Sunday, August 22, 2010

Object Press...In the Train

Object Press is a new small press with large ambition. Their mission statement says it best:
Object Press was formed in 2008. We are a small, independent press that publishes fiction in slim, quality paperback editions.

While our publications might not easily fit into categories, there are certain motivations that unite the work we do. One of them is the desire to present fiction—focusing on, but not limited to, the novel—that is somehow different, expanding its potential, its horizon of possibility. One aspect of this is reflected in presenting titles of relatively short length, favoring writing that is precise, inspired and thoughtfully structured. Another important motivation for us is something we don’t hear very much of in publishing, and that is the pursuit of joy. The joy of writing, reading; of discovering a new narrative, a new voice; of holding and handling books; of seeing them on shelves, inviting them into our lives, our thoughts. These books are objects for use, objects for reflection. And these are our projects, focusing on literary innovation, good design and the pleasures of literature.
With their new publication, In the Train by the French author Christian Oster, Object Press has done what they set out to do.

In the Train is a strange, unsettling, and very comfortable novel. It was recommended to me because of my affinity for Jean-Philippe Toussaint's novels- The Bathroom (Dalkey Archive 2008) and Running Away (Dalkey Archive 2009)- and that Oster's novel had a similar feel. It does have a similar feel to it but In the Train is very much Oster's own novel and own style.

It is the awkward struggle for love in the short and bumbling ways that love can occur. It starts on a train platform and moves forward from there...a bumpy, twisting turning train ride of human interaction. It is frustrating, funny, unhappy, and joyous. It is fragile and heavy and light.

It is why you have to read In the Train to fully experience what Oster wants you to feel. It is a short, enjoyable novel that is worth the trip.

No comments: