I've been at Book Expo America and a little distracted. It doesn't get to town that often anymore, and is abundantly different from the days when it was in Anaheim.
A lot of the talk is how it's not nearly as much fun as it used to be, how the parties aren't as imaginative as they used to be, how nothing is as it used to be, and damn those cellphones. The truth is that exhibition space rents are now absurdly priced and there isn't a lot of money left over in many magazine or academic press budgets for, say, leasing a yacht and setting sail in Newport harbor, as I recall The New Republic's party did in 1988. Also: all but the most giant booksellers themselves have been largely squeezed out by now.
The most interesting books that have come my way so far are both out of the University of Minnesota Press:
- French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States by Francois Cusset.
- The Exploit: A Theory of Networks by Alexander R. Galloway and Eugene Thacker
The former has been blogged about by Stanley Fish at his New York Times blog, a newspaper actually interested to push debate about books along. It pays off for all: there are as of last count a whopping 618 comments on Fish's French Theory post. The latter maps the way networks have become "the core organization structure for postmodern politics, culture, and life, replacing the modern era's hierarchical systems."
University of Minnesota Press has kept a couple of seminal French philosophical favorites of yours truly, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, in print since their publication.
g But I do want also to let you know that lots of other events are shaking the town. For instance:
Beginning yesterday, Eagle Rock is hosting the first Los Angeles Accordion Festival. Admission is $10.
Here's one band's name: Conjunto Los Pochos. I'm stepping aside on that one and letting DQ translate.
They play tonight at 6 along with Veronique Chevalier, Sam Mellon & the Skylarks, Jessica Richot, and Phil Parlapiano.
Sunday at 4 you can see Mrs. Hobbs, Mrs. Brown’s Lovely Daughter, La Santa Cecilia, Doug Legacy & the Zydeco Party Band and Ollin.The festival is at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall, Aerie 2188, 1596 W. Yosemite Drive, Eagle Rock. Where else?