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Paul Grimstad

Paul Grimstad’s first book, Experience and Experimental Writing, is out in paperback.

I ♥ Cthulhu

Paul Grimstad, 20 September 2017

After​ reading all of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction in 1945, Edmund Wilson concluded that there was nothing scary about stories full of words like ‘eerie’, ‘unhallowed’, ‘blasphemous’, ‘infernal’, ‘hellish’ and ‘unholy’, especially when these refer to an ‘invisible whistling octopus’ (the creature appears at...

Flaubert’s ‘Gueuloir’

Paul Grimstad, 23 January 2014

‘What a bitch of a thing prose is!’ Flaubert complained in a letter to Louise Colet while at work on Madame Bovary. ‘It is never finished; there is always something to be done over.’ Fanatical in his search for a style that, as he put it in another letter, was as ‘rhythmic as verse, precise as the language of the sciences, undulant, deep-voiced as a cello, tipped...

Oulipo

Paul Grimstad, 6 December 2012

Robert Frost’s crack about free verse – that it’s tennis without a net – might be modified to describe Georges Perec’s novels: they’re tennis with nets everywhere. His whodunnit La Disparition (1969), a lipogram, was written without the use of the letter e (it was translated into e-less English as A Void by Gilbert Adair in 1994).1W, ou le souvenir...

Raymond Roussel

Paul Grimstad, 26 April 2012

‘I have travelled a great deal,’ Raymond Roussel wrote towards the end of his life, ‘but from all these travels I never took anything for my books.’ It’s an odd thing to hear from the author of Impressions d’Afrique (1910) and Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique (1932). But it makes sense when you consider some of the ‘impressions’ he recorded...

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