2020 was an eventful year for the world but also for punctum, including redesigning our visual identity and launching two new imprints! Read our financial and activity report for 2020 here: https://punctumbooks.pubpub.org/pub/punctum-financial-activity-report-2020/
These last few weeks, every time the sun was suddenly showing up, even for less than an hour, you would find me in a park a few minutes away from my flat, trying to grasp light and warmth before the next rainbow (and these scattered showers, to me always new, sudden, unexpected). Reading. In the middle of a workday. Just like this, for no reason, with no intention.
This is how I read How We Write: Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blank Page, a wonderful collection of autoethnographic essays on (academic) writing edited by Suzanne Conklin Akbari in 2015. Personal, funny, sometimes confusing, often illuminating, always delightful.
Naomi Truan collects her favorite fragments from How We Write: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blank Page: https://icietla.hypotheses.org/2600
punctum has signed the Metadata2020 metadata pledge. By signing the pledge, punctum books promises to be “an advocate for richer, connected, and reusable open metadata”: https://punctumbooks.pubpub.org/pub/punctum-books-signs-metadata2020-pledge/release/
The problem with hyperobjects is that you cannot experience one, not completely. You also can’t not experience one. They bump into you, or you bump into them; they bug you, but they are also so massive and complex that you can never fully comprehend what’s bugging you. This oscillation between experiencing and not experiencing cannot be resolved. It’s just the way hyperobjects are.
punctum author Morgan Meis writes about Timothy Morton's hyper-pandemic for The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/persons-of-interest/timothy-mortons-hyper-pandemic
Experience punctum author Alessandro de Francesco's immersive textual experience, "Expanded Poetry #1" here: http://dertank.space/alessandro-de-francesco-exhibition/
Anyone who engages with this book will take away a myriad of new insights, theories, methods, and actions. It offers highly intelligent readings of early medieval English texts. It carries out a revised history of the field of "Anglo-Saxon" studies, laying bare the more disturbing ideologies that helped to mould the discipline. It makes it clear what is at stake when calling oneself an "Anglo-Saxonist" or promoting "Anglo-Saxonism". It demonstrates a new way of doing contemporary medieval studies. Furthermore, it recreates the academic monograph as a mode of research and genre of writing. I would encourage all scholars of early English studies, and English literary studies more broadly, to read this book and to think with it.
James Paz reviews Donna Beth Ellard's punctum book Anglo-Saxon(ist) Pasts, postSaxon Futures: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/tmr/article/view/32805/36543
In a kind of spiritual successor to the genre-defying No Archive Will Restore You, Singh, an associate professor of English and gender studies, reveals the most intimate details of her life and politics.
Review of a new book from punctum author Julietta Singh, The Breaks (Coffee House Press): https://www.publishersweekly.com/9781566896160?permamore
John Schad’s experimental biography, Paris Bride: A Modernist Life, mixes fact and fiction as it speculates on the life of one of his ancestors, Marie Schad. Confronted with scant archival fact, John turns to literary pastiche and quotation to imagine her early-twentieth-century life by thinking alongside modernist writers. Long-time friend of the podcast, Alexandra Harris, a writer and literary critic who specialises in literary modernism, joins this discussion to give her insights on the literary context.
John Schad's punctum book Paris Bride: A Modernist Life featured on Writing Lives: Biography and Beyond podcast: https://anchor.fm/writing-lives-podcast/episodes/John-Schad--Alexandra-Harris-Imagining-a-Modernist-Life-e140n5l
The book merges academic theory with the personal, considering the body as an archive and jumping off from Antonio Gramsci’s comment that history leaves in us an infinity of traces.
Jasleen Kauer selects Julietta Singh's punctum book No Archive Will Restore You as one of the best art books to dive into this summer: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/blog/artists-recommend-the-best-arty-books-for-you-to-dive
Doug Dibbern’s hyper-intelligent “counterfactual history” of cinema is a revelation. In Cinema’s Doppelgängers, Hitchcock never left Britain; Welles opened his career with Heart of Darkness, not Citizen Kane; and D.W. Griffith died before filming an adaptation of The Clansman. As Dibbern puts it, “[M]ost of what I’ve written never actually took place. At least not in this world.”
Christopher Schobert recommends Cinema’s Doppelgängers in The Film Stage: https://thefilmstage.com/recommended-new-filmmaking-books-tarantinos-return-to-hollywood-shyamalans-old-inspiration-making-fargo-more/
Dorothy Kim & Adeline Koh (eds.) – Alternative Historiographies of the Digital Humanities
Craig Dworkin – Helicography
Anna Backman Rogers – Still Life: Notes on Barbara Loden's 'Wanda' (1970)
Roy Christopher – Follow for Now, Vol. 2: More Interviews with Friends and Heroes
Morgan Meis & J.M. Tyree – Wonder, Horror, and Mystery in Contemporary Cinema: Letters on Malick, Von Trier, and Kieślowski
M. Munro – The Map and the Territory
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