january 16–31, 2014


  • David Bellos, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? The Amazing Adventure of Translation
  • Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives
  • Aleksandar Hemon, The Question of Bruno
  • Henri Mouhot, Travels in Siam, Cambodia, Laos, and Annam
  • Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief
  • Norman Lewis, A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam


  • The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, directed by Preston Sturges
  • Casanova Brown, dir. Sam Wood
  • Holiday, dir. George Cukor
  • Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife, dir. Ernst Lubitsch


  • “Alexface: The Underground Adventure,” Artery Post-Modern Gallery
  • “Poom Pachavanish: When I Was Just a Little Boy,” Number 1 Gallery
  • “Jackkrit Anantakul: Shape and Form,” Speedy Grandma

management is the problem

“An agricultural people, efficiently tilling fertile soil – and one is reminded of the pre-Columbian Mayans – can live fairly comfortably on an aggregate of forty or fifty days labour a year. Inevitably, however, some organizing genius comes along to make sure that the spare three hundred days are occupied in impressive but largely wasteful undertakings.”

(Norman Lewis, A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, p. 226.)

the name of rome

“A circumstance worthy of remark is that the name of Rome is familiar to nearly all the Cambodians; they pronounce it Rouma, and place it at the western end of the world.”

(Henri Mouhot, Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China: Siam, Cambodia and Laos during the Years 1858, 1859 and 1860, chapter XIV.)

stanzas in meditation, part two

(Part one is here.)

january 1–15, 2014


  • Dashiell Hammett, The Dain Curse
  • Erwin Panofsky, Meaning in the Visual Arts
  • Dora & Erwin Panofsky, Pandora’s Box: The Changing Aspects of a Mythical Symbol
  • Siburapha, Behind the Painting and Other Stories, trans. David Smyth


  • Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?, directed by William Klein
  • Аэлита (Aelita), dir. Yakov Protazanov
  • Monsieur Verdoux, dir. Charles Chaplin
  • Antonijevo Razbijeno Ogledalo, dir. Dušan Makavejev
  • Cinemania, dir. Angela Christlieb & Stephen Kijak
  • Mr. Freedom, dir. William Klein
  • Le Couple témoin, dir. William Klein
  • The Glass Key, dir. Stuart Heisler
  • The Freshman, dir. Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor

my year in books, 2013

These lists are a little longer than I expected, but it still feels like a slight year; maybe it could be termed a year without a thesis, though some might be visible (the attention paid to science fiction for work at PS1, my predictable reading of Bangkok-related material as the consequence of the move). And this year a much higher percentage of what I read came from libraries of various sorts, with tastes not quite mirroring mine; at any but the very best libraries, you can’t find exactly what you want – as you can now if you’re trying to buy books online – but you do feel more free to experiment with what you find adjacent. Maybe that’s why this list feels disappointing: perhaps it wasn’t wasted reading (in that it’s useful to read bad books to know what good books are), but much of it doesn’t really feel substantive. Distractions, distractions, distractions.


