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17 December 2010


duncan b. barlow reviews TSky publisher Christian Peet's Pluto: Never Forget (Interbirth Books, 2010) at

I won’t go so far as to say that Peet has a working class agenda, that he views the academic world with contempt; however, I will say that he seems to have a sensitivity to this in his writing. . . . Considering that Peet’s work is, in the broader scale of today’s publishing “norms,” regarded as experimental (a label too easily tossed about as a term of endearment or dismissal), his fiction is not something easily accessible to an inexperienced reader. Thus, his audience tends to be relatively well-read. He seems to recognize the lack of routine critical reading and the socio-economic-educational divide present in America. He poses a questions to his readers: Does an author conform his or her language to reach the masses? Does the author write regardless of reception? Does the author purposefully challenge reading norms and hope the reader catches up? More importantly, has the academic writer become so isolated from the world that he or she no longer participates in it?

Peet’s scientific, linguistic, and cultural intertextuality continually branches out, inside, and around the book. The collection of stories requires the readers to engage themselves, follow trails, research, and enjoy. In many ways it’s a puzzle. It’s a text that Norton would publish as a critical edition long after Peet’s death. Footnotes filling half a page. Essays by hungry scholars added at the end.

This book is about memory. About the blurring lines of memory. About the overload of information people suffer through that cloud their memories. How people know more about Brad Pitt’s love life than they do about their own linguistic roots. Pluto, exiled from the royalty of planets, removed from textbooks, banished from our solar system models, can stand as a warning of the temporal nature of all learning. We must not forget Pluto.

[Read the full review.]


December Reviews at Tarpaulin Sky

Cara Benson's (made) (BookThug, 2010) reviewed by Julie Joosten

Michael Gizzi's New Depths of Deadpan (Burning Deck, 2009) reviewed by Patrick Dunagan

Macgregor Card's Duties of an English Foreign Secretary (Fence Books, 2009) reviewed by Robert Mueller

Brenda Iijima's If Not Metamorphic (Ahsahta Press, 2010) reviewed by Patrick Dunagan


Recently Received / Review Copies Available

[NOTE: Most of the titles below are available for review at Tarpaulin Sky. Titles marked with asterisks are hand-bound books or special editions and are limited, if still available. Publishers please mail Book Reviews, Tarpaulin Sky Press, PO Box 189, Grafton, VT 05146]

Caketrain #8

Travis Cebula, Under the Sky, They Lit Cities (BlazeVox Books, 2010)

Clark Coolidge, This Time We Are Both (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010)

Marosa Di Giorgio, The History of Violets, translated by Jeannine Marie Pitas (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010)

Cralan Kelder, Give Some Word (Shearsman Books, 2010)

* Paige Ackerson-Kiely and Adie Russell, This Landscape (Argos Books, 2010)

Julien Poirier, El Golpe Chileño (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010)

Sarah Riggs, 60 Textos (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010)