount; just get into a rhythm of sitting down at the desk and getting up again when you have more money.
Joshua: Pay no attention to Gemma. She has it all backward. Just get into a rhythm of earning every day until you have enough to rent a chair and desk for the weekends. Alternately, you can just get a job in publishing, where every intern keeps a Microsoft Word window minimized below the work e-mail and manages a comma deletion or synonym for bored between “refreshments.” Call the .doc “Fall_Schedule.” You might not have an office that locks, but you might produce a roman à clef.
August 7, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
April 24, 2012 | by The Paris Review
December 16, 2011 | by The Paris Review
Stop by Housing Works Bookstore Cafe this Sunday afternoon to hear Emma Straub, Eileen Myles, Kurt Andersen, Joshua Cohen, Ira Glass, John Hodgman, and many others, including our own Lorin Stein, in the second annual marathon reading of A Christmas Carol. (Spoiler alert: Lorin reads the part where Scrooge renounces his Scroogey ways.)
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012.
When: Sunday, December 18, 1 P.M.
March 17, 2011 | by Moe Tkacik
Okay, so: mostly what I loved about this story was a meta-thing, which was that it was not true.
“Meta-thing”—that sounds like a nefarious robot, or a late-night omelet. Anyway, I’m with you; it’s not true, it’s fiction.
But I am still too traumatized from the daily onslaught of interactions with Internet people and their tsunami of experiences and opinions and consumer preferences to know how to fashion prose from anything other than what I know or feel at any given time actually happened and/or was true. Which is to say, I know for a fact this story, “Emission,” about a twenty-something exposed on the Internet as a sexual deviant, is based, partly, on “real-life events,” because you admitted in an earlier e-mail to being inspired by a terrible night we spent with that dreadfully boring coke dealer someone inadvertently brought home one night after an n+1 party, a Tunisian I’ve been condemned to wonder about repeatedly, unimaginatively, since Tunisia spread the Facebook meme of democracy across Arabia.
And yet, what I see as a composite sketch of an unremarkable, ruined evening becomes a vivid fable almost by magic once the characters have been outfitted with better names. There is Richard Monomian-cum-Dick-cum Mono—conjuring up onanistic activities (su mano); dread diseases contracted through insanitary contact with adolescents; the lone son too simpleminded for his father’s polynomials, his solitary life and single Google hit, et cetera, et cetera. And Emmanuelle and the unsavory fumes of her Emission blog, collateral damage of the benevolent reign of the omniscient God that is the Internet; fearless, prolific Emmanuelle who is crucified merely for delivering truth. May she rise again in the sequel?
There won’t be a sequel, I don’t think (unless you decide to write one and post it online without approval). But as for “inspired by”: yes, Methyl, the dealer in “Emission” is half based on that “Tunisian” (read: New Jerseyan) coke dealer we brought home that night, who so mercilessly hit on you and, I believe, stayed for breakfast. My man’s other half is another dealer who calls himself, seriously, Blo J. When I used that name in the story, Lorin suggested, “Change it. No dealer’s called that.” Good edit, bad sense of reality. Let that be the slogan for the “new” Paris Review.