Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: mud luscious

Q&A With Michael Stewart

by Amanda Kimmerly 08.03.2011

The Hieroglyphics, Michael Stewart (Mud Luscious Press, 2011)31-year-old Michael Stewart wrote a novel/la that, like the work of fellow Mud Luscious-er J.A. Tyler, is difficult to classify. Spanning 80 pages, The Hieroglyphics is novella-length, with some paragraphs as compact as one sentence–do we call it prose? Poetry? Should time even be spent packaging imagination into neat, pristine categories? Fiction, after all, is not simply a storage unit!

Shifting the focus to content: The Hieroglyphics is a reinterpreted version of Horapollo Niliacus’s Hieroglyphica. Discovered in 1419, Hieroglyphica totaled 189 explanations of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. Since gaining popularity, however, its authenticity has provoked many questions from Egyptian scholars and inspired new translations in the academia environment. Stewart’s version is a mix of his own research and unique vision of an ancient, misinterpreted world, with heavy emphasis on linguistic tricks and startling images, the type of writing that causes as much pause as reading a book of proverbs.

Stewart teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.  The Hieroglyphics can be found through Mud Luscious Press.

Amanda Kimmerly: What inspired the idea to re-write Horapollo Niliacus’s Hieroglyphica?

Michael Stewart: A friend who was studying the book in grad school (she was translating it) kept sending me these amazing sentences. After the first dozen I thought, I’ve got to do something with this.... more »

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Q&A With Sasha Fletcher

by David Duhr 09.15.2010

when all our days are numberedSasha Fletcher is the author of when all our days are numbered marching bands will fill the streets & we will not hear them because we will be upstairs in the clouds, published in 2010 by Mud Luscious Press. Fletcher is the Assistant Editor at Gigantic and is currently in Columbia’s MFA program.

Recently he and I chatted over email.

 

Q. The cover of when all our days are numbered labels the book a “novel(la),” but it often reads more like linked poetry. It’s not a traditional narrative with traditional story progression, but there are recurring themes, and there is a definite build toward a conclusion. How would you classify this work? Are we reading abstract fiction, narrative poetry, or what? Or do you find classification irrelevant?

A. I view the book as one piece of writing rather than a series of linked parts. It flows from one page, one image or thought, to the next and then back in on itself. The book does tell a bit of a story, at least about a relationship and about dealing with the idea of getting carried away and the necessity in life for some sort of grounding.

In terms of classifying the book, the publisher is calling all of... more »

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