Category Archives: Experimental Literature

Lykanthea’s Migration: Music Inspired by Literature
by Sophie L. Nagelberg

Several summers ago, my band, Videotape, was about to play a set at Panda vs. Panda—a warehouse-turned-underground-venue inhabited by members of a shoegaze group called Panda Riot—when Lakshmi Ramgopal introduced herself to me as a member of Love & Radiation, a dark-dance-pop duo. Since then, our collective musical ventures have led us to play together and attend plenty of shows across various Chicago venues. We’ve also become friends.

In the mean time, Lakshmi wrote and recorded a solo album under the moniker Lykanthea. The five-track EP dubbed Migration (July 2014) is full of ambient, droning tones and dissonant chanting. The music is haunting and the lyrics provide an entire narrative based upon texts she came across in researching her dissertation. The more I listened, the more story I discovered. Recently, Lakshmi and I sat down to discuss her album as a literary work. Continue reading

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Mood Surreal: Boris Vian’s L’Écume des Jours
by Julia Fine

PHOTO COURTESY OF WEARETHEFRONTIER.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF WEARETHEFRONTIER.COM

Boris Vian’s 1947 novel L’Écume des Jours (either Froth on the Daydream or Foam of the Daze in English, depending on your translation) has been called unfilmable, but on July 25th Michel Gondry’s recent cinematic adaptation will open at the Gene Siskel Film Center at 164 N State St. (Take note: friends of Literary Chicago can get a discounted ticket by using the code “LIT.”)

Despite its reputation, this adaptation actually marks the novel’s third appearance on the silver screen. In 1968, French director Charles Belmont released a version called L’Écume des jour, and a Japanese adaptation by director Gô Rijû, called Chloe, came out in 2001. This time around, Gondry is using the English title Mood Indigo—a textual deviation, but a fitting name for a whimsical story that plays across the page like jazz music.

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A Painful, Hopeful World
by Brian Zimmerman

BOOK COVER - Mira CorporaThe front cover of playwright Jeff Jackson’s debut novel Mira Corpora, resembles a gritty art film poster, reminiscent of a Smith’s album. A fuzzy crown stencil hovers above where the rest of the boy’s face should be. The cover screams hurt, emblazoned with the torn image of a sad boy whose eyes are caked with eyeliner. Jackson’s writing is fueled by images. This image, this cover, this is our introduction to the harsh world and haunting images that await—it intimates the terse prose and experimental style to come. This is a unique coming-of-age story about a troubled runaway. An author’s note states that the story is based on Jackson’s childhood notebooks, and the events within are an attempt to reach an emotional honesty regarding Jackson’s youth. As the novel opens, our narrator is coming to the page, pen in hand, ready to settle a score. Mira Corpora explores the invisible yet permanent relationship between memory, truth, and storytelling, all in 186 pages.

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