North of Onhava

Official Website of Novelist and Screenwriter James Greer

Tag: The Failure

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Zombie James Franco is Stalking Me

First, I join the Los Angeles Review of Books as Contributing Editor. Next thing I know, James Franco is a Contributing Editor to the Los Angeles Review of Books. I shake it off. Probably just a coincidence. Following this, I contribute to an anthology called The Speed Chronicles coming out later this year (information here, […]

Against The Day

I was at a dinner party recently at which I met a Famous novelist, who told a story about meeting the Very Famous novelist Thomas Pynchon, who I’m sure you know has a reputation for being, shall we say, a very private person. He doesn’t give interviews. He doesn’t do readings. It’s big news when […]

A nation weeps…

…and that nation is Belgium. Although France probably ain’t too happy, either (but then, they’ve got their own problems).  

Cellini’s Salt-Cellar

Over at Fictionaut, I posted a new story. It’s about the salt-cellar created by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571), pictured above. It’s pretty short. If you want to read it, go here.

A short comment about comments

Due to a truly impressive volume of spam comments appearing here recently, I’ve had to put all comments into moderation mode, and I’m also going to ask that you register with the site in order to comment. Feel free to register with a fake email and psuedonym, it’s not like I’m going to check. But […]

Jean Cocteau: à haute voix

Thanks to the wonderful, indispensable, and many other superlatives repository of the avant-garde, UbuWeb, you can hear and or download a four-CD collection of Jean Cocteau reading/speaking from his work, or introducing the work of other people (for instance introducing Edith Piaf, a close friend, before a performance). I don’t need to explain who Cocteau […]

Cannes: A Retrospective

The French newspaper L’Express has on the occasion of the 64th Cannes Film Festival put up a collection of all 64 Cannes Film Festival posters on their website, here. The poster above, for the 1961 festival, is one of my favorites, but almost all of them are pretty great. This one was designed by A.M. […]

North of Onhava: Picks of the Week

Two books and one DVD that you should not hesitate to buy/rent/steal: These movies don’t need my recommendation, but the collection itself, with its wealth of extras and (as always) immaculate transfers, is worth its weight in a precious metal slightly less expensive than gold but more expensive than silver. I don’t know what that […]

LATFOB

This week in Los Angeles there occurred (and as I type this is still occurring, though not for a few hours yet) a book festival called the Los Angeles Time Festival of Books. It’s a compete clusterfuck, but people seem to enjoy it. Last year I went for the first time. I sat at the […]

Self-Destruction, Vol. 1

For anyone curious about my next novel, I posted a story on Fictionaut here that was originally published in the brilliant and very worthy of your attention literary magazine trnsfr. A radically altered version of this story will be used for the thing-in-progress. Over the next few mothns, bits and pieces of the new novel […]

Auguste-Louis Lepère

Courtesy of the wonderful site BibliOdyssey via the Bibliothèque nationale de France, a set of gravures by the French artist Auguste-Louis Lepère for A rebours by J-K Huysmans. Astonishing.

The Failure: Audiobook

An item on the iambik tumblr indicates that the audiobook version of The Failure is now available for purchase. You can get a free download of the first chapter here. The reader, Tadhg Hynes, did an amazing job. His Irish accent makes my writing sound a lot more musical than it actually is. Check it […]

File Under Water

More press about me talking about myself can be found here.