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Just These Minutes
Literary Review; Winter2010, Vol. 53 Issue 2, p70-74, 5p
The Wounded Angel
Iowa Review; Mar2003, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p109-121, 13p
Divining the avant-pop afterburn: Fame & love in New York
Review of Contemporary Fiction; Spring99, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p91-100, 10p
Literary Review; Fall98, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p64-71, 8p
Literary Review; Fall98, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p72-79, 8p
On the Despisers of the Body
Indiana Review; Summer2005, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p209-273, 16p
Conjunctions No. 51, THE DEATH ISSUE: Meditations on the Inevitable (2008), pp. 30-42
College English Vol. 55, No. 1 (Jan., 1993), p. 76
Friedrich Nietzsche's Birthday Party
Mississippi Review Vol. 9, No. 1/2 (Winter/Spring, 1980), pp. 60-65
Lost in America
The Hudson Review Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring, 1989), pp. 12-14+16+18-19
Overture: What Was Postmodernism?
Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts Vol. 1, No. 4 (4) (1988), pp. 3-8
Author Lance Olsen on writing, literature and his novel Nietzsche's Kisses. 2006.
Lance Olsen reading at opening of the exhibit in Berlin: "There's No Place Like Time"
Theories of Forgetting by
Call Number: Recreational Reading Kelly O
Publication Date: 2014
Theories of Forgetting is concerned with how words matter, the materiality of the page, and how a literary work might react against mass reproduction and textual disembodiment in the digital age--right from its use of two back covers (one "upside down" and one "right-side up") that allow the reader to choose which of the novel's two narratives to privilege. Theories of Forgetting is a narrative in three parts. The first is the story of Alana, a filmmaker struggling to complete a short documentary about Robert Smithson’s famous earthwork, The Spiral Jetty, located where the Great Salt Lake meets the desert. Alana falls victim to a pandemic called The Frost, whose symptoms include an increasing sensation of coldness and growing amnesia. The second involves Alana’s husband, Hugh, owner of a rare-and-used bookstore in Salt Lake City, and his slow disappearance across Jordan while on a trip both to remember and to forget Alana’s death. The third involves marginalia added to Hugh’s section by his daughter, Aila, an art critic living in Berlin. Aila discovers a manuscript by her father after his disappearance and tries to make sense of it by means of a one-sided "dialogue” with her brother, Lance. Each page of the novel is divided in half. Alana’s narrative runs across the top of the page, from back to front, while Hugh’s and his daughter’s tale runs "upside down” across the bottom of the page, from front to back. How a reader initially happens to pick up Theories of Forgetting determines which narrative is read first, and thereby establishing the reader’s meaning-making of the novel.
How to Unfeel the Dead by
Call Number: Recreational Reading Kelly O
Publication Date: 2014
In this glorious collection, Lance Olsen offers readers a glimpse of his extravagantly generative imagination. Those who know and love his work will be delighted to encounter favorites from earlier collections.
Calendar of Regrets by
Call Number: ONLINE
Publication Date: 2010
Calendar of Regrets is a wildly inventive and visually rich collage of twelve interconnected narratives, one for each month of the year, all pertaining to notions of travel--through time, space, narrative, and death. nbsp; The poisoning of the painter Hieronymus Bosch; anchorman Dan Rather's mysterious mugging on Park Avenue as he strolls home alone one October evening; a series of postcard meditations on the idea of travel from a young American journalist visiting Burma; a husband-and-wife team of fundamentalist Christian suicide bombers; the myth of Iphigenia from Agamemnon's daughter's point of view--these and other stories form a mosaic, connected through a pattern of musical motifs, transposed scenes, and recurring characters. It is a narrative about narrativity itself, the human obsession with telling ourselves and our worlds over and over again in an attempt to stabilize a truth that, as Nabokov once said, should only exist within quotation marks. nbsp; View a trailer for the book here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZvaLi91Blk nbsp;
Head in Flames by
Publication Date: 2009
Fiction. HEAD IN FLAMES is an astonishing collage novel composed of chips of sensation, observation, memory, and quotation shaped into a series of narraticules told by three alternating voices, each inhabiting a different font and aesthetic / political / existential space.The first belongs to Vincent van Gogh on the day he shot himself in Auvers-sur-Oise in July 1890. The second to Theo van Gogh (Vincent's brother s great grandson) on the day he was assassinated in Amsterdam in November 2004. The third to Mohammed Bouyeri, Theo's murderer, outraged by the filmmaker's collaboration with controversial politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali on a 10-minute experimental short critiquing Muslim subjugation and abuse of women. The aggregate: a restless, haunting exploration of art's purpose, religion's increasingly dominant role as engine of politics and passion, the complexities of foreignness and assimilation, and the limits of tolerance.
Anxious Pleasures by
Call Number: Recreational Reading Kelly O
Publication Date: 2007
Anxious Pleasures takes Franz Kafka's profoundly haunting and sad comic novella, The Metamorphosis, and reanimates it through the vantage points of those who surrounded Gregor Samsa during his plight. All the familiar characters are here, including the hysterical mother, stern father, faithless sister, and the pragmatic household cook. But we are also introduced to, among others, the would-be author downstairs who daydreams of the narrative he may someday compose and a young woman in contemporary London reading Kafka's slim book for the first time. Or do they all comprise a few of the disturbing dreams from which Gregor is about to snap awake one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin? In the tradition of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and John Gardner's Grendel, Olsen's novel not only represents a collaboration with a ghost, but, too, a celebration, augmentation, complication, and devoted unwriting of a momentously influential text.
