Hi, Adam. Figured I’d reply to part of your note more privately. Can’t figure out how to contact you via email, so apologies for this way-off topic post.
Generally, I’ve found that the authors and books I like to read don’t fit into a culture that I’m part of; that is, they’re not known (up here), or not read much any more (Wyndham Lewis, Blaise Cendrars), and I don’t have many conversations about them face-to-face.
Having had that experience as a regular reader, well before I started reviewing consistently in 2001, I’ve found that I’ve been repeating that experience, deepening it if you will, until the ‘non-normal’ has established itself as normal. This is a private reading experience where Sorrentino, Unt, Alexandra Chasin, Gabriel Josipovici, Curtis White, and Olga Tokarczuk, to just choose six, are the regulars (or fast becoming so), and where ‘realists’ and minimalists are the intruders. Considering I live in canada, the absence of much reading of can. lit. (heavily realist, save for a few writers) marked me out in the 1980s as it does now, with my own ‘experimental’ book out.
Reviewing helped me connect with the books, related books, and the occasional reader. That created a culture, you could say.
If I ever get to chicago, where a couple of friends live, it’d be good to meet. Getting invited to read at a university or bookstore there would be cool.