Marking Time

Three weeks back I tried to type up an end-of-the-year post as usual, summarizing my year in reading. No sooner had I written the essential of it, or at least drawn up the list of 7 or so titles, than I thought, what’s the use. I didn’t read very many extraordinary books this year. I will only mention three: Pope Joan (1866) by Emmanuel Royidis (trans. Lawrence Durrell), Amygdalatropolis (2017) by B.R. Yeager, and Angel in the Forest (1945) by Marguerite Young. I’ve written a little about all of them in various places. I trust curious readers can inform themselves whether or not those titles might suit their taste.

In 2017, not very much activity here at bibliomanic, as far as I can tell. I published 40 posts, 11 of which were monthly reading logs, 6 of which were just photos, while the rest were just tiny squibs, little jottings — nothing much of substance, then. A post with some basic information on Réjean Ducharme. And apart from translations and the introductions I’ve written introducing them, nothing much published elsewhere.

Here is the translation work, some with introductions:

  • Véronique Côté and Steve Gagnon. “Dishes.” I Never Talk About It. Quebec Fiction, fall 2017.
  • Pierre Senges. Paris Seen from the Centre. Podcast being produced by the Centre Pompidou, 2017-2018.
  • Pierre Senges. Monster Rhapsody. Play for radio. Radio France, brochure. Spring 2017.
  • Pierre Senges. Excerpts from Etudes de silhouettes. Hotel #3Aug 2017.
  • Pierre Senges. The Author Viewed from Below. Music & Literature #8Fall 2017.
  • Pierre Senges. Undertaking and Renunciation. Prodigal Lit MagMay 2017.
  • Pierre Senges. On the Electrophorus and the Tohu-Bohu. Gorse Journal #7. Jan 2017.

Apart from this translation work, in early 2018, I have a recently completed 10,000-word article on the life and work of Paul Metcalf being published in the annual Scribners American Writers supplement series. I’m very happy about that, though plagued in mind by the usual misgivings as to language, quality, coherence, and so on. I think it’s a very strong piece of writing but I can’t tell. It’s done at least. I’m not yet sure how widely available or easy to access it will be to interested parties, but that’s really none of my business.

I intended to review one book this year, Debths by Susan Howe, but I decided I don’t actually want to review it for a handful of reasons. Vexed maybe. And I remained this year a Twitter junky, despite my very ample misgivings. Could be part of my problem, though it also keeps me in touch with a few dozen like-minded aesthetes scattered across the globe, which I think is wondrous.

In terms of visitors, bibliomanic remained more or less the place it’s always been. Some of the top posts were as follows: the squib Jefferson’s Swivel Chair from years ago got 287 unique pageviews, Joseph McElroy’s bookshelf got 174 views, and Adopting Paul Metcalf got about 100 views. On the Major Refutation got 124 views, and A Pierre Senges miscellany got 94 views.

I’m grateful for the friendships and acquaintances I’ve made here and on Twitter. The world would be a lonelier place without you. May the New Year hold more of the same. Best wishes to you and yours, and hope to see you here more in 2018.

Jacob S.


  • I hope you have a great 2018. I always enjoy reading your blog and discovering what you are up to. Thanks for writing!


  • Very late on the ball here but cheers to you and your blog!


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