Fleur Jaeggy
University Presses


Am reading your Spring '04 issue with pleasure --- Serious laughs as at the Fleur Jaeggy review.

--- Lindsay Waters
Harvard University Press

    Mr. Waters included a copy of his new book Enemies of Promise, issued by Prickly Paradigm Press. Since it is concerned with his concerns about the decline and fall of University Presses, we responded, in part:

Thank you for yours of 22 March.

We find ourselves fascinated by the personalities of the various presses. Such as Minnesota University Press with its archly eccentric titles, and, too, archly eccentric writing; Stanford with its (mostly) impenetrable volumes, always printed in four-point type. Kentucky and its neo-militaristic call-to-arms from retired admirals and generals; Arizona with some truly inspired writings on the border and Mexico/Americana.

Then the occasional astonishing releases: Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed by Gay Block, one of last year's favorites of ours, coming out of the University of New Mexico of all places.

And of course there is the wonderful disquisition on moldering bodies from your own press A Fly for the Prosecution by M. Lee Goff which we reviewed (with pleasure) four years ago.

Although we get thousands of hits a day, letters are rare, and letters from publishers (or writers) are rarer still. Unless we have gored someone, creating the likes of:

    What kind of idiots do you have writing book reviews? In her report on my book, Ms L.A. Bloom admits she's slipping into senility. I think she's already there...


    It became clear to me that the reviewer was far more interested in her own cleverness and ability to dash off a few zingers than in forming a thoughtful, careful, and mature opinion of the poetry.

Or the most direct of them all:

    Do you know something? Your evaluation of Cradle of Valor is pure crap, pure and simple crap!

Thanks for writing us and cheering us.

--- Lolita Lark
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that inspired this letter.

§     §     §

Subject: An Inquiry from a Cockroach


While indulging in the megalomaniac act of researching myself on the internet, I came across your website about cockroaches. My alterego, among other things, is Doktor Cockroach and has been for roughly 5 years, yet until coming across yr site I'd never known that a movie had been made about me (or another doctor of cockroach spirituality).

I'm assuming you've probably never heard of me, but I am somewhat of a figure in the music & art underground (both creation & subversion). I would be interested in arranging an exchange: you make a copy of this mysterious movie (is it about me?) and i will send you some music & art i have created. I am very interested in learning more about this film and in learning more about a fellow cockroach enthusiast like yrself.

--- laughter, chaos, compassion, honesty-durf
(doktor cockroach)

Our reviewer responded:

The book Cockroach lists 14 movies with you as star, including "Doctor Cockroach," "Bug," "Alien," "Twilight of the Cockroaches," and "Them." I suggest you get in touch with Reaktion Books, 79 Farringdon Rd, London EC1M 3JU in the United Kingdom and ask for the book.

And although we can't provide you a copy of any of the movies (our tastes run more to 400 Blows, 8-1/2 and City Lights over Twilight of the Cockroaches,) I am sure you will find any of the fourteen available in the darker reaches of the internet. Or hell, if your kitchen is anything like ours, maybe the cockroaches there in your house will offer you a midnight showing.

--- C. Amantea

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