“How do you know the moment when you cease to be human?"
May 2, 2012 1:16 PM   Subscribe

We are the artistically creative authors of the truths we live by. We must then, if we are honest, live more tentatively in relation to the security and consistency we achieve through language. The effect of this conclusion, at least for me, at least most of the time, is bracing.

It is not bracing for everyone.

Scott Abbott examines the violent, funny, and philosophically distressing fictions of Brian Evenson, one of our most accomplished dark fantasists and genre-bending authors.

- Outtakes from the essay.

- Evenson on minimalism. (previously)

- NPR review of Immobility.

- Weird Fiction Review discusses the concept of salvation in Brotherhood of Mutilation.

- Some of Evenson's stories:


Anskan House (an update of Rudyard Kipling's The Wish House)

The Oxygen Protocol
posted by Idler King (6 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
One of my favorite Evenson stories is "The Evanescence of Marion Le Goff".
posted by idiopath at 1:21 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh man! The Open Curtain. THE OPEN CURTAIN.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:32 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

And after poking around a bit more, a number of other stories from Altman's Tongue are linked here.
posted by idiopath at 1:32 PM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

I just read The Munich Window (p1, p2), and it was the most distressing reading experience I've had in quite a while.
posted by luftmensch at 3:42 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yes! I've loved Evenson for years, since the awesome awesome awesome article about him in the Believer a few years back: The Bad Mormon.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:54 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

I was introduced to Evenson in the mid '90s, a Mormon Goth friend told me that Altman's Tongue was the greatest book of stories he had ever read. I have been ambiguously fascinated ever since, and make a habit of checking if he has new books or collections for me to read every few years.

In many ways Evenson's stories actually are what I thought Stephen King's stories were when I was a child - a safe way to peer into that gap between life and unliving meat.
posted by idiopath at 12:43 PM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

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