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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #435 on: February 17, 2022, 02:58:42 AM »

Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos (I assume that is how they would like the book to be titled?) was the first Sotos that I read, and I liked it quite a bit.  It felt like something that would become more meaningful/interesting with multiple readings.  While there were a few sections where the discussion of the art was rather explicit, much of the book seemed like it was just dwelling on/circling around a collection of themes, ideas, and images related to Maunz's artwork (from Sotos' perspective at least).

The art, of course, was fantastic on its own.

The one thing that I personally think would have added a lot to the book, now that I think of it, would have been an interview with Maunz conducted by Sotos - but maybe that would have been a bit too direct for what they were aiming for.

So how indicative is this book of Sotos' general style as a writer?
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Grimpin
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« Reply #436 on: May 08, 2022, 06:43:29 PM »

Quote from:  Balor
So how indicative is this book of Sotos' general style as a writer?

I'd read all of Sotos' previous books before reading it - with the sole exception of Show Adult, I've never been able to get a copy of - and from the 2010s on Sotos' work is getting more cryptic/abstruse and dense, and far less extreme; an elegiac, depressing quality seeping in to boot. Not a criticism, just an observation. I see parallels with Samuel Beckett, with books of his like The Unnamable and How It is, more than any other writer, with this later era Sotos. And Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos certainly carries on in that direction. To me the late-1990s to mid-2000s work like Lazy, Tick, Comfort & Critique and the underrated Predicate are the height of his powers: in terms of experimentation (bizarre structuring), his prowess as a writer, the nightmarish and nauseating quality. But I'm glad he's mellowed out somewhat since, and gone in a relatively different direction, rather than repeating himself..

The problem I did have with Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos though (to contradict myself that I'm glad Sotos isn't repeating himself) is quite a portion of it is constituted of copied-and-pasted passages from his previous books - something I don't think he's ever done before, with perhaps the exception of Lordotics if I remember correctly? Such as the anecdote about his father's queer bashing - taken from Predicate - and his taking up smoking in gay bars - taken from Comfort & Critique. And various sex scenes, lifted wholesale too. I suppose there's an argument to be made he's "revisiting haunted themes from his previous work, placed in a new context", or whatever, but to me it seemed more like a lazy attempt to pad out the word count. Which is a bit out of order considering the price of the book, if you're not a Lionel Maunz fanatic at least. That said, I do think Sotos has it in him to do a William Burroughs Dead Fingers Talk-esque unalloyed collaging together and revisiting of his previous work in a book.. If this was it, it wasn't too great an attempt.. Though some of the newly-written text was quite brilliant, particularly the opening pages.. And I imagine a reread will be more rewarding..
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 11:23:41 PM by Grimpin » Logged
Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #437 on: May 09, 2022, 02:49:21 AM »

Quote from:  Balor
So how indicative is this book of Sotos' general style as a writer?

I'd read of all of Sotos' books before reading it - with the sole exception of Show Adult, I've never been able to get a copy of - and from the 2010s on Sotos' work is getting more cryptic and abstruse, far less extreme; a elegiac, depressing quality seeping in to boot. Not a criticism, just an observation. I see parallels with Samuel Beckett, with books of his like The Unnamable and How It is, more than any other writer, with this later era Sotos. And Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos certainly carries on in that direction. To me the late-1990s to mid-2000s work like Lazy, Tick, Comfort & Critique and the underrated Predicate are the height of his powers: in terms of experimentation (bizarre structuring), his prowess as a writer, the nightmare quality. But I'm glad he's mellowed out somewhat since, and gone in a relatively different direction, rather than repeating himself..

The problem I did have with Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos though (to contradict myself that I'm glad Sotos isn't repeating himself) was quite a portion of it constituted of copied-and-pasted passages from his previous books - something I don't think he's ever done before, with perhaps the exception of Lordotics if I remember correctly? Such as the anecdote about his father's queer bashing - taken from Predicate - and his taking up smoking in gay bars - taken from Comfort & Critique. And various sex scenes, lifted wholesale too. I suppose there's an argument to be made he's "revisiting haunting themes from his previous work, placed in a new context", or whatever, but to me it seemed more like a lazy attempt to pad out the word count. Which is a bit out of order considering the price of the book, if you're not a Lionel Maunz fanatic at least. That said, I do think Sotos has it in him to do a William Burroughs Dead Fingers Talk-esque unalloyed collaging together and revisiting of his previous work in a book.. If this was it, it wasn't too great an attempt.. Though some of the newly-written text was quite brilliant, particularly the opening pages.. And I imagine a reread will be more rewarding..

