North of Onhava

Official Website of Novelist and Screenwriter James Greer

Tag: James Greer

Everything Flows – Readings

While on tour with my band DTCV, I’m doing some readings/signings of my new collection of short fiction Eveything Flows, in a select few locations. If you’re the kind of person who likes to hear me read, or ask me questions, or just have your copy of my book personalized in an unforgettable and possibly […]

Pygmalion Lit Festival

I’m going to be reading, probably from my forthcoming collection of short fiction Everything Flows, at the Pygmalion Lit Fest in Champaign-Urbana, or Urbana-Champaign, or somewhere in Illinois, on September 27 or 28. I’ll also be playing in DTCV on one of those two days as well. The music line-up is here. There is a […]

Halloween Reading

  I will have the great pleasure of reading with some of Los Angeles’ best writers, including Joe Donnelly and Antonia Crane, among several others, at Slake Magazine‘s Halloween  Reading at the coolest AND the hottest new LA-area bookstore, Pop-Hop Books & Print in Hancock Park. The address is on the poster above. The date is […]

On the Road

(cross-posted from DTCV) Hi, so my band DTCV is going on tour,  first stop Tempe AZ before we join up with Guided By Voices in Athen GA on September 18. I’ve agreed to write a sort of tour diary for The Believer magazine’s tumblr, so if and when that happens, I’ll post the link here, and […]

Two New Messages

I reviewed Joshua Cohen’s collection of four long short stories, Four New Messages, for Bookforum, which you can find wherever Bookforum in its papery form is still sold, and also online here. My review calls Cohen “immoderately brilliant,” and the takeaway for those disinclined to read reviews is “buy this book.” Plus also too, I […]

VICE

For reasons surpassing anyone’s understanding, I was interviewed by New York Tyrant publisher Giancarlo DiTrapano for VICE. I taked some about my new band DTCV, and a lot about my forthcoming story collection, Everything Flows, from Curbside Publishing. You can read it all here.

Everything Flows

A collection of my “stories,” leaning hard on the figurative sense of story, will be published by Curbside Splendor in November of this year, with the usual caveat that the world may end right around that time in which case never mind. I do hope my forthcoming book will in no way contribute to the […]

Basket of Masks

Okay, so this new band DTCV has a new EP, called Basket of Masks, set to release on limited edition (300) 12″ 45 r.p.m. vinyl in late May. You can pre-order it now by going here. If you pre-order before it ships, we’ll include as a bonus the limited edition CD of our previous EP, […]

Letters to Kurt

Relatively short notice, but for Los Angeles-area residents, I’ll be discussing Eric Erlandson’s new book Letters to Kurt at Skylight Books on Thursday, March 29. All the information you could ever want and more can be found by clicking here. Eric was co-founder of the band Hole, as I probably don’t need to tell you, […]

Housekeeping

I have been sorely lacking on the “post stuff at North of Onhava” front lately. I don’t even have a good excuse, like “I lost my left arm in an axe-throwing contest.” That would be a good excuse because I’m left-handed. Anyway, here’s a couple of things. My friend Patrick Wensink has released or is […]

Shoot Out The Lights

I’m a little behind on the relelntless self-promotion front, but I have my reasons, which are plentiful as grapes, if you you know your Shakespeare. On Tuesday, March 6, I will be recording a podcast with the Hugs and Disses crew which will feature my new band Detective. I don’t know when the podcast will […]

Joyland Retro

The excellent literary site Joyland, which describes itself as a “hub for short fiction” because it’s a hub for short fiction, has come out with the first of a planned biannual series of print journals consisting of pieces that have previously appeared on the site. The first Joyland Retro (it’s retro because it’s printed on […]

Ben Tanzer Will Change Your Life

Or at least, he claims that his blog will do so. And today, he wrote some very kind words about my second novel The Failure, so I’m inclined to believe him. But you, having free will (or so you’ve been led to think), may choose to feel otherwise. In which case I will hunt you […]

The Reluctant King

This is a picture of Berlin. It is unrelated to the story below.   [Editor's note: a version of this story appeared in my friend Sébastien Doubinsky's excellent bi- or tri-lingual periodical Zaporogue, which you can find here. Seb has at least two books forthcoming from the excellent Black Coffee Press sometime in the next […]