  • Benjamin Anastas, The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor’s Disappearance
  • Nicholson Baker, Room Temperature
  • Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine
  • Nicholson Baker, Vox
  • J. G. Ballard, The Day of Forever
  • Nanni Ballestrini, The Unseen, translated by Liz Heron
  • Adolfo Bioy Casares & Silvina Ocampo, Where There’s Love, There’s Hate, trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Jessica Ernst Powell
  • Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
  • Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
  • Raymond Chandler, The High Window
  • Raymond Chandler, The Lady in the Lake
  • Raymond Chandler, The Little Sister
  • Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
  • Raymond Chandler, Playback
  • Ted Chiang, The Lifecycle of Software Objects
  • Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others
  • Jean Cocteau, Thomas the Impostor, trans. Lewis Galentiere
  • Colette, The Cat, trans. Antonia White
  • Colette, Gigi, trans. Roger Senhouse
  • John Crowley, Four Freedoms
  • John Crowley, The Deep
  • John Crowley, Beasts
  • John Crowley, Engine Summer
  • Evan Dara, Flee
  • René Daumal, Pataphysical Essays, trans. Thomas Vosteen
  • Guy Davenport, The Guy Davenport Reader, edited by Erik Reece
  • Avram Davidson & Ward Moore, Joyleg
  • Jenny Davidson, The Magic Circle
  • Samuel R. Delany, Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand
  • Samuel R. Delany, The Mad Man
  • Samuel R. Delany, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
  • Don DeLillo, Point Omega
  • Don DeLillo, Falling Man
  • Stanley Elkin, Early Elkin
  • E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
  • Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances
  • Alex Garland, The Beach
  • William Gerhardie, The Polyglots
  • William Goyen, Arcadio
  • Mohsin Hamid, Moth Smoke
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • Mohsin Hamid, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
  • Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
  • Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game (trans. Richard & Clara Winston)
  • Aldous Huxley, Island
  • Lucy Ives, Nineties
  • Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba
  • Tommaso Landolfi, Cancerqueen, trans. Raymond Rosenthal
  • Rebecca Lee, The City Is a Rising Tide
  • Kelly Link, Magic for Beginners
  • Kelly Link, Stranger Things Happen
  • Jack London, The Iron Heel
  • Bernard Malamud, The Assistant
  • Bernard Malamud, The Fixer
  • W. Somerset Maugham, The Magician
  • Joseph McElroy, Cannonball
  • Ursule Molinaro, Green Lights Are Blue
  • Ursule Molinaro, Positions with White Roses
  • Pamela Moore, Chocolates for Breakfast
  • Iris Murdoch, Under the Net
  • Charles Newman, New Axis
  • Charles Newman, White Jazz
  • Charles Portis, Norwood
  • Charles Portis, True Grit
  • Charles Portis, Masters of Atlantis
  • M. R. Kukrit Pramoj, Many Lives, trans. Meredith Borthwick
  • Ellery Queen (Avram Davidson), And on the Eighth Day
  • Ellery Queen (Avram Davidson), The Fourth Side of the Triangle
  • Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars
  • Joanna Ruocco, The Mothering Coven
  • Florent Ruppert & Jérôme Mulot, Barrel of Monkeys, trans. Peter Birkemoe
  • Norman Rush, Whites
  • William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
  • William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
  • Richard Stark, The Jugger
  • Cordwainer Smith, You Will Never Be the Same
  • S. P. Somtow, The Other City of Angels
  • Gertrude Stein, from The Making of Americans, ed. D. Sorensen
  • Antonio Tabucchi, Declares Pereira, trans. Patrick Creagh
  • James Tiptree, Jr., Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
  • Carl Van Vechten, The Tattooed Countess
  • Giorgio Vasta, Time on My Hands, trans. Jonathan Hunt
  • Jules Verne, Paris in the Twentieth Century, trans. Richard Howard
  • Jules Verne, An Antarctic Mystery: The Sphinx of the Ice Fields, trans. Cashel Fields
  • Shawn Vestal, Godforsaken Idaho
  • H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • H. G. Wells, The Sleeper Awakes
  • Tom Whalen, The President in Her Towers
  • Tom Whalen, Winter Coat
  • Tom Whalen, Elongated Figures
  • Thornton Wilder, Theophilus North
  • Thornton Wilder, The Cabala
  • Thornton Wilder, Heaven’s My Destination
  • Thornton Wilder, The Woman of Andros
  • G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen
  • Pamela Zoline, The Heat Death of the Universe


  • Caroline Bergvall, Meddle English
  • James Broughton, High Kukus
  • Franklin Bruno, The Accordian Repertoire
  • Guy Davenport, Thasos and Ohio: Poems and Translations 1950–1980
  • Robin Fulton, An Italian Quartet: Versions after Saba, Ungaretti, Montale, Quasimodo
  • Karen Green, Bough Down
  • Weldon Kees, The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees
  • Edward Lucie-Smith, ed., Holding Your Eight Hands: An Anthology of Science Fiction Verse
  • Dana Ward, The Squeaquel


  • Balthus & Alain Vircondelet, Vanished Splendors, trans. Benjamin Ivry
  • Silpa Bhirasri, An Appreciation of Sukhothai Art
  • Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines
  • Eleanor Clark, Rome and a Villa
  • Stanley Crawford, Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico
  • Millicent Dillon, A Little Original Sin: The Life and Work of Jane Bowles
  • Charles Fourier, The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy, trans. Geoffrey Longnecker
  • Andre Furlani, Guy Davenport: Postmodern and After
  • Edmond & Jules de Goncourt, Pages from the Goncourt Journals, ed. & trans. Robert Baldick
  • Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries, trans. Ann Wright
  • Gilbert Highet, Poets in a Landscape
  • Cyrus Highsmith, Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals
  • Peter Hook, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
  • M. L. Manich Jumsai, Understanding Thai Buddhism
  • Germaine Krull & Dorothea Melchers, Bangkok: Siam’s City of Angels
  • Somerset Maugham, The Gentleman in the Parlour
  • Maryvelma O’Neil, Bangkok: A Cultural and Literary History
  • Lawrence Osborne, Bangkok Days
  • Milton Osborne, Phnom Penh: A Cultural and Literary History
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini, Stories from the City of God: Sketches and Chronicles of Rome, 1950–1966, trans. Marina Harss
  • Georges Perec, La Boutique obscure: 124 Dreams, trans. Daniel Levin Becker
  • Georges Perec, The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, trans. David Bellos
  • Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
  • Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah: A Personal Journey into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System, trans. Virginia Jewiss
  • Calvin Tomkins, Marcel Duchamp: The Afternoon Interviews
  • William Warren, Bangkok
  • Alec Waugh, Bangkok: The Story of a City