Thanks for this.  I recently gained access to some of Sotos' earlier books, so I will have to read those soon for a better sense of comparison.

It is interestion that you mention the repetition.  I assumed when I was reading Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos that the only quotations were the sections written in italics, but maybe that was only sources by other authors.

It has been a while now since I last opened the book, but I agree that going through it again will prove more interesting that the first time around.

I feel like I am missing something really obvious, but was this Sotos' book "about" an artist?  I know that he did a book with the Kiddiepunk guy a while ago, but my understanding was that that was more like a text/art pairing rather than a commentary.
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Grimpin
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« Reply #438 on: May 09, 2022, 04:53:53 AM »

Quote from: Balor/SS1535
It is interestion that you mention the repetition.  I assumed when I was reading Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos that the only quotations were the sections written in italics, but maybe that was only sources by other authors.

I think that's what made the passages of brute self-plagiarisation quite interesting in Maunz Sotos. He wasn't "quoting" these passages or putting them in italics. He was outright copying and pasting chunks of his previous writing, from books written around fifteen years ago, with no obvious reference or declaration he was. Like I said, the most cynical way of looking at it is he was dry of inspiration and was trying to fill up the word count, to hoodwink the people who hadn't read these previous books (within his loyal 500-person-strong fanbase or whatever). Though I suspect (hope) more was going on..

Quote
I feel like I am missing something really obvious, but was this Sotos' book "about" an artist?  I know that he did a book with the Kiddiepunk guy a while ago, but my understanding was that that was more like a text/art pairing rather than a commentary.

Desistance (2015) can be considered a companion piece to Maunz Sotos, more than Home, in that that book is ostensibly all about the work of the photographer Antoine D'Agata - but in fact just a springboard for Sotos to go on a wild goose chase inside his own obsessions (albeit the most sexless book he's penned so far), occasionally returning to the fulcrum.

I think that "missing something really obvious" feeling is an essence of Sotos' work. There's always that aura of mystery you'll never really pin down, or his motives, if he even has any.. Though like I said in my first message this cryptic feeling is getting more pronounced in his later work. Probably that missing-something-obvious factor is a few screws inside Sotos' head!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2022, 05:39:48 AM by Grimpin » Logged
Grimpin
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« Reply #439 on: May 09, 2022, 05:18:35 AM »

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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #440 on: May 09, 2022, 07:50:11 PM »

Quote from: Balor/SS1535
It is interestion that you mention the repetition.  I assumed when I was reading Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos that the only quotations were the sections written in italics, but maybe that was only sources by other authors.

I think that's what made the passages of brute self-plagiarisation quite interesting in Maunz Sotos. He wasn't "quoting" these passages or putting them in italics. He was outright copying and pasting chunks of his previous writing, from books written around fifteen years ago, with no obvious reference or declaration he was. Like I said, the most cynical way of looking at it is he was dry of inspiration and was trying to fill up the word count, to hoodwink the people who hadn't read these previous books (within his loyal 500-person-strong fanbase or whatever). Though I suspect (hope) more was going on..

Quote
I feel like I am missing something really obvious, but was this Sotos' book "about" an artist?  I know that he did a book with the Kiddiepunk guy a while ago, but my understanding was that that was more like a text/art pairing rather than a commentary.

Desistance (2015) can be considered a companion piece to Maunz Sotos, more than Home, in that that book is ostensibly all about the work of the photographer Antoine D'Agata - but in fact just a springboard for Sotos to go on a wild goose chase inside his own obsessions (albeit the most sexless book he's penned so far), occasionally returning to the fulcrum.

I think that "missing something really obvious" feeling is an essence of Sotos' work. There's always that aura of mystery you'll never really pin down, or his motives, if he even has any.. Though like I said in my first message this cryptic feeling is getting more pronounced in his later work. Probably that missing-something-obvious factor is a few screws inside Sotos' head!

On of the things that struck me about Lionel Maunz Peter Sotos is that the "title" of the book does not make a clear distinction between title and author.  To me, that means that it can be read as either (or simultaneously) Lionel Maunz by Peter Sotos or Peter Sotos by (or illustrated by) Lionel Maunz.  If you take the latter of the two options, then it makes sense that Sotos would include direct quotations of his own work.  Maunz was inspired by Sotos' previous books, not this one clearly, so it makes sense that to understand Sotos' connection to Maunz we have to look back at his older writings.

The "missing something obvious" was less an interpretation of his writing on my part, than an "I feel like he wrote another book about an artist, but am forgetting the title."  But I nevertheless find your analysis interesting.  I didn't get any sense of mystery from reading the most recent book, but that might just be due to my lack of experience with his writing.  If anything, my first impression was a lack of mystery, a certain sense of carnal familiarity with his subject matter that does not warrent explicit description.