Nietzsche's Kisses by
Call Number: General Collection PS3565.L777 N54 2006
Publication Date: 2006
Nietzsche's Kisses is the story of Friedrich Nietzsche's last mad night on earth. Locked in a small room on the top floor of a house in Weimar, the most radical and influential of nineteenth-century German philosophers hovers between dream and wakefulness, memory and hallucination, the first person, second, and third, past and present, reliving his brief love affair with feminist Lou Salome, his stormy association with Richard Wagner, and his conflicted relationship with Lisbeth, his radibly anti-Semitic sister. Here is an authoritative portrait of the Nietzsche we know and the Nietzsche we don't. His titantic ego, suppressed, squelched, and sealed up within him, all but unknown to his acquaintances, creates a maniacal and raging giant inside his own skull that is mysterious and unnerving. Both stylistically and formally innovative, the prose in Nietzsche's Kisses is surprising and rich. The result is a vivid, complex experience of Nietzsche's final hours.
Girl Imagined by Chance by
Call Number: General Collection PS3565.L777 G57 2002
Publication Date: 2002
Girl Imagined by Chance is a critifictional novel about a couple who find themselves having created a make-believe daughter (and soon a make-believe life to accompany her) in order to appease their friends, family, and the culture of reproduction. Structured around twelve photographs from a single roll of film, the book explores the nature of photography and the questions that nature raises about the notions of the simulated and the real, the media-ization of consciouness, originality, self construction, and the way we all continually fashion our faces into masks for the next shot. At its heart, Girl Imagined by Chance investigates the mystery of self-knowledge. The prevailing metaphor and structural device of photograpy examines the way images, in their magical ability to mimic memory, ultimately mock and eradicate it. The seemigly stable and fixed individual past turns out to be as protean and unknowable as the future. The body becomes strangely dispensable, perpetually adrift in a cybernetic world of hyperlinks and interfaces.
Call Number: General Collection PS3565.L777 F73 2000
Publication Date: 2000
Explores the consequences of using a silicon essence with a carbon-based essence. Olsen's wonderfully drawn & lovable child protagonists - Rykki, Zivv, Tris & Oran - negotiate the "brave new world" of tomorrow, attempting to dodge the Cat Cultists, the POW old-timers who have waged war against the young & worst of all, the corpulent Klub Med executive & his minions, who wish to profit on the promise of immortality. Echoing with expertly wrought detail & suspense, this is impressive Science Fiction.
Sewing Shut My Eyes by
Call Number: General Collection PS3565.L777 S49 2000
Publication Date: 2000
Sewing Shut My Eyes is a tour-de-force avant-pop anti-spectacle--nine darkly satiric out-takes of America tubing. Visions of mid-air synchronicities, robotic cockroaches, cyborg poets and one monstrous HDTV, all rendered in a hypo-manic style of electrified clauses and full-throttle patter. Here's Mona Sausalito, self-proclaimed "fricking gorgeous" bad-little-girl for Escort a la Mode and, on the side, Neogoth lyricist in the band of her boyfriend Mosh ("His real name is Marvin Goldstein"). Mona wants to be a poet. "I write about human sacrifices, cannibalism, vampires, and stuff. Mosh loves my work. He says we're all going to be famous some day. Only right now we're not, which bites, cuz I've been writing for like almost ten months. These things take time, I guess." Olsen hallucinates a turned-on, channel-surfing nation where pain has become home theater and given enough channels, watching would beat sex. A nameless agent of the ultimate phantom bureaucracy holds his Yeltsin-70 at the ready and recalls O.J. on trial, supermodels and styrofoam landscapes, America screening fast and addictive. In the title story, Kerwin Penumbro wakes on his birthday to the ultimate tv, the renowned Mitsubishi Stealth, and at a point thirty-three thousand feet above the triangulation of Iron Lightning, Faith, and Thunder Butte, SD, Itty Snibb, supremely confident dwarf and prosperous entrepreneur, prepares to meet God. These are fictions for minds lit with cathode-ray tubes, hands pixilated with static, for bodies that have become switching stations for the Society of the Spectacle. The only thing left to do is start sewing shut our eyes.
Circus of the Mind in Motion by
Publication Date: 1990
Much has been made over the potentially dark and dangerous side of postmodernism - its antihumanism, its attack on basic assumptions about language and experience, its denial of selfhood. For Lance Olsen, however, there are points of convergence between postmodernism and the comic vision. Both the comic and the postmodern attempt to subvert all centers of authority - including their own. Both ultimately deride univocal visions. Through radical incongruity of form and vision, both seek to short-circuit the dominant culture's repressive impulses. After a lively introductory chapter that maps the confluence of postmodernism and the comic vision, Olsen focuses on seven British and American fiction writers, using their works to examine various aspects of the rise and fall of postmodern humor in our culture.
Ellipse of Uncertainty by
Publication Date: 1987
This fascinating study of literary theory is the first work of its kind to examine the intersection of fantasy and postmodernism, and to analyze contemporary fantasy writers comparatively. After carefully developing working definitions of postmodernism and fantasy, the author goes on to analyze works by various postmodernist fantasy writers. Olsen's approach is eclectic, bringing to each text or textual complex those forces he feels most interestingly stir up its sediment--be they biographical, structural, psychoanalytic, philosophical, reader-response, or otherwise. Finally he argues that postmodern fantasy is the literary equivalent of deconstructionism, for it interrogates all we take for granted about language and experience, giving these no more than shifting and provisional status. It may be seen as a mode of radical skepticism that believes only in the possiblilty of total intelligibility.