THE GARDEN (DIRECTOR’S CUT)

Garden_R1 cover1 copyIn 1994, in the company of Italian anarchist & photographer “Dekaro,” the author travelled across Morocco & the disputed Western Sahara. The notebooks from that journey furnished the basis for The Garden which, after appearing piecemeal in magazines, was published as the inaugural title in the Salt Modern Fiction Series (Cambridge, 2001). Long out-of-print, this complete, unexpurgated edition restores to its full scope a work that more than twenty years after it was written remains confronting. Hashish-infused, amphetamine-driven & ranging in bold thematic cross-cuts from the seminal “garden” of the Book of Genesis to Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights The Perfumed Garden of Shaykh Nefzawi to Pierre Guyotat’s Eden Eden Eden & Derek Jarman’s film of the same name, Armand’s The Garden is by turns excoriating & lyrical, political & pornographic, a blasphemous ransacking of literary & theological pieties – “a practice, an ascetic aesthetic,” as McKenzie Wark wrote in one early review, “for moving toward feeling in the pure form of its impurity.”

The Garden [Director’s Cut] is an amplified exposition of the original. In this complete version Louis Armand takes you into hyper-imaginative zones as astounding as a Moroccan garden – as seductive as its fragrance and as artfully designed. It’s a chimerical tale of disorientation and lust – the chronicle of a writer with debilitated perception “pouring His morose soul into His writing-machine.” (Pam Brown)

Conceived  “in the confrontation of light & intractable unlight,” this incredible piece of the supreme Manichean and above all, post-Epicurean writing, sums up the best traditions of contemporary “Western” literary thinking and that Eastern one, exemplified by Nizami’s Diwan or Attar of Nishapur’s The Conference of the Birds. Above all, this « novel » or the author’s travelogue breaths through the air and floats above the hot dunes of human history in the brightest daylight of contemporary fiction. (Nina Zivancevic)

Imagine being on a movie set of a film modernizing the story of Marduk and Tiamat, with a script based on the writings of Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, and the actor playing the Marduk character asks the director for his motivation in the scene when he first meets Tiamat, unaware that the director is on speed. The director riffs The Garden. (Gregory L. Ulmer)

The Garden flows like boiling water you quickly have to catch before it spews all over the stove. There will be no periods stopping you as this is an unpunctuated piece of internal enjambment, annotating rhythmic genius. The experiences I had during this journey were both arduous and palpitating as this is a living, breathing piece of work. I constantly find myself returning and invariably glimpsing a new painting from this ever-changing and clean canvas. (John David Bull)

The Garden [Director’s Cut] is published by 11:11 press in Minneapolis, September 2020.

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GAGARIN

Gagarin_Louis ArmandThe Orbital continues like this, night after night. Slant of cosmic rain slashing the blacktop. Dopplered taillights receding. Not alone then. The great migration to outer. Not the sole survivor then. Focus on that. Focus on the drift, the undertow, the invisible line reeling in. A distributed mass of alter-egos. Vanishing. And each time around the same again. The same vanishing again. The same slant. The same outer. Till none left. No others left. Only the survival to survive. Repeating. After night: night. Eons of undone time. Focus on that. The second before & the second after. Nothing between. Nothing from nothing, but the random propulsion of an idea. Focus on that. An idea of “nothing.” First one, then the other. Gravity’s re-birth. The fall. A flashing blue enveloping light.

Louis Armand’s novella GAGARIN appears in its entirety in Always Crashing Issue Three, available to order via Bookshop, Barnes and Noble, Amazon. Read an excerpt.

MONUMENT

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Is this an end to torment? To the Great Cause? To Progress? To Civilisation? To Life As We Know It? To the gods of Chichen Itza? To the Pleasure Principle? To Knowledge? To your local Synthetic Chicken Franchise? To the Saturday Night Game? To the future of Martian exploration? To Xanadu? To race-, wage- & gender- slavery? To free optional extras? To certainty? To ideology? To evolution? To eat-all-you-can lunchtime specials? To literacy, the novel, the book, poetry? To poverty? To property? To patriarchy? To posterity? To perpetuity? To peeled pre-washed potatoes in plastic vacuum packs? Is this finally the end of the party? Of the road? Of the line? Of “us”? Of innocence? Of your favourite TV show? Of the Big Dream? Of the Revolution? Of days in the sun? Of your season pass? Of beachfront Caribbean tax havens? Of the shelf-life’s shelf-life? Of the Autumn Sale? Is it just the end of the Beginning or really the beginning of the End? Of the Free World? Of America? Of Mickey Mouse? Of boredom? Of our sentimental academic “sense of ending”? The categorical End to end all “ends”? The end, at last, of The End? Continue reading

GLASSHOUSE

! ! Glasshouse front cover PUBLISH RGB“À ces mots, il s’est tu. Assez de mots! Il c’est tué.”