I will have to seek out more information about his book on D'Agata now!
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #441 on: September 19, 2022, 10:51:04 PM »

https://amphetaminesulphate.bigcartel.com/product/b-missed-better-still-b-br-peter-sotos
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Pius
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« Reply #442 on: September 24, 2022, 07:39:38 PM »

Just went on sale today.
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #443 on: September 24, 2022, 10:12:03 PM »

Just went on sale today.

Thanks!  Just got my copy.
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deakin
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« Reply #444 on: December 30, 2022, 01:26:36 PM »

Since nobody posted anything regarding Missed. Better Still.
Collecting material from nearly all of his books (leaving out Tool & Special and Maunz/Sotos)
plus texts that came exclusively with the Collected Peter Sotos series issued by
Creation books in 2009/2010. The short waitress section is comprised of excerpts from
the 4 issues that came with the limited hardcover editions of aforementioned collected series.
Complete to this compendium are only the Home, the perfect Jason Swift and the Crows texts (the perfect Jason Swift comes with the artwork that was in the collected series, Home is text only like Crows missing the xeroxed personal ads and catalogues etc.)
The book also features artwork from Kept (filming children) and a 15 page excerpt from Indulging Children
from the same volume. This however is labeled incorrectly as Missing Children (which is the 35 page text that concludes Kept.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2022, 02:09:49 PM by deakin » Logged
Grimpin
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« Reply #445 on: December 31, 2022, 04:47:18 AM »

Since nobody posted anything regarding Missed. Better Still....

I haven't gotten around to reading yet - arrived a few days ago - but I really like how regardless of the contents page each excerpt isn't titled, so you can plough on regardless congealing it all into some stand-alone thing, if you so wish...That and the fact I've never read any of these pieces included as addendas in The Collected Peter Sotos volumes, which will be new to me. I wrote in a previous message, before this book was announced, that I think Sotos has it in him to pull off a William Burroughs Dead Fingers Talk-esque thing (if which he threw in a pot four or five of his previous books, and created something new), and this looks like it's likely that, judging by having a skim through..

Interested to see what he does next, if he stays alive much longer. As this book seems like a full stop. Rainer Werner Fassbiner once said, in response to criticism about some of his films being so similar: "I hope to build a house with my films. Some of them are the cellar, some are the walls, and some are the windows. But I hope in time there will be a house.” Sotos has certainly been building house too for about forty years..

The only other thing I'd bother to mention - before reading it - is it's interesting he notably left out Special for inclusion (the earlier more over-the-top, juvenile stuff is understandable). I say that's my favourite book of his, if i had to pick. Best to keep it untouched I suppose! Said the actress to the Bishop.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2022, 01:31:47 PM by Grimpin » Logged
Grimpin
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« Reply #446 on: December 31, 2022, 01:26:58 PM »

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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #447 on: December 31, 2022, 07:11:09 PM »

It's interesting to hear that the book contains some complete texts, as it was marketed as if it was entirely works in excerpt.  While I do like the idea of not having any marking indicating which books the chapters come from (aside from the table of contents), I still think it would have been nice to include at least some bibliographic information---even just as an appendix.  I had never really read Sotos aside from the book on Maunz, so some of that would be important to me.

The only real complaint that I have about the book (I love the writing, his style is genius) is the cover art.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  It seems to lack the crude cut-up-ness of the collages included in the book, more digital-looking than anything.
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #448 on: December 31, 2022, 07:13:31 PM »

(Also, let's face it, it was pretty expensive for what we actually got in terms of physical book quality.)
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Grimpin
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« Reply #449 on: January 01, 2023, 04:02:20 AM »

The only real complaint that I have about the book (I love the writing, his style is genius) is the cover art.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  It seems to lack the crude cut-up-ness of the collages included in the book, more digital-looking than anything.

Yeah thought the same when I first saw it as advertised for pre-sale - some half-arsed photoshop job, almost a Sotos parody - but it's warmed on me a bit seeing it in physical reality. I prefer the brute simplicity of covers like the Creation-published Index, and especially the Void-published Comfort and Critique, and of course the Jim Goad published Total Abuse compendium (I dread to think the source). And The Collected Peter Sotos covers are fantastic too. It seemed to go downhill a bit, cover-wise, with Nine Banded Books... see: Ingratitude for a particularly dire job.. Though I love the Nine Banded Books re-issued Mine cover, one of the best!

I'm never usually that bothered about book cover art, at all, but when I'm effectively crippling my bank balance for a book it's at least worth thinking about..
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