Items of Great Interest

A few items of interest to readers of North of Onhava, and possibly to normal people, too: 1. An excerpt from my novel-in-progress is available for your reading pleasure at Joyland NYC. As far as I can tell, it’s set in a kind of pre-apocalyptic Paris, and contains at least two characters who may not […]

Slow News Day

Slow News Day is not a bad band name. It’s also not a good band name. It’s kind of a middling-to-fair band name. Glad we cleared that up. Here are some Slow News items, beginning with another band name: First this. Which is particularly weird given this. Then this, which is less weird than embarrassing. […]

Memento Mori

Apparently I wrote an article for the 1,225th Anniversary issue of Spin Magazine, which occurred in May of 2010. I mean, I did write an article, but I totally forgot. And I have never in my life paid for a copy of Spin, so. Luckily, an obscure internet startup called Google has taken it upon […]

The Decision Tree

  Prologue Low light slants through a bower of maple branches onto the roof and dirt-spattered windshield of a car parked on the red clay driveway. No wind stirs, and the mosaic of shadow slides by imperceptible degrees from the blue roof of the parked car to the tawny drive, crawling from there to the […]

Fables of the Deconstruction

Rufous Knicks, rampant in blue serge suit and hairs-cut, stepped down the wobbly back shell of Forever Corner like a king descending to court. That or another like sentence would mark well to begin this history in old days whereof I have understood some, having lived for petty times in that epoch. I do not […]

Matter and Memory

  Is your name Hyacinth? Do you bloom in pairs? I ask a flower question I expect the leaves to turn. There’s blood in the dirt. There’s an easier road To the moss-covered ruin, where for a few months We didn’t sleep from fear of sprayed guts Or sudden bullets. It’s all mixed up, you […]

Mansion of the Aching Hearts

What was I born for? thought Thomas, sitting at his desk, copying the last few lines of his work. What was anybody born for? The sun had long since floated past the lid of his window, over the gray slate roof, and begun to set. He could see its rubescent face reflected in the windows […]

Transmission Mist

  I could break the shell of myself, if you want, or you could try to fail. Here’s how the thing works: some injustice must be left un-righted. Some tumescent flaw must be kept in the perfectly silvered surface of your Venetian mirror, set in the bark of a living tree. In a stand of […]

Protestant Desire

From the vast North of Onhava archives:     “Full of grace my ass. Every one of them too goddamn tall. And doubtless crazy as swans. ” The young man was annoyed. He banged his bottle on the wet wood of the bar. “Perhaps that’s true, but you didn’t stick around long enough to find […]

Paradise Is Not So Bad

  Gardenias. Heavy scent borne on the evening breeze, through two windows facing the street. The red Mercedes had seemed to come out of nowhere. “Listen. I met a girl.” In fading sun the row of bougainvillea overflowing chain link fence across the street flushes pinkly, nodding (sweet, demure) at passersby. “I love Dave, don’t […]

The Man Called Marriage

As many of you know the trivium derives from the introductory curriculum in many medieval universities, where it involved the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The word is Latin in derivation, perhaps obviously, and literally means the place where three (tri-) roads (via) meet. Our modern word trivia is loosely, and I think unfairly, […]

Water Music

Theme music: “Car Wash”

The Woman Who Wasn’t There

Inspired by the example of my betters, here’s a short film I made in France. It was shot at the Château D’hérouville, about an hour outside of Paris, which was once a famous recording studio – the “Honky Chateau” of Elton John fame – but is now overgrown and mostly a ruin. I intended at […]

The Failure: Trailer

I posted this a while back, around the time the novel was published, but I thought I’d re-post it here today because a) I’m really busy and don’t have time to find anything more interesting to post, much less actually write about something, and b) upon re-watching it, I remembered that it’s really good, due […]

The Hangover

I wrote this story long before the movie franchise of the same title appeared. I’m not saying the movie people stole the idea from me, even though I’m pretty sure I invented hangovers, but if Zach Galliafinakopolisopoulous wants to kick a couple of euros my way for, you know, “thanks, man” or whatever, I would […]

