Parataxis and Ponzi Schemes


with Andrea Scrima


Wreckage of Reason II: Back to the Drawing Board
(Spuyten Duyvil Publishing, 2014)

Andrea Scrima invited two of her co-authors in the anthology, Margarita Meklina and Snežana Žabić, to take part in a conversation about what experimental writing means today—beyond the marginalization the label inevitably leads to, both in terms of commercial viability and literary visibility. Meklina emigrated to the US from Russia at the age of twenty-two and lives in Oakland; Žabić, who eventually settled in Chicago, was forced to flee her native Vukovar when the wars in the former Yugoslavia broke out. Scrima, who was born and raised in New York and has been living in Berlin for more than half her life, soon noticed that cultural displacement was an element each of them had in common; as she began to question the effects this may have had on their various literary projects—whether it fostered a critical distance to mainstream culture, or a skepticism regarding its definition of success—she decided to ask Meklina and Žabić to discuss their experiences. What follows is a conversation about emigration, identity, and the many unforeseen ways in which an initial loss of language can grow into a reconsideration and regaining of language. In the process, Scrima, Meklina, and Žabić explore the question Skolkin-Smith poses early in her essay on the anthology: “How do experimental literary writers continue to foster their literary legacy, to offer up profound depths, language, and soul, to grow as writers willing to risk, and to toss up, around, and about meanings and connections in ways that rise above entertainment?”

Read the entire conversation here:



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