Everything Flows

Overview

Everything Flows is the first collection of short fiction by novelist and screenwriter James Greer. The nineteen stories range from short and surreal to long and surreal, but all share a consistency of intent: to fracture traditional narrative tropes and reassemble the shards into coherent, if occasionally undulant and meandering forms (see: the title). Greer mixes anachronistic pseudo-history and unserious/serious digressions into pop culture, pop physics, pop philosophy and pop music (see: the title), to arrive...

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Everything Flows

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Overview

Everything Flows is the first collection of short fiction by novelist and screenwriter James Greer. The nineteen stories range from short and surreal to long and surreal, but all share a consistency of intent: to fracture traditional narrative tropes and reassemble the shards into coherent, if occasionally undulant and meandering forms (see: the title). Greer mixes anachronistic pseudo-history and unserious/serious digressions into pop culture, pop physics, pop philosophy and pop music (see: the title), to arrive at something both universal in scope and intensely personal, twisting language(s) into sometimes-strange shapes to devise new ways of looking at familiar things.

Everything Flows also features the art of Guided by Voices front man Robert Pollard. Besides being known as one of today's most prolific song-writers, Mr. Pollard's irrespressible creativity has been an inspiration to many. His stunning color collages make a fantastic compliment to Greer's writing.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
To brand James Greer’s slim new collection, Everything Flows, “experimental fiction” would be to sell it painfully short. Experimental fiction has its own rules and acceptable parameters, and Greer, a former bassist for the band Guided by Voices, exceeds even these over the course of these 19 urgent dispatches from the far side of reason, where anything can occur. A story might begin by considering a piece of renaissance sculpture, recall the flatulence of an ascetic monk, or present a day in the life of the obscure composer Tobias Hume (or is he the philosopher of the same surname?). From there, it might turn the tables on the reader (“Instead of listening to my story I think we could be more productive if you were to tell me yours”), interrogate its own substance, or transition into another story entirely. Plot hardly applies. “Everything Flows” concerns a man whose record of possession may be a matter of life and death. “Invisible Ink” digresses into a short biography of Northrop Frye (“Nothing he did made any difference”) and “Elephants” is, approximately, about elephants. And yet every word matters, even the wildest stories scarcely seeming as though they could be otherwise. Usually this sort of free-associative reverie is called “strange” or “playful,” but Greer’s lyrical erudition is both serious work and seriously fun. Halfway between the mind of God and a vivid dream, Everything Flows is proof that there remain new places to go, both on paper and in the known universe. (Sept. 10)
From the Publisher
"James Greer is one of the nimblest and most multilayered American fiction writers."
— Dennis Cooper, author of Ugly Man

"Every word matters, even the wildest stories scarcely seeming as though they could be otherwise. Usually this sort of free-associative reverie is called 'strange' or 'playful,' but Greer's lyrical erudition is both serious work and seriously fun. Halfway between the mind of God and a vivid dream, Everything Flows is proof that there remain new places to go, both on paper and in the known universe."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"James Greer writes within the grand tradition of American postmodern, pessimistic, philosophic geniuses. Like William Gass or Guy Davenport, he unites sly humor, erudition, and a certain classical cast of mind, as aware of Heraclitus as he is of Teenage Fanclub. These stories are remarkable. They’re also a total freaking blast."
— Mathew Specktor, author, American Dream Machine, senior editor, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Dazzling, swirling, ridiculous and disconcerting. James Greer doesn't follow paths, he's a thing of the air."
— Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983422884
  • Publisher: Curbside Splendor Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 125
  • Sales rank: 1,451,078
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James Greer is the author of the novels Artificial Light(LHotB/Akashic 2006) and The Failure (Akashic 2010), and the non-fiction book Guided By Voices: A Brief History (Grove Press), a biography of a band for which he played bass guitar. He’s written or co-written movies for Lindsay Lohan, Jackie Chan, and Steven Soderbergh, among others. He is a Contributing Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and plays guitar and sings in a new band called Détective after the Godard film of that name.

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