There is No Year by Blake Butler hits shelves

Casey McKinney


There Is No Year hits the shelves today, April 5th. Blake Butler, editor of HTMLGiant and author of Scorch Atlas and Ever, has pulsed out one of the most terrifying and intensely poetic novels I’ve ever read. He’s tuned into the body and soul, meat, bees and bones of existence, non and betwixt. Like Bowie’s alien of “5 years”, everything’s crammed in this head, this house, this Babel library that’s thick but lucid, hot like the iron core of an orb shining on grass that never stops growing, and skin; if only you could lightly lift the layers – and you can, it just requires perception, the right tools anyway. A good telescope for the sun, a shovel for the sod (maybe a sharp sheetrock knife while you’re at it), and an ear for the rhythms – staccato, repetition, flow – of stunning language in the room where the plaque There Is No Year hangs.

Butler’s new novel (which yes, centers around a suburban family, in frame…as I write this the DP of the film of the film makes an L7 sign with arms outstretched, a cig dangling from his lip, squinting) has already been called the opposite of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen by David Haglund – ‘Hallelujah’ as a critic of that review has written in a clever blog; Haglund, unwittingly I think, has given a great compliment, and the sort of writers I respect, experimental champions like Ben Marcus and Dennis Cooper are gaga over the fact that Butlers’s drugged the American novel (Marcus) and that the literary axis has shifted today (Cooper).

I don’t do “real” reviews in the main section here on Fanzine, just edit (and some briefs), but can’t help myself for T.I.N.Y.. This is a reading thrill that occurs every ten years, maybe? and so I’m working on one now. Unless an earthquake hits Atlanta (and tornados hit close last night*), I hope to have something longer and archival sometime this week, okay month at least (maybe this year). In the meantime, order or pick up a copy and we’ll compare notes later. -Casey McKinney 

*and a big tree snapped in my mom’s backyard. I just noticed. No shit. Huge mess… It’s laying on part of the house, though our neighbor got the brunt of it.

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