“Slash and Burn” published in March 1997 and “Outcast Narrative” published in January 1999 can both be found in Electronic Book Review. To visit Harold Jaffe’s page, read these Nonfictions, or read his bio, you can visit the Electronic Book Review website or go to Jaffe’s “Nonfiction” page on WordPress.
Essayist, Daniel Green, reviews Harold Jaffe’s works of fiction Anti-Twitter and Induced Coma.
“If any writer deliberately proceeded throughout his career to almost ensure his work would be ignored by critics and publishers, it would have to be Harold Jaffe. Jaffe has steadfastly continued to write fiction that is formally and conceptually adventurous while at the same time advancing a radical sociopolitical critique that portrays US culture in the most starkly unfavorable light. From his first novel, Mole’s Pity(1979), to his newest collection of “docufictions,” Induced Coma, Jaffe has challenged assumptions about fiction as a literary form and enlisted his work in the effort to resist the maleficent influences of America’s “official culture,” a culture that undermines human well-being and despises real human freedom. Since inevitably many readers are uncertain how to respond to these objections, at worst confused about, if not actively hostile toward, the purposes behind them, it is not surprising that Jaffe’s books are seldom reviewed and are usually published by small, even marginal, independent presses.”
Read the entire essay at Kenyon Review.
Interview by Sean Coolican
I’m here with Harold Jaffe, author of 29 books that include 15 Serial Killers, Induced Coma, Revolutionary Brain, Sacred Outcast: Dispatches from India, Paris 60, Dos Indios, Death Café, and Anti-Twitter. I’m curious about the preface of Goosestep that reads, “I am of the race that sings under torture,” a line that is repeated later in the poetic text, “Mockingbird.”
Where does the quote come from and why did you choose to start the collection with it?
The quote comes from Rimbaud’s Illuminations and the source is cited at the end of Goosestep.
A good portion of my writing and thinking life has been devoted to the place of art in times of crises. 2018 is arguably the gravest crisis humans have faced collectively. During the most grievous times in human history—the medieval plague, the vast slave trade, the influenza pandemic in the early 20th century, Hiroshima, the Holocaust–one constant in those times was continuity. At some point the vast suffering will be (or seem) ameliorated and human history will resume.
Read the full interview at Poetry International.