The July issue of Numéro Cinq is up and complete. Featured this month is Nance Van Winckel’s stunning interview with Derek White, in which White talks about his “authorless book,” Ark Codex. The interview covers the biblical Noah, collage art, Derrida, and much more. A must read! Also featured are Jeanette Lyne’s lovely poems about the 19th century poet John Clare, a writer who imagined himself as Shakespeare and ended up dying in a lunatic asylum. And we’re proud to bring an excerpt from Anna Kim’s recently translated (from German) novel, Anatomy of a Night, a story about a small village in Greenland that endured eleven suicide attempts in a matter of a few hours one night.
The nights in Amarâq are an impenetrable black mass, what one imagines nothingness is, an image the eye cannot comprehend.
Also featured this month is a translation (from Bulgarian) of Angel Igov’s mesmerizing novel of the Balkans, A Short Tale of Shame and the opening five chapters from Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s new novel, A Brief History of Yes.
Rolling Stone created a controversy last week by featuring the “Boston bomber” on its cover, in a rock-star pose, but Laura Warrell got there first. Her short story, “Birthday Girl,” pits teenage obsession against the infamous celebrity of the hunted bomber, forcing the reader out of any place remotely comfortable. Staying on the theme of politics, Robert Day’s essay, “Chance Encounters of a Literary Kind: Sarah Palin and Coriolanus,” tackles Shakespeare, the former vice-presidential candidate and the Tea Party in a dialectical essay based upon a conversation (and attendance at a play) with the co-editor of the Folger Shakespeare.
Shifting to zombies, senior editor Robert W. Gray writes a startling analysis of the movie Zombie Longings. Blood, guts and shocking sexuality abound. Maybe this is politics too?
Steven Axelrod’s heartwarming/heartbreaking essay simply titled “Father.” (Part of an ongoing Numéro Cinq essay series, Fatherhood). Axelrod’s father was a big-time Hollywood screenwriter, and his essay recalls A-listers, including Frank Sinatra.
Reviews continue to be an important feature of each issue. This month Jason DeYoung reviews Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s A Brief History of Yes; Eric Foley reviews Ana Kim’s Anatomy of a Night; and the newest contributor to Numéro Cinq, Tom Faure, reviews Angel Igov’s A Short Tale of Shame
Cynthia Sample’s “On the Occasions that Lula Sought an Answer from her Mother’s Bible Concordance” is a witty, strange and wonderful example of genre displacement. Sample arranges Bible verses based on key words and a Bible concordance to compose a contemporary list story of love, marriage, lust and adultery.
Amber Homeniuk’s brings together lovely series of poems (and photographs) about life on an Ontario tobacco farm. Ben Woodard interviews fiction writer (and guitarist!) Ethan Rutherford about his prize winning collection The Peripatetic Coffin, with wisdom thrown in from no less than Charles Baxter and Jim Shepherd mixed in. Noah Gataveckas trots out a nifty treatise on philosophy and style that links together Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, and James Joyce. And finally, two fine examples of nonfiction craft essay, the first on voice from Maine writer Susan Hall the next on the personal essay by Sophfronia Scott.
A damn-fine lineup, considering the sequestration and heat waves and summer doldrums. It’s a staggering thing to step back and take it all in, even more staggering when you consider that this has become the standard fare, month-in and month-out, here at Numéro Cinq.