Serious Earth

Part One – Sunderland Thomas Quin was aware, with the acute self-consciousness pubescent boys suddenly acquire — a hilly solipsism from which they daily tumble into an abyss of despair — that he was unusually thin, and awkward, and afraid of everyone. His formerly natural friendliness and curiosity disappeared, replaced by morbid insularity. He went, […]

The Ordinary Rendition of Caeli Fax

The excellent online litmag Metazen has seen fit to post on its site a story that I wrote. The story is actually part of a chapter from my next novel, which has a title, but the title is a secret. If you have any interest in the shape or tenor of my next novel, you […]

Bad Polaroids

Recently, rooting through my garage, I came across an old Polaroid JoyCam which must have been given to me sometime in the early- to mid-90s. I also found several cartridges of very old and poorly stored Polaroid film. So I figured I’d see what would happen if I tried to use the old camera with […]

Sunset Gun

“Photography is unclassifiable because there is no reason to mark  this or that of its occurrences; it aspires, perhaps, to become as crude, as certain, as noble as a sign…. Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner, a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.” Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida […]

Sky Writing

When I was young we used to call this a mackerel sky. Maybe we still do. I don’t know, I’m not young anymore.

Slope Street Codex

  Everything that was invented has to be reinvented, for instance: the sound of waves slapping wet rocks in the dark. We once called this night rote. We also used the phrase heart murmurs. If you look carefully you’ll see that this isn’t appropriate or necessary. You’ll see instead track marks, not on your arm […]

Will Get Fooled Again

Page 112 of the April 1993 issue of Spin magazine, embedded above for your reading pleasure (and because this entire post depends on you being able to read it), is not, I hope, too difficult to navigate. If you get lost, go to Google Books and search Spin Magazine, Jim Greer, New Market, in that […]

The Journal of Albion Moonlight

  One of the more influential books I read as an adolescent. I still return to it for inspiration from time to time, though it hasn’t aged well, I’m afraid. And yet… “They do not listen to me. They say that nothing can save them. We speak the same tongue, yet they will not understand. […]

Robert Hooke’s Micrographia

  As for the actions of our Senses, we cannot but observe them to be in many particulars much outdone by those of other Creatures, and when at best, to be far short of the perfection they seem capable of: And these infirmities of the Senses arise from a double cause, either from the disproportion […]

Tribute to Yngwie Malmsteen

Because it’s his birthday. Although I don’t really need an excuse to post this video. It is eloquence its own self.

Les éditions du Zaporogue

Just out, and free for download (though if you want to pop for the printed version at $45 I’m sure no one will complain), Zaporogue #10, a wonderful anthology edited by the formidable tri-lingual (at least) writer Sébastien Doubinsky. This 261 page edition contains work in English and French by luminaries like Vanessa Veselka, me, […]

Stinky Toys

I’m unreasonably fascinated by this French “punk” band from the mid-70s, which evolved into the sort of French “New Wave” duo in the next video in 1980. Because I am unkind I’m going to inflict my fascination on you. Happy Wednesday!

Image of the Day

I wrote a whole essay urging a reassessment of Sofia Coppola’s critically-maligned post Lost In Translation films to go with this screen-cap from Marie Antoinette (2006), but the more I look at the screen-cap, the more I realize that nothing I could write would be nearly as persuasive as the image above. Cop-out? Peut-être, mais […]

SmokeLong Quarterly Interview

The new issue (number 32) of SmokeLong Quarterly is up. I have a story in it called “Elephants.” My story was chosen by guest editor Ben Loory, and to accompany the story he interviewed me here. Aside from the me part, the issue is stuffed with excellent writing by lots of excellent writers. You need […]

Listing & List, Inc.

