In the winter of 476 AD, the Ostrogoths, hungry and exhausted from wandering for months along the barren confines of the Byzantine Empire, wrote to Emperor Zeno in Constantinople requesting permission to enter the walled city of Epidaurum and just kinda crash and charge their phones. Closer to home, Orpheus walks Eurydice through a suburban refrigerator, Abidjan has 12,756 streets with no way to go from one to another, and the poetics of car accidents, capitalist consumption, and anarchist terrorism unfold at a Southern California car dealership.
Readers of all centuries will feel at home in this book, as an apocalypse of tax law and classical mythology quietly descends upon their living room and reveals a medieval theology of design, theater, and light.
The Goths and Other Stories is a collection of short works at the intersection of prose fiction, experimental poetry, philosophy, and design theory. The book’s six stories are set in different times and places—sometimes within the same narrative—but have in common a slippery approach to the boundaries between fiction and theory, between ontological planes, between the comical and the moral. Together they also form a treatise on the nature of writing as a branch of design—one whose medium is easier to reveal than to define.
Tis Kaoru Zamler-Carhart (they/them) is a designer, photographer, writer, singer, and music composer. Tis’s literary and photographic work revolves around objects, surfaces, and materials, speculative worlds, Africa and its futurisms, linguistics, the European Middle Ages, and the fragile boundaries of seriousness. Their musical work, as both composer and singer, encompasses opera and theater music, chamber music, and solo vocal music. Tis teaches transdisciplinary design at Parsons School of Design in New York. Tis formerly taught medieval music and Latin at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, The Netherlands, and was the artistic director of the vocal group Ascoli Ensemble, and the lead singer of the band Zamler-Carhart/Rauh/Greenberg.
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