Goodbye To The City

Leave it to Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore to have us all excited about the end of San Francisco. The queer activist and radical prose stylist moved to Seattle a few years ago but returns to celebrate her new book (out on City Lights). Her writing is furious and unlike anything you’ve ever read; as novelist Justin Torres so aptly points out, “her agitation is an inspiration.” There’s a passage in Henry Miller’s The Colossus of Maroussi that chronicles one of his major revelations as a writer, when a stranger challenges him to record what the wind is doing through the trees without at all talking about it. Sycamore’s prose recalls that passage: Drunk on language that ought to be incomprehensible but is somehow piercingly lucid, she wails elegiac for the dream of a transcendent queer culture once glimpsed with such promise here. If you like firebrands or language as alchemy, this event is a sure thing.
Tue., April 30, 7 p.m., 2013

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