Monday, September 14, 2009

It cries out your name in the night- "Herman! Herman!"

I wanna' give a big shout out to Melville House Publishing. I'm pretty certain that their name has nothing to do with the legendary works of Herman Melville, but I stumbled across that painting while googling (am I supposed to capitalize that?) their name, and gosh, how gnarly is that?! Just thought I'd share...

Anyway, right on their site's main page (if you scroll down just a little) you can see a youtube window frozen on a still of Kate and Kevin H of Green Apple's Kindle vs Book commercial fame. Pretty sweet of them to mention lil' old us when I'm sure they have so many other things on their plate which, if you are unfamiliar, is the hopefully endless job of discovering and publishing exciting and obscure works of fiction from around this little globe. Personally I've been quite excited about these:

Those a just a couple of the titles in Melville House's contemporary novella series. Bonsai (one of our staff picks), is a love story of a tragic nature that will hook you with just the first paragraph, at once wrapping you in a sort of engrossing melancholy. Steve Stern's The North of God is a holocaust tale revolving around one man's awkward attempt to displace his fellow captives from the obvious horror at hand though storytelling. Also, not pictured but certainly worth the mention, is Benoit Duteurtre's Customer Service, a Kafkaesque vision of a forty-something year old man's plight in the modern world, attempting to keep his cool in a tangled mess of confusing bills, tech support hotlines, and McDonald's frequenting priests.

Having happily completed those three books in the series so far, I'm looking forward to reading more, but here is a curiosity that gave me pause today. Are you familiar with Tao Lin?

Photo by Akasha Rabut

Tao Lin is the author of Eeeee Eee Eeee most notably, and Shoplifting at American Apparel most recently. The latter has just recently been released in the previously mentioned novella series to combative reviews. In the wide range of feedback I've read on Lin's work, he had been called both an 'American Murakami' as well as 'irking' and 'irritating.' I haven't delved far enough in to formulate a rock solid opinion myself, but being that the guy was born the same year as me (1983) I find the controversy intriguing, though I know someone is going to make fun of me for admitting it.

One final note: Did you know that former Melville House in-house graphic designer Dave Konopka left his job with them to pursue his career as the guitarist/bassist of Battles? Wild!

Alright, well enough me babbling on about these little books. I highly recommend that you check one out for yourself. I'm telling ya' they're perfect for a nice outdoor afternoon read. Now in the spirit of the last few entries, look how neat our store is still, after all these years:

<span class=
1st Reg POV (if you're pretty short) 09/09/09


Paul said...

Melvile House is an excellent establishment. Tao Lin "An American Murakami"? Hmm, strange and inappopriate hyperbole. Who was it I wonder descibing Murakami in such a way? Your videos of ebook versus print are legendary and will live forever.

Roman said...


CLARKclark said...

I- Looks like I stand corrected on the Melville house name- it is derived from our buddy Herman.

II- Don't worry Roman. I'm not necessarily trying to promote Tao Lin. I'm just trying to stir up the pot so to speak. His popularity is weird. Admit it. said...

No doubt, the chap is totally fair.