28 October 2022

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – final instalment and summary

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras, the series I have commissioned for MAP Magazine since November 2022, comes to a close this week.

Here are the contributions to the last instalment, and a summary page with links to all the pieces in the series.

Julia Calver, Vocal Recall: Reading for a Friend’s Voice

Gemma Blackshaw, The Sick Train, Part 1 and Part 2

Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright, Listening with Eunice

Autumn Richardson, A Prayer to Tláloc – Fragments of an Invocation 

17 October 2022

YouTube book launch

On 12 October I spoke with Jennifer Hodgson about my two new books, Nothing As We Need It and Chimeras.

The conversation is now on YouTube.

16 September 2022

Chimeras, new book and launches

My new book Chimeras is now published on Sublunary Editions, and available here.

On 12 October I will be in conversation with Jennifer Hodgson on Zoom, to talk about Chimeras and its non-identical twin volume Nothing As We Need It, published by Punctum Books / Risking Education. 

You can register here.

On 22 November I will launch both books at Good Press in Glasgow, in conversation with Kate Briggs. The launch is organised by the Art Writing MLitt at Glasgow School of Art. 

I will also present the books at Arnolfini Bristol on 18 October, in the inaugural event of the Writing In Through To Art (WITTA) series curated by Lizzie Lloyd, which will feature readings and presentations by Polly Barton and myself. 

Chimeras is a book concerned with silences, the unspoken undercurrents of untranslated texts. Prompted by the author’s encounters with the lesser-known prose by the Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-72), and with the essays and letters by the Italian writer and translator Cristina Campo (1923-77), Cascella finds her voice in the uneasy space where there seems to be little to say because there is too much that is difficult to articulate; and she asks what happens in writing before translation, what faint signals may be heard, and how to transmit them.

The resulting text presents three approaches to writing in these conditions, all of them arguing for a writing of criticism as kinship, resonance, conversation, entanglement, haunting. In the Deranged Essay the author’s conflicts, euphorias, struggles in reading Campo and Pizarnik become part of the text rather than being excluded; in the Imaginary Conversation, written in the lineage and in the artificial tones of the ancient Dialogues of the Dead, she talks with Campo and Pizarnik drawing on their letters and journals, allowing her words to merge with theirs, in the gaps she found while studying their archives, where evidence is missing and another form of thinking with their works can be imagined and written; finally, the Transcelation is a text written in the form of the making and the tolling of a bell, fusing the old bronze of Campo’s prose into the author’s own, attempting to transmit Campo’s tone, working with the resonance of her words to the point where it is no longer clear who is commenting on whom, transforming, interfering, repeating, as footnotes overspill and become frayed, fictional, confused.

11 August 2022

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – June, July, August issues

Upreference (from the urn-taciturn)
editorial, by Daniela Cascella

By Night, Tidal City
Ella Finer and James Wilkes

by Dan Beachy-Quick and Kylan Rice

Rhythm: The Subtle Noise of Prose, That Road of Many Songs
editorial, by Daniela Cascella

On Repentance
by Snejanka Mihaylova

by Jen/Eleana Hofer

Singing, Fading
editorial, by Daniela Cascella

To Be Elastic
by Enxhi Mandija

Too Likeable (To The Side of Rosemary Mayer)
by Alice Butler

4 July 2022

Nothing As We Need It: A Chimera

Nothing As We Need It: A Chimera – the first of two books around Chimeric Writing – is now published on Punctum Books’ new imprint Risking Education, edited by Ansgar Allen and Emile Bojesen:

The second book, Chimeras: A Deranged Essay, An Imaginary Conversation, A Transcelation will be published by Sublunary Editions in September.

Nothing As We Need It: A Chimera imagines and writes a composite and impure form of criticism that embodies the writing of research as recursive, entangled, and many-voiced.

Shaped by encounters with literature not translated in English, by the polyphonies, artifices, and concealments of a bilingual self, and by the sense of speechlessness and haunting when writing of works that cannot be instantly quoted, this book’s subtitle derives from the mythological Chimera: a monstrous creature made of three different parts, impossible in theory but real in the imagination and in the reading of the myth. Similarly the book is written in different styles, some of which may seem impossible, monstrous, and disturbing. It manifests critical writing as enmeshment and conversation with its subject matters; favours impurity rather than detachment; embraces exaggeration, repetition, laughter, and self-parody as legitimate forms of knowledge. Yet a chimera also designates the object of a yearning deemed unattainable: this book exists in the space of such yearning, in the tension between words and what exceeds them, their overtones. The critic is exhausted by yearning, rather than the owner of exhaustive knowledge.

A Menippean satire for critical writing, Nothing As We Need It sustains its argument for composite and impure writing in its form. It demands ways of reading equally varied, and wildly imaginative. Listening to literature beyond the limits of textual analysis, it dismisses the visual implications of reflection, which assumes detachment and polished surfaces, in favour of an aural method of resonance, allowing enmeshment and interference. This book unsettles language, welcomes uninhibited exaggeration and wordplay, and manifests possibilities for working with citation beyond the boundaries of inverted commas.

2 May 2022

forthcoming book: Chimeras (September 2022)

My book Chimeras: A Deranged Essay, An Imaginary Conversation, A Transcelation will be published in September this year by Sublunary Editions.

The book is the result of my long-term engagement with the prose work, letters, and journals of Cristina Campo and Alejandra Pizarnik.

It is not a monographic study.

You can read more about Chimeras here.

28 April 2022

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – April issue, and summary so far

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – April issue: 

Critical, Criminal, Cri-de-cœur-ish – my response to last month’s contribution by Sharon Kivland

The Librarian of the World, Part 1 and Part 2, by Jessica Sequeira

We are halfway through the series; all contributions so far are collected in this page.

31 March 2022

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – March

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – March issue: 

Writing That Walks Across the Tops of the Trees – My response to last month’s contribution by Saudamini Deo

Envois V, by Sharon Kivland

Unremembering, by Jen/Eleana Hofer

26 February 2022

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – February

A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras – February issue:

Dialogue of Chimera and D.C. – My response to last month’s contributions by Craig Dworkin and Patrick Farmer:

Our Lady of the Forest, Part 1 and Part 2, by Saudamini Deo

Unremembering, by Jen/Eleana Hofer

1 February 2022

‘Dubbing Daniela Cascella’ on Flash Art

Manuela Pacella has written a comprehensive response to my work, spanning my years writing music journalism in Rome in the 2000s through to my most recent writing. The piece is part of Tell Me Stories!, the column on Art Writing that Manuela edits on Flash Art. The text is entitled ‘Dubbing Daniela Cascella. Rincorrendo una Chimera e ricominciando Da Capo’ (‘Dubbing Daniela Cascella. Chasing a Chimera and rebeginning Da Capo’). In Italian only.

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