Blake Butler is the author of EVER (Calamari Press 09) and Scorch Atlas (forthcoming from Featherproof Books). His work has been published in Ninth Letter, Fence, Unsaid, New York Tyrant, Willow Springs, etc. He lives in Atlanta and blogs at gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.com.
what are you reading now
After just finishing Nicholson Baker's amazing pre-WWII history Human Smoke, I'm doing Georgi Gospodinov's Natural Novel from Dalkey: very meta and yet cohesive, about writing and dreams and people. Bulgarians are crunk.
classic you’ve been meaning to read
Journey to the End of the Night by Céline has been that one book that I touch every single time I go into a bookstore, and swear to god that this will be the year: one day it will happen?
last book to bring you to tears
Michael Kimball's How Much of Us There Was (one of only two books to ever bring me to this point, honestly: I'm not much of a crier).
most treasured book in your collection
Easily my autographed 1st edition copy of Infinite Jest, which Wallace inscribed for me when I met and saw him read in Boston in 2005. It says, “To Blake, in the mind-bonding heat.”
best book-to-film adaptation
I've always been partial to Cronenberg's Naked Lunch, since it doesn't try to be the book, but becomes a whole new entity around it; also love A Clockwork Orange and Short Cuts and of course Wild at Heart.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
I think I had that huge Cremaster compendium book out for a long time, though I'm not sure who it impressed. Also had some Ralph Steadman collection out for a while. I never have people over.
collected stories of
Amy Hempel changed my life.
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
For its regularity and thoroughness of my blown mind: New York Tyrant.
best thing you’ve read online recently
I've been spending hours upon hours rolling through the archives at Ubu. There's so much there one could likely spend several years reading, watching, listening. Too good.
most anticipated upcoming release
So many: really curious about Wallace's The Pale King, kind of scared too, but will read with big eyes; excited for a heap of things forthcoming from Six Gallery Press, including books by Sean Kilpatrick, Evan Lavender-Smith, and Sam Pink; and super excited also for Brian Evenson's very soon forthcoming Fugue State, as he completely changed my head with every new book.
recommended reading list:
Six Books with One Word Titles that I Can’t Remember Ever Having Talked About Online Before
- Correction by Thomas Bernhard
- Impotent by Matthew Roberson
- Atlassed by Jane Unrue
- Oblivion by David Foster Wallace
- Povel by Geraldine Kim
- Twilight by William Gay
Six Books I’ve Had on My To-Read-Soon Pile for 2+ Years At Least, Which I Plan to Break Before the End of the Year
- Iceland by Jim Krusoe
- 10:01 by Lance Olsen
- The Obscene Bird of Night by José Donoso
- Drought by Suzanne McNear
- Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis
- The Questionnaire by Jiří Gruša
Six Nonfiction Works that Have Infected My Writing as much as Any Fiction, On and On
- The Next American Essay edited by John D'Agata
- The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
- Rising Up and Rising Down by William Vollmann
- A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
- A Thousand Plateaus by Deleuze & Guattari
- Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Wittgenstein