Sloe-eyed through the sun-loved streets, winding her hair around one winding finger, walks and walks on sandaled feet a small thin girl. Pastel houses pass in succession, peopled by darkly gazing men with small thin mustaches and almond-shaped eyes. She feels their eyes on her but does not respond. Heat rises in slow layers from […]

The Trivium

Still from Mimesis, a short film I made. Trivium: from Latin, meaning “the three ways,” or “the three roads.” In medieval universities, the trivium denoted the three subjects of primary study: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Wind snapped a branch outside and he woke. Dark of night had swallowed the room. Only blurred and mobile shapes. […]

Reading List 2011 – Part 3 of 3

Okay, so here’s the books I’ve read in French so far this year. Or at least the books that I could be bothered to go find on my bookshelves or piled on the floor in my office and on my bed or all over the table in the dining room or on the second shelf […]

More stuff about me

I don’t know what is the what with today, but everybody on the internet decided to be nice to me and it’s not even my birthday (yet). First, the estimable writer Patrick Wensink wrote a nice piece about me at the really great We Who Are About To Die lit-site here. You should check out […]

Reading List 2011 – Part Two of Three

As promised in this post, here is a list of the non-fiction books I’ve read thus far in 2011, either written in or translated into English. Almost everything on here was read for purposes of research, with the exception maybe of the books on/by Godard and Tarkovsky. Though I would argue that these are more […]

Reading List 2011: Part One of Three

I’ve seen a few people compile lists of books they’ve read so far in 2011, and the thought ocurred to me: I like lists! But I don’t like lists that are too long, so I’m going to parcel these out in manageable portions. This first list confines itself to fiction written or translated into English. […]

Tilia

Under der linden an der heide, dâ unser zweier bette was, dâ mugt ir vinden schône beide gebrochen bluomen unde gras. vor dem walde in einem tal, tandaradei, schône sanc diu nategal. Under the lime tree on the open field, where we two had our bed, you still can see lovely broken flowers and grass. […]

William Tyndale

By writing the first translation into English of the Bible, from original Hebrew and Greek sources, William Tyndale essentially invented the English language in the period 1525-1530 or so. For his efforts, he was strangled and then burned at the stake by the Catholic Church as a heretic. The “authorized” King James Version, published in […]

Letters to Baudelaire

It’s not uncommon for admirers of certain dead authors, poets, musicians, actors, and Jim Morrison to leave posthumous epistles on or near their graves. The grave of Charles Baudelaire in the Cimitière Montparnasse is no different. What I found both touching and slightly pathetic about the letters fixed in place by small stones atop the […]

June Bloom

The extraordinarily talented and discerning Andrew Leland let me write a short post, at the site he curates for the Oakland Museum of California, about pretty much the one thing I like about living in Los Angeles. Which is jacarandas. You can read it here. Thanks again to Andrew.

Quote of the Day

    “I become self-conscious about having a funny accent. Unlike Conrad or Nabokov, I didn’t have circumstances which would have coerced me out of my native tongue altogether. But the time may come when my German resources begin to shrink. It is a sore point, because you do have advantages if you have access […]

Godard: A Travelogue

This extraordinary item appeared in the New Yorker last week (at least it appeared online last week; I no longer subscribe to the print weekly and also I killed the book industry,  just for fun). I only discovered it this morning because I do have other things to do, you know. Get off my iCloud, […]

List of things I don’t understand

  1. People who can write with music playing, whether loud or soft or near or far, in whatever style or form. When I listen to music, I do so with every part of my brain, involuntarily. Whatever kind of music is playing, I find myself listening to the production, the playing, the structure, the […]

I think: therefore, I’m not who you think I am.

[Editor's Note: If you're the type of person that enjoys experimental short film, you might enjoy this. If you're not, I promise to not.] Here’s another short I wrote and directed. This time out, I used a crew instead of trying to do everything myself. In essence, the film is a re-telling of the story […]

Contempt

  “Jean-Luc Godard isn’t the only one who films the way he breathes, but he breathes the best.” – François Truffaut, L’Avant-Scène, 1967 Source: The Criterion Collection

Hugs & Disses

The Los Angeles based creators of  a weekly podcast called Hugs & Disses, which is a name I am informed they made up all by themselves, were kind enough to ask me on their program this week.  I traveled to their sumptuous headquarters in Echo Park where they somehow managed to cajole me into talking […]

SmokeLong

Thanks to the discerning eye of guest editor (and very fine writer) Ben Loory, I have a very short story up over at SmokeLong, which is a place on the internet that publishes very short strories. My story is about elephants. That’s why there is a picture of a trunk at the top of this […]