To depart so much from poetic convention is an act of rebellion. What is Still Nowhere an Empty Vastness rebelling against? And what better future is it signaling towards?
“I should be so considerate of anyone who showed me friendship,” he says early in the novel. “All their wishes should be mine. I should follow them everywhere, like a dog.” Then he adds, with less than dog-like humility: “I am endlessly kind. But the people I have known have never appreciated this fact.”
Documents and Trees: A Review of C. D. Wright’s Casting Deep Shade: An Amble Inscribed to Beech Trees & Co.
Perhaps it was that sense of loss that sent her out searching for different kinds of beech trees, that sent her rooting around in the old books collecting lore and the attempts at early science, that forced her to learn everything she could about these trees.
There is no titular story in Inez Tan’s debut collection This is Where I Won’t Be Alone. As an American reader, I first considered this title a statement of theme or artistic destination. But if you’re Singaporean, then you know the title as an excerpt from a popular 1998 song called “Home,” written by Dick Lee for the first in a series of songs Singapore’s National Day Parade, celebrated on August 9th of each year.
On the High Wire was written in 1972, when Petit was all of 23, and Paul Auster’s new translation of the book has just been published by New Directions. On the High Wire (2019) is a little (ahem, petit) thing, all of 115 pages including notes, with a trim size—4.5” x 7.3”—to match. In the hand it feels like a guidebook and reads like a dream diary. The book is both of those things.