Recent Work By Greg Gerke

Both of these statements often occupy me, fanning my flames more than the food I eat or the merriment I make. Shall I bend an eye and singe an ear over Dickinson or Stevens? Hop into bed with Borges or Bishop? Yet when one starts reading essays pointing to other works one should read, one compounds an already compelling problem. A few weeks ago some force intervened with an answer, possibly signaling a caesura to my yen for other books to fondle while carrying three or four masterworks in my bag at a time, daily stealing kisses from each. Sluttish, yes, but also tremulous—I only need wink at Rilke or Valéry in order to gain affection I know will be good for me, a guarantee anything with a heart would scoff at.

In discussing Stanley Kubrick and his influence, I often point people to three interviews with renown French film critic Michel Ciment. After 2001, Kubrick gave very few interviews and these serve as his only extended statements on Barry Lyndon and The Shining. Recently, audio portions from these conversations turned up.

In lower Manhattan on October 5th, I marched with 15,000-25,000 people of all ages, colors, and backgrounds, protesting the way things are on this planet as dictated by corporate greed. A computer icon died the same day, but something much more important, vital, and amazing happened and continues. People—many of whom know the government is a fair-weather fan of the people and who are again and again complicit in protecting corporations and the super-rich from any trouble—people are changing the world by speaking out.

 

Tim Horvath is the author of the novella Circulation from sunnyoutside. Next year he will have a book of short stories come out with Bellevue Literary Press. He also edits fiction at the journal Camera Obscura. His rigorously written prose investigates families, cities, and science, as well as a lot of other arcana. We spoke about his fiction, how he writes, his history, and the myraid influences in his life.

Last week in New York City was William H. Gass week as three encounters with the man and his work sent me sailing, coming to be a little more in love with words and the people who love them.

A good friend in Oregon once showed Andre Tarkovsky’s Solaris to his movie group, resulting in him never being able to choose a film for the group again. Complaints about slowness, confusion about who is who. Solaris is slow and confusing. That is the crux of its art.

In Solaris, psychologist Kris Kelvin is summoned to go to a space station orbiting an ocean planet called Solaris. The crew there has endured severe emotional traumas and the goal of trying to study the planet has gotten nowhere. Kris is to assess what is going on but shortly after he arrives he starts to have hallucinations himself.

Solaris defies expectations for a “science fiction” film but it also defies itself. It is jumbled, like our brain pans, by design. Its mysteries manifold, it is a film that communicates through its cinematography, a rarity, but this communication is something so rich that it can’t digested in one viewing, or two…