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New Book About MZD's Works: "Mark Z. Danielewski" (Manchester University Press)

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  • New Book About MZD's Works: "Mark Z. Danielewski" (Manchester University Press)

    "Mark Z. Danielewski"
    Edited by Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons


    This is the first book-length study of Mark Z. Danielewski, an American novelist who is rapidly establishing himself as a leading figure in the landscape of contemporary literature.

    It places his three major works to date, of Leaves, The Fifty Year Sword and , in their literary-historical context, and considers them alongside the media platforms which they have inspired, including Internet forums and popular music. Leading critics examine Danielewski's pioneering novels, generating new insights into their innovative interplay of word and image.

    A variety of critical perspectives are adopted, from the close analysis of the poetic form of to the consideration of the effects of his work on the reader. Danielewski's use of epic tropes is explored, as too is the relationship of his work to that of his most influential predecessors (including James Joyce) and his most relevant contemporaries (including David Foster Wallace). His radical reappraisal of the dynamic possibilities that the printed book has to offer in this digital age is a common theme.

    The book will be of significant interest to all scholars working on Danielewski, as well as to students of the American novel, contemporary literature, and twenty-first century media culture. It will also appeal to Danielewski's many fans, and all those, who like the contributors to this volume, have been inspired by his work.

    List of Illustrations
    Introduction: Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons

    I. of Leaves
    1. This Is Not for You: Alison Gibbons
    2. Katabasis in Danielewski's of Leaves and Two Other Recent American Novels: Finn Fordham
    3. s of Leaves, Cinema and the New Affordances of Old Media: Paul McCormick
    4. This Haunted : Intertextuality and Interpretation in Mark Danielewski's of Leaves (2000) and Poe's Haunted (2000): Mel Evans
    5. Trickster Authors and Tricky Readers on the MZD forums: Bronwen Thomas

    II. The Fifty Year Sword
    6. Reading the Graphic Surface of Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword: Glyn White

    7. Only Evolutions: Joyce and Danielewski's Works in Progress: Dirk Van Hulle
    8. , or, The Most Typical Poem in World Literature: Brian McHale
    9. Mapping Time, Charting Data: The Spatial Aesthetic of Mark Z. Danielewski's : N. Katherine Hayles
    10. Print Interface to Time: at the Crossroads of Narrative and History: Mark B. N. Hansen
    11. and the Drug of Rereading: Joe Bray


    Joe Bray is Senior Lecturer in Language and Literature at the University of Sheffield.

    Alison Gibbons is Lecturer in Stylistics, Language and Literature at De Montfort University, Leicester.

    UK Release Date: March 1, 2011
    US Release Date: April 12, 2011

    Pre-order on

    Pre-order from Macmillan:

  • #2
    Sweeeeeet. Thanks for the heads up.


    • #3
      So is there a code in arrangement of the pieces in the cover?


      • #4
        Originally posted by MicheleVR5
        So is there a code in arrangement of the pieces in the cover?


        • #5
          Case closed. Looks like we can put this one to bed.


          • #6
            Heh, if it's any consolation, the original middle piece was upside down. And the original bottom left piece doesn't seem to have a place.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ellimist
              Heh, if it's any consolation, the original middle piece was upside down. And the original bottom left piece doesn't seem to have a place.
              I got 7 out of 9 of them placed. I feel like it's that square slidey puzzle where you have to make the picture in the right order.

              This is what I'm getting at here though...method to the madness, or no?

              In Mark's work, there's allways a deeper underlying reason why something's seemingly randomly scattered. I would like to have seen that carry over to this cover...curious if the artist picked up on that, or was just told "here's some book titles, make it interesting"


              • #8
                Sure, we can go deeper into this. I don't want to do homework right now anyway.