Set in and around the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, Europe, the World, the Universe, Armand’s short novel is a whodunit with multiple twists. The setting of the tale against a backdrop of fossils and marvels of taxidermy gives Armand’s story a macroscopic dimension. As if the evolution of an entire species could be compressed into several hours of a Sunday morning. As if a tale of a murdered schoolteacher and a vengeful mob could tell of speciation and extinction throughout the evolutionary history of life on Earth. And it can. Armand’s deftly written fragmentary narrative is a point-counter-point of silent unheard voices, whose apocalyptic finale eschews euphony in favour of a cacophonous refusal of resolution. “NO END” – loose ends being preferable to final solutions…

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CITY PRIMEVAL: NEW YORK, BERLIN, PRAGUE

City-Primeval-New-York-Berlin-Prague-747x1024“This book perfectly captures the unique personalities of the many artists, musicians, writers, performers and just plain kooks who made the 80s zeitgeist rock!” – Ann Magnuson

Curated by Robert Carrithers & Louis Armand CITY PRIMEVAL is a constellation of personal documentaries of place & time by key contemporary writers, poets, musicians, designers, filmmakers, photographers, artists, editors, performers from within the New York, Berlin & Prague underground scenes from the late 1970s to the present; from New York Post-Punk & No Wave, to the fall of the Berlin Wall & Reunification, to the Velvet Revolution & the Prague Renaissance. Continue reading

THE COMBINATIONS

!COMBO front cover medium“A MAJOR MODERN EPIC” —Ricardo Nirenberg

“Louis Armand’s The Combinations covers more linguistic territory than Dupriez’s Dictionary of Literary Devices and Vico’s On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians COMBINED. Worthy!” —Gregory L. Ulmer

In 8 octaves, 64 chapters and 888 pages, Louis Armand’s The Combinations is an unprecedented “work of attempted fiction” that combines the beauty & intellectual exertion that is chess with the panorama of futility & chaos that is Prague (a.k.a. “Golem City”), across the 20th-century and before/after. Golem City, the ship of fools boarded by the famed D’s (e.g. John) and K’s (e.g. Edward) of the 16th/17th centuries (who attempted and failed to turn lead into gold), and the infamous H’s (e.g. Adolf, e.g. Reinhard) of the 20th (who attempted and succeeded in turning flesh into soap). Armand’s prose weaves together the City’s thousand-and-one fascinating tales with a deeply personal account of one lost soul set adrift amid the early-90s’ awakening from the nightmare that was the previous half-century of communist Mitteleuropa. The Combinations is a text whose 1) erudition dazzles, 2) structure humbles, 3) monotony never bores, 4) humour disarms, 5) relentlessness overwhelms, 6) storytelling captivates, 7) poignancy remains poignant, and 8) style simply never exhausts itself. Your move, Reader. Continue reading

ABACUS

ABACUS front cover smallA decade-by-decade portrait of 20th-century Australia through the prism of one family. Abacus is a novel about the end times, of generational violence and the instinct for survival by one of Australia’s leading contemporary poets.

“There is writing here that is twisted towards poetic vibrations of disgust and horror that’s inevitably funny in a wry desolate register, making the reading a degenerate pilgrimage.” Richard Marshall, 3AM Magazine

Abacus weaves an erudite but harsh beauty from the tattered seams of Australian history.” Cameron Woodhead, Sydney Morning Herald Continue reading

INDIRECT OBJECTS

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“There’s a fabulous aggregate of extraordinary, iconic Australianisms in this book—a northern river meeting a night sea in a kind of dreamy humid methadone metaphor, the tropical erotic-exotica of Donald Friend’s Balinese pen drawings, Richard Lowenstein’s classic-80s rock film Dogs in Space alongside a junkie Darlinghurst Gauguin selling his drawings to get money to score in a poem for John Kinsella that proceeds by a seedy Sydney-urban philosophising and aspires to a better life, ‘Patrick White as a Headland’,  Charles Blackman, Francis Webb, and in Melbourne—a monologue from an Aboriginal boxer in Fitzroy,  freeze frames at St Kilda Beach, Swanston Street, Brunswick Street and so on.” —Pam Brown Continue reading

CAIRO

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What do a crashed satellite, a string of bizarre murders and a time-warp conspiracy have in common? Welcome to CAIRO, where the future’s just a game and you’re already dead.

Set between New York, London, Prague, Cairo and the Australian desert, CAIRO has been described as “a vivid, dizzying and ultimately exhilarating exploration of the global nightmare… forceful and convincing and fist-pumpingly hilarious” (Thor Garcia, author of The News Clown).

“A genre defying anti-novel… Like communism it is the movement of vast majorities unfettered by a state!” Stewart Home, author of Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie

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