At Skylight: Kit Schluter | CARTOONS & Garrett Caples | PROSES

At Skylight: Kit Schluter | CARTOONS & Garrett Caples | PROSES

Set in the uncanny valley between Bugs Bunny and Franz Kafka, Cartoons is an explosive series of outrageous, absurdist tales.

More than simply a book, Cartoons proposes itself as a genre of imaginary writing in opposition to the realism of most contemporary U.S. fiction, aligning itself with the French symbolism and Latin American fabulism its author is known to translate. A giant cricket with a tiny Kit Schluter in a jar, The Girl Who Is a Piece of Paper, an umbrella who confuses the words porpoise and purpose in its quest for self-fulfillment, these are just a few denizens of its pages, suffused with a fairy tale-like animism. A pair of slugs go on a bender. A microwave oven decries microaggressions. A beer bottle is filled with regret. An escalator mechanic's shoe conceals a terrible secret.

As befits its title, Cartoons defies the laws of physics and fiction alike, eschewing tonal consistency in favor of a simultaneity of joy and horror, ecstasy and disgust, wrapped in an extravagant layer of black humor. The stories blur the boundary between microfiction and poet's prose, featuring impossible transformations and surrealistic events, even as they wrestle with urgent psychic and moral dilemmas. Heightening the atmosphere of pervasive unreality are a number of drawings by the author, which don't so much illustrate as parallel the tales with their own fantastic scenarios.

Kit Schluter’s recent work has appeared in The Baffler, Boston ReviewBOMB, and Brooklyn Rail. He is author of the new book Cartoons, published by City Lights, the poetry collection Pierrot’s Fingernails (Canarium Books) as well as numerous chapbooks and artist editions of poems and stories. Schluter is included in the latest edition of Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan UP, 2020), edited by Carmen Maria Machado, Joyelle McSweeney, Jesse Damiani and Seth Abramson. He has translated widely from the French and Spanish, including works by Rafael Bernal (New Directions), Copi (Inpatient Press, New Directions), bruno darío (Ugly Duckling Press(e)), Mario Levrero (& Other Stories), Marcel Schwob (Wakefield Press), and Olivia Tapiero (Nightboat Books). He recently illustrated Sebastian Castillo’s novel SALMON. Kit coordinates production and design for Nightboat Books and lives in Mexico City.

In the grand tradition of poet's fiction, Proses: Incomparable Parables Fabulous Fables Cruel Tales is a collection of nine phantasmagorical stories by beloved poet and City Lights editor, Garrett Caples.Resolutely turning its back on the ethos of traditional narrative, Proses draws on Marcel Schwob, magical realism, and speculative fiction for inspiration, projecting worlds dominated by dream logic and impossible (and often hilarious) dimensions. Spectral nuns, xenobots, explosive phraseology, and even Ringo Starr are just some of the unexpected dilemmas confronting the various protagonists of Proses. Poets such as Andrew Joron, Kit Schluter, and Claude Grind of Verdoux Books, make cameo appearances--including, at times, Caples himself While each story is a standalone, the collection amounts to an intricate whole, as themes, objects, and even characters recur, encouraging readers to enjoy the book sequentially. Regardless of how it is enjoyed, Proses is at once a satire of the world of contemporary poetry and publishing and a celebration of that world's fantastic and infinite imagination.

Garrett Caples is the author of the Wave Books publication Proses: Incomparable Parables! Fabulous Fables! Cruel Tales! as well as the poetry collections Lovers of Today (Wave, 2021), Power Ballads (Wave, 2016), Complications (Meritage, 2007), and The Garrett Caples Reader (Black Square, 1999). Wave published his book of essays Retrievals in 2014. He is an editor at City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight Poetry Series, and has edited books by such poets as Will Alexander, mimi tempest, Joyce Mansour, Norma Cole, Frank Lima, Stephen Jonas, and Diane di Prima, among numerous others. He is also the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (California, 2013). He lives in San Francisco.

Event date: 
Friday, May 24, 2024 - 7:00pm
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Cartoons By Kit Schluter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872869288
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: City Lights Books - May 21st, 2024

Proses: Incomparable Parables! Fabulous Fables! Cruel Tales! By Garrett Caples, Colter Jacobsen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Garrett Caples, Colter Jacobsen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781950268979
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - May 14th, 2024