A big thank-you to everyone who entered our first ever novel contest. We should be announcing the winner sometime this summer.

Our blog has moved; please visit us at http://blog.blatt.cz/

We will no longer be posting on this blog.


Get Edgier

I can't believe I forgot to mention 3am's great anthology, The Edgier Waters. It came out in June and is still blowing our minds. Fiction and poetry from a bunch of kickass, brilliant, and "difficult" writers, including Bruce Benderson, Noah Cicero, Travis Jeppesen, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Matthew Wascovich, and Kenji Siratori. It's the type of book you'll wanna come back to again and again. It's nice to be able to read this stuff off the screen for once. When was the last time you had your eyes checked, by the way?


Thank You, 3am!

3am Magazine has named BLATT magazine of the year for 2006.


On James Chapman's STET

Stet by James Chapman
Fugue State Press, 336 pages

Loosely based on the life and work of Sergei Paradjanov, Stet is a filmmaker in the Soviet Union who, in the 1960s, is sent to a labor camp where he dies having produced not much more than a single feature-length film.

In this finely crafted fake biography-cum-novel, author James Chapman makes the interesting choice of writing from within his subject – which is not to say this book is a stream-of-conscious monologue. The subject is too vast, bigger than Stet himself, encompassing a large slab of time, an era – the subject, in fact, is History itself. Even more specifically, Chapman grapples with the large (not just geographically) subject of Russia in the century we recently left behind us, forging a deceptively authentic memory of an ever ungraspable Russia of the mind. Chapman’s poetic language works to mysticize this vast terrain of subject matter, becoming entangled in virtually every deeper implication it stumbles across. Yet the novel never feels crowded – Chapman’s pacing is too masterful. He manages to convey in prose the sense of a good film, shifting from subject to subject the way a movie camera mounted on a dolly might slowly move across different paintings in a large museum.

This novel, which is unlike any novel you’ll read this year or this lifetime, is many things, one of them being a probing philosophical examination of the nature of critique – particularly critique that is fueled by ideology. Its temporal setting is that period that marked the end of the “freedom to talk to yourself,” as Chapman so beautifully puts it, the new era when all art would have to address the nameless masses and therefore negate the bourgeois model of individualism.

So what happens to Stet? When he is no longer able to follow these external instructions, to listen to the voices outside his head, he can no longer make films in his homeland. He winds up having to work as an orderly in a mental institution. He fails at this just as he “failed” at his former profession. He stays home at his flat in St. Petersburg, where he and his wife create a Museum of Everyday Life, of the type of banalities that are the very stuff that art is made of. He is ultimately betrayed by all those around him and torn away from his wife. Even after his death, the probing narrative continues, exploring what Russia would become without Stet in it. The book effectively comes to a close with the eulogy of Chodok, the actor who turned Stet in and effectively caused his slow, painful, state-sanctioned demise.

_Travis Jeppesen

This review originally appeared in the October issue of Think Again magazine.


Happy Birthday to Me by Aleš Mustar

Congratulations! Condolences!
Greeting cards are always ugly in the same way
regardless of the design: a bunch of
flowers or a black ribbon.
Clichés in sentences cut through the
heart like surgeon's knives.
A complaisant company dealing in catalogue sale
presents me with a gift coupon.
A well-read advertiser didn't forget to
include lines from Wordsworth
closely followed by good wishes
for a nice celebration and much joy in
the use of the discount.
As soon as the fax machine gets as smart
as mobile phones
and starts responding with the Happy Birthday tune
I shall commit suicide.

Translated from the Slovenian by Manja Maksimovič


Restore Thee Skylab by Matthew Wascovich

a band of mentals
that would not calm existing
for a certain defined amount of time
do you need a badge?
the time is the time that is

the straighties want to jam a cock
fight nite but fuck that
fuck the times new
to us wiper the skylab
to the sleeping on floors

34 not 34 yes 34
eve i saw with the wickedest line of sight
for the leanest high
the leanest rat
and us to you to them

corners for restore
the walls were painted by grant
the valley of machine face
marching nude street
my eyes are rifle shaped


BLATT recommends

While you're waiting for BLATT 2 to come back from the printer, you might as well buy issue 4 of



Fantastic little magazine with fragmentary writings, conceptual poetics, & manifestationless manifestos by a few modern day visionaries, like Stewart Home, Heidi James, Donari Braxton, Tony O'Neill, HP Tinker, and a bunch of other brainfuckers with A+ hygiene.

It costs only 6 pounds, 9 dollars if you happen to be a yank

Otherwise BLATT 2's gonna come real soon, printer ran out of binding so we have to wait a couple more days -- that's right, this motherfucker's gonna get bound. A lot of other things, we'll keep you posted real soon