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December 17, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Writers No One Reads
posted by the man of twists and turns (34 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, this is excellent!
posted by OmieWise at 6:49 AM on December 17, 2012


Oh man! This article it links to is great. I also came across that three-novel Harry Mathews brick in a used bookstore and was similarly bewitched by The Conversions. I have to take another run at it as I was too young and stupid at the time. The story feels like a half remembered dream, and now I want to remember it again.
posted by fleetmouse at 7:05 AM on December 17, 2012


A Japanese novelist who is locally (and generationally) famous but almost unheard of and untranslated in English: Yōjirō Ishizaka.
posted by zippy at 7:06 AM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


/Regulary skips over Space Poetry section of a podcast.
posted by Artw at 7:07 AM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find it odd that I'm not on there.

Certainly no one reads my work.
posted by oddman at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


That Harry Mathews brick is one of my favorite books! Love it.
posted by OmieWise at 7:15 AM on December 17, 2012


I'm somewhat sympathetic about excusing the ignorance in the anglosphere of the Argentine writers mentioned in the blog, translating someone like Arlt or Fernandez probably ranks along the hardest efforts on literary translation if you don't want a maimed end product.
posted by Iosephus at 7:23 AM on December 17, 2012


oddman, I just came in to make the same joke, but then realized no one would read it.
posted by slogger at 7:24 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know who should be on this list: oddman.
posted by Etrigan at 7:32 AM on December 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I feel very fortunate to contribute to this site.
posted by Samarov at 7:36 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Man, great find.

I'm already off to find some Paul Scheerbart and planning a trip to Quebec to see the Garden of Decaying Books.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:41 AM on December 17, 2012


A leading and active exponent of the ‘New Woma’ lifestyle, Egerton (“Chav” to her friends, numerous lovers and various husbands) was especially good at rich, vivid and sometimes purple prose.

And not a stitch of Burberry, either.
posted by dhartung at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Macedonio Fernández is hardly a household name, but he's not unread in English. Open Letter Books published The Museum of Eterna's Novel to wide acclaim. I made a post about Macedonio Fernández two years ago. Harry Mathews, especially Cigarettes, is required reading for a certain kind of literati. It's a brilliant book, mind you.

All quibbling aside, that is a fabulous Tumblr, and I've added it to my RSS subscriptions.
posted by Kattullus at 7:47 AM on December 17, 2012


Great site; I've already fallen for Carolyn Rodgers (brought to our attention by MeFi's Own Samarov—thanks, Dmitry!). My own nomination: Vasily Narezhny, a delightful and unjustly forgotten Russian writer. If you know Russian, go read Российский Жилблаз and Бурсак!

(Do people really not read Vachel Lindsay any more? When I was a kid, he was in all the school anthologies. Not that he's much of a loss.)
posted by languagehat at 8:05 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


For more quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore, try Unusual, Neglected and/or Lost Literature.
posted by No Robots at 8:09 AM on December 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Great site. As they themselves admit though, it really should be writers nobody reads in English, as frex Gerard Reve is one of the postwar Big Names of Dutch literature, forced upon innocent school children without mercy.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it odd that I'm not on there.

Certainly no one reads my work.


tl;dr
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:52 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's pretty much forgotten, it seems. (re: Vachel Lindsay)
posted by Samarov at 8:53 AM on December 17, 2012


There's a great piece in this morning's Chronicle of Higher Ed about the study of readers, and it has an anecdote about Melville's copy of Beale's The Natural History of the Sperm Whale, which is now at Harvard, and how one scholar claims that in its pristine condition, it would seem Melville didn't read it. But in the comments below the article a commenter points out that there must have been two copies of the book because a copy currently at the Houghton Library was filled with marginalia in Melville's own hand, and you can read that marginalia here. So I guess the jury is still out on whether or not Beale is a read or unread author, at least by Melville.
posted by Toekneesan at 8:56 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bit about Vivienne Eliot and Zelda Fitzgerald is harrowing, heartbreaking, and infuriating.
posted by Scientist at 9:10 AM on December 17, 2012


No category for Canada? Please don't say we are the country no one reads!

But really, this is an abolute gem of a site. Thanks for sharing!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:26 AM on December 17, 2012


I meant "absolute." Typos, typos...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:27 AM on December 17, 2012


It's too late now, but you could have edited your first comment within five minutes of making it. Crazy!
posted by OmieWise at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2012


Surely having no category on a site about writers no one reads means your authors are widely-read? Alternatively, that not even the sort of people who make websites about poorly read authors have read yours. But let's be optimistic here!
posted by simen at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2012


"Certainly no one reads my work."

Me either, oddman- I write TFM. No one reads TFM.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 9:40 AM on December 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a post there about the Dalkey Press. I only noticed it because of the recent post here about their weird job posting. It feels like some of the other small presses need to stage an intervention.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:56 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm very excited to start reading some of these.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:12 AM on December 17, 2012


I find it odd that I'm not on there.

Certainly no one reads my work.


Perhaps you are not widely unread.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, I really hope Franz Hellens gets on there, if he isn't there already. Google gives you so little when you ask it about him.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2012


Surely a few of us count as readers no one writes for.
posted by wobh at 11:31 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one reads TFM.

It's true. For all the exhortations to RTFM, it's mostly writers of other FMs who actually do. Most of us don't even have interesting biographies to fill up somebody's blog with.

Technical writers for the lose!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2012


Carolyn Rodgers
Writing a poem with curses that nobody reads
Tumblr is pleased

All the unread writers
Where do their books come from?
All the unread writers
Where do their books belong?
posted by Maxson at 1:48 PM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really nice find, thanks twists and turns.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 5:57 PM on December 17, 2012


Nice post. But certainly Aime Cesaire doesn't really belong on this list...
posted by methroach at 7:39 PM on December 17, 2012


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