Despair Is Contagious: On First Reformed

Ken Baumann


Ken Baumann on the ongoing functions of certainty and despair as seen in Paul Schrader’s latest film, First Reformed.

Basement Magic: Notes from a new D&D player & an interview with Zak Smith

Ken Baumann


Ken Baumann gets his feet wet in the world of D&D, and asks 5 questions of game consultant / painter / porn star, Zak Smith.

From Say, Cut, Map

Ken Baumann


An excerpt from the opening of Ken Baumann’s second novel, Say, Cut, Map, coming Nov. 15 from Blue Square Press.

What Not Sleeping Starts To Make: Blake Butler’s Nothing

Ken Baumann


The late great David Foster Wallace was once interviewed on European TV and said he can’t own a TV because that’s all he would be doing. Like in the pot scene from Infinite Jest in the first bit of that epic novel. He also said he writes in a difficult way to try and battle this tendancy in himself. Too easy is self defeating. Blake Butler, the author of Scorch Atlas, Ever and two books on Harper Perennial this year, the novel There is No Year and Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia, released this week, is an inheritor of Wallace. Everything Butler writes is difficult (a good thing), beautiful, dark, and oft funny. Friend and copublisher of the literary mag No Colony Ken Baumann recently interviewed Butler. It is no less challenging than Butler’s fiction, or non.