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Old 09-19-2005   #1
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Brian Evenson

I've just recently discovered an author that I think might be of interest to other fans of TL. Brian Evenson is an American academic who writes fiction, and those pieces of his fiction that I've read so far are dark and disturbing on a level that I thought only Ligotti was truly capable of. If you're curious, an ideal short piece to read by way of introduction is "Prairie":

http://web.archive.org/web/200309211...s/prairie.html

Apparently Evenson is a Mormon, but quit a position at Brigham Young University partially as a result of BYU's discomfort with the dark nature of his fiction. An interesting back story, to be sure.
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Old 09-19-2005   #2
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Re: Brian Evenson

Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Zirk";p=&quot View Post
Apparently Evenson is a Mormon, but quit a position at Brigham Young University partially as a result of BYU's discomfort with the dark nature of his fiction. An interesting back story, to be sure.
I'm not of this denomination, but since I'm always interested in reading horror authors with a strong religious background (that doesn't translate into the kind of proselytizing seen in Lahaye and Jenkins), I checked out "Prairie."

THAT is one nasty little tale, and of course I mean that in the best way possible. I'm going to read the other stories soon as well. How did you hear of this author by the way?

"When the emptiness in you grows too large
You fill its vaulted chambers with the ash of memory
With the dust of desire."
- PZB
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Old 09-19-2005   #3
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Re: Brian Evenson

I discovered Evenson's works through the recommendation of David Memmott, who runs the Wordcraft of Oregon imprint. David also published Thomas Wiloch's Mr. Templeton's Toyshop, which has been discussed elsewhere on TLO.

I'm reading Evenson's Contagion now, and I can certainly recommend it. That title is from Wordcraft of Oregon, but some of Evenson's other titles on other imprints can be found through Shocklines, Project Pulp, etc. as well.

It seems as though almost everything you could ever want to know about Evenson can be found here:

http://www.ant-zen.com/graph/act159-...troduction.pdf

Happy reading!
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Old 09-21-2005   #4
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Re: Brian Evenson

Thanks for that nicely exhaustive PDF (and rather cool of Evenson to be involved with an Ant-Zen release!), Dr. Zirk, and also, of course, for "introducing" the work of Evenson to those of us here who've not heard of him.

"When the emptiness in you grows too large
You fill its vaulted chambers with the ash of memory
With the dust of desire."
- PZB
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Old 09-21-2005   #5
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Re: Brian Evenson

Thanks for the link to Evenson's stories Dr. Zirk. I have "Brotherhood of Mutilation" and it is relentless. An absolutely brutal little book w/a really sly sense of humour - http://www.earthlingpub.com/be_mutilation.htm

G.S.C., Eldritch00, and bendk - The Evenson book above and Conrad Williams' "Game" (also published by Earthling) are good examples of a noir/horror hybrid done properly. They both come at it from different angles too. Evenson has a more (sur)realist bent while Williams' goes for a dull on supernatural thing.
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Old 09-21-2005   #6
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Re: Brian Evenson

Thanks N/A for letting me know that "Brotherhood of Mutilation" is worthwhile - I've got that one on order from Shocklines. I've become so fascinated with Evenson's work that I've also ordered his most recent collection, "The Wavering Knife", from FC2 in Florida:

http://www.fc2.org/evenson/knife/knife.htm

The more I read of his stuff, the more I have to rank Evenson as a true peer to TL, and I don't say that lightly. Who knew that professional academics could have so much talent! (just kidding...)
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Old 09-21-2005   #7
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Re: Brian Evenson

Thanks, Dr. Zirk.
Brian Evenson's work sounds intriguing. I had never heard of him before. The fact that Brigham Young University put pressure on him to stop writing in a similar vein to his first book ALTMANN'S TONGUE:STORIES AND A NOVELLA makes me curious. I find this kind of censorship contemptible. I also find it fascinating when religious writers delve into the dark side of existence without deluding themselves completely. Speaking of which, one of the most ridiculously deluded books that I ever read was a novella called TICKER KHAN by Bamber Gascoigne. If you ever want to read an essay in the pathetic, read this 60 page pie in the sky piece of crap. It is not poorly written, only the ideas are pitiful. It is an ANIMAL FARM type novella that ties all the evil in the world into a nice benevolent bow. It is interesting what mental gymnastics some people will put themselves through in order to maintain their untarnished view of the world.

Thanks, N/A.
THE GAME by Conrad Williams sounds interesting too. These kinds of recommendations are one of the things I enjoy about TLO.
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Old 09-22-2005   #8
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Re: Brian Evenson

Bookslut has a fairly recent interview with Brian Evenson:
http://www.bookslut.com/features/2005_02_004303.php
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Old 09-23-2005   #9
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Re: Brian Evenson

Bookslut!

Thanks for the link, g, it was an interesting interview. Evenson mentions a few authors that have influenced TL: Nabokov, Beckett, and Bernhard. He also has a high opinion of Jim Thompson, which is pretty cool. What he said about his novel DARK PROPERTY is interesting. The fact that he used 'dead words' and transformed verbs to modifiers and nouns to verbs and then placed them in a 'clean context' in order to resurrect them. He has also studied madness as a literary technique. That's a class I missed in college. "The Mario Lanza Experience" sounds darkly humorous. Part of the back story reminds me of when Ed Wood tried to persuade that one producer that he was the perfect person to direct The Christine Jorgensen Story (Later changed to Glen or Glenda. What a movie!)
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Old 09-26-2005   #10
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Re: Brian Evenson

Since I noticed that Evenson didn't already have his own Wikipedia article, I went ahead and created one. Evenson himself approved the content before posting, so it ought to be pretty accurate.

Brian_Evenson Brian_Evenson

If any of you are Wikipedians, add content as you see fit...
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