                Using normal matrix coordinates (m,n):

                1,1   1,2   1,3

                2,1   2,2   2,3

                3,1   3,2   3,3


                So we can see the following changes:


                1,1 -> 3,1
                1,2 -> 1,2 (no change)
                1,3 -> 2,3 (swap X)
                2,1 -> 2,1 (no change)
                2,2 -> 3,2 (swap Y and rotated 180 deg)
                2,3 -> 1,3 (swap X)
                3,1 -> 3,3 (unconnected piece?)
                3,2 -> 2,2 (swap Y)
                3,3 -> 1,1

                I don't see any patterns at the moment. (also, to go the other way, change the direction of the arrows and start at the bottom, obviously)
                Last edited by Ellimist; 02-15-2011, 04:49 PM.


                • #9
                  Man, am I ever glad I'm not obligated to read that stuff anymore.

                  I do like to have fun with the "fun title - colon - academic context" conformist behavior though.

                  Academics are nothing if not emulative. That's why they write about other writers.

                  Let's see, what were some I came up with....

                  "You Don't Know Squat: Modern Weight Training Media as Extension of the Homoerotic Bonding Tradition"

                  "Tried to Fit and only Sharted: Phoneme Substitution Among First Year ESL Learners"

                  "With Alice Toward None: Lewis Carrol and his Reluctant Publishers"

                  Come on - join the fun. It beats reading literary analysis.

                  (I know, it's what we do here also - but in smaller bites and only when we feel like it.)


                  • #10
                    Great news indeed! I'm very intrigued by the 'generating new insights ' line...


                    • #11
                      Well, sucking up is always nice, bot not interesting to read.

                      Ok, here's a better one.

                      Who rip-a-dese kids all up?: infanticide as metaphor in Medea

                      Come on, now, that's funny. Don't pretend it's not.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hazel
                        5. Trickster Authors and Tricky Readers on the MZD forums: Bronwen Thomas
                        I wonder what that one's going to be about


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by elmago
                          I wonder what that one's going to be about

                          I can't tell from the title. I thought I'd answer, though, because back in 2009 Thomas wrote me and, I assume, some other forum members to see if I/we had any interest in answering some questions about our sense of forum culture and demographics--things like, is there a forum hierarchy and how is that established, what interest members have in MZD as a person, the level and nature of women's participation, etc. I gather, then, that her article will be something of a sociological study.

                          I said only nice things about us. Of course.

                          One thing I hope will be reflected there is that, as she told me, she is impressed with the quality of discussion of the books here, especially as compared to typical fan sites for authors.

                          Hmm . . . this reminds me of something . . .

                          Originally posted by Don Quixote, Part II, Chapter III

                          Don Quixote remained very deep in thought, waiting for the bachelor Carrasco, from whom he was to hear how he himself had been put into a book as Sancho said; and he could not persuade himself that any such history could be in existence, for the blood of the enemies he had slain was not yet dry on the blade of his sword, and now they wanted to make out that his mighty achievements were going about in print. For all that, he fancied some sage, either a friend or an enemy, might, by the aid of magic, have given them to the press; if a friend, in order to magnify and exalt them above the most famous ever achieved by any knight-errant; if an enemy, to bring them to naught and degrade them below the meanest ever recorded of any low squire, though as he said to himself, the achievements of squires never were recorded. If, however, it were the fact that such a history were in existence, it must necessarily, being the story of a knight-errant, be grandiloquent, lofty, imposing, grand and true.
                          Last edited by John B.; 02-18-2011, 03:24 AM.


                          • #14
                            Did my post in this thread get deleted? Wow.

                            EDIT: Actually, wow. If my post never got sent, then apologies. But if it got deleted because of the content, I would like someone to tell me.
                            Last edited by fatwoul; 02-18-2011, 06:32 AM.


                            • #15
                              Maybe you're too tricky.

                              Seriously - I strongly doubt our hands-off admins would delete a post due to unflattering content. It that's what it was.

                              That sociological person could not write to me, John, because my address is not on here. E-mail or otherwise. Anyway, I'm more of a spoiler than a "contributor." Also I'm sociopathic. Although I did garner a place of honor on the press review listing once. It was my finest hour.

                              OK, well, time for the revamp. I'll be keeping up with MZD on Facebook and Twitter - ha ha ha ha ha!

                              No seriously, see you later.