Thursday, December 16, 2010

pacREV 2010 has LAUNCHED

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Beyond the Graying of America: Who Cares? | E. Percil Stanford

Want to live forever?  Tough!  It's impossible (unless you have some mad scientist friends, of course).  If you're really worried about it, take a peek at SDSU Press' Beyond the Graying of America: Who Cares?  This publication is a chronicle of SDSU's Albert W. Johnson University Research Lecture Series in which Dr. Stanford presents and explains two major ideas that have changed the study of gerontology is America: the cultural equity and ethics of aging in the population and the significant role aging Americans have in our society.  

Stanford elaborates on how growing old is, indeed, a “serious social, economic, and sometimes political issue,” for he estimates that by 2030, that the 85+ age bracket will represent one in every eleven older persons (26).  This, of course, is diversified b the many ethnic groups that make up the United States.  Within these diverse groups, however, are four similar concerns: “1. the lack of adequate income; 2. health; 3. high energy costs; 4. housing, 5. transportation; and 6. social support systems” (27).  Stanford continues by stating that with these worries are predominantly popular within immigrant populations, and that these immigrants will create a change within the profile of San Diego’s aged population and the overall population of the city.  He believes that the Baby Boomers are also contributing to this; “as the median age of the population increases, life expectancies, falling fertility rates, substantial in-migration of employment in aging persons, and a large number of retirement-related migrants add to the reasons the median age is apt to rise beyond the age of 30” (28).  Life styles and government programs must change to meet these social changes – consequences of the aged population will not wait.

In the second half of the lecture, Stanford describes the aged population’s significant role in American society, that the aged are not and should not be seen as a burden, for
“the future, as we know it, will have its foundation laid by the elderly.  Their wisdom, insights, and dedication to preserving our society will have been the foundation on which our future lies.  We would be extremely uninformed to assume that the elderly would not be an essential element in framing our future.  It is the elderly moreso than anyone who can begin to anticipate the nature of things to come.”
The “era of the aged” is upon us – graying is a sign of maturity, not of decay (45).  See?  Nothing to worry about.  Aging is something to expect and rejoice about.  When you are 85 years old, you will provide the future with everything they need to know about how to succeed.  How could that bring you down???

Since E. Percil Stanford’s lecture, “he has served as the Regional Director for the West Region for AARP since 2002 and as the interim director of the National AARP State Affairs Department working on state advocacy issues.  Dr. Stanford was given the title of Chief Diversity Officer for AARP in December 2005.” He has been a pioneer for gerontology and of the aged population.  Bravo!

Monday, November 22, 2010

pac REV's Call for Submissions flyers are DONE, and they are fabulous!

San Diego State University's annual literary journal has finally released its call for submissions flyer collection.  Look at those beauts!

click to enlarge

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more info

Special thanks to Svante Morgan Nilson for creating these masterpieces.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Books Coming Fall 2010 from San Diego State University Press! SDSU Press

We've got a great new anthology available this December, 2010 from SDSU Press. 150 Years of Evolution: Darwin's Impact on Contemporary Thought and Culture is in final proofs and will be available here and @ our storefront soon! Hit the image on your left to see the new coverspread.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jane Goodall on 60 Minutes | In the Shadow of Man | SDSU PRESS

One of the best moments in the history of SDSU Press came that day in 1988 when we published Jane Goodall's In the Shadow of Man (Distinguished Graduate Research Lecture, 4th). Goodall is still doing amazing work as you can see in the October 2010 episode of 60 Minutes that features this singular anthropological sojourner--an original thinker and writer who revealed the world of chimpanzees in ways that taught us about higher primates, to be sure, but about ourselves as well.

Screen the piece on Goodall below and don't be shy about scooping up a copy of Goodall's book, in hardcover, from SDSU Press for only $7.95.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Get your competitive vibes goin' and submit to the 30 Below Contest!

  Narrative magazine, a nifty non-profit org. that promotes the art of storytelling (also nifty), wants your submissions (I sure hope they're nifty too)!  Their annual competition, 30 Below, is upon us, and the deadline is coming up.

Here are the specs:

"The N30B Contest is a once-a-year event for all young writers, visual artists, photographers, performers, and filmmakers between eighteen and thirty years old. 

We're looking for short stories, short shorts, essays, memoirs, photo essays, audio and video stories, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction,and excerpts  from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. The editors of Narrative have discovered and published the works of many writers who have gone on to become household names, and we continue to look for and to encourage the best new talent to be found.  Don't miss this chance."

Deadline: October 29th. Midnight. PST.

$1,500 First Prize  (WHOAH!)
$750 Second Prize
$300 Third Prize
Ten finalists receive $100 each

The prize winners and finalists will be announced in Narrative. All N30B entries will be considered for publication. All are eligible for the $5,000 Narrative Prize for 2011 and for acceptance as a Story of the Week.

If you're curious about past winners and their work, click here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reading Street Art

In the early chapters of An ABC of Contemporary Reading, Richard Kostelantz reflects upon the ideas of originality and the avant-garde, especially in terms of literary greats of the experimental form (e.g. Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound). However, Kostelantz’s opinions of modern art, including modern writing, prove exceptionally interesting; he claims, “The aim of art in our time is the creation not of ‘beauty’ but of rare experience; the effect of innovative art is not ‘pleasure’ but unusual perception” (45).

Based on Kostelanetz’s opinion of modern art, the fashionable, even trendy, popularity of street art falls into the realm of “unusual perception.” Few traditionalists would classify street graffiti as beautiful, definitely not high art; however, if we follow Kostelanetz’s philosophy, modern art thrives on the extraordinary experience of the viewer and his/her ability to perceive a work outside the accepted setting (gallery, museum, etc) and outside the common response to works of art classified as “beautiful.”

Even in our own humble city, a street art experiment exploded in what appeared to be a lurking reminder to look around and perceive the world, and art, a little differently. MCASD’s exhibit entitled Viva La Revolucion: A Dialogue with The Urban Landscape literally brought modern art to the streets and captured its dialectical relationship to the traditional art setting. Massive murals bombarded city streets while taglines (OBEY) and artists’ infamous logos (See Space Invader above) splattered against the sides of buildings.

Kostelanetz continues, “In our time, experiments with insufficiency are more interesting, more sympathetic, and ultimately more heroic than the exploitation of virtuosity” (43). Does this trend force us to actually “experience” modern art? Does this presence of street art alter our perceptions regarding the traditional way we view and consider beauty? See: Banksy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Devouring Institutions: The Life Work of Kathy Acker | SDSU PRESS/HYPERBOLE BOOKS

Just in time for fall semester 2010!

Come and get the most provocative and original (?) book around devoted solely to the scholarly examination and expounding of Kathy Acker's brilliantly transgressive magnum corpus. Click here for a ultra speedy link and purchase it!

Devouring Institutions: The Life Work of Kathy Acker underwent strenuous pseudo-scientific tests before being confirmed to boost the LitCriterati level of anyone who purchases it by orders of magnitude. So no matter what your current intellectual status is, this book is undoubtedly a must-have, even if it only sits on the shelf behind your desk. (The SDSU Press does not advocate the impressive-shelf-of-unread-books strategy, but it might help us sell more books.)

Still don't think you need this book? Keep reading!

Editor and Scholar extraordinaire Michael Hardin put this lovely book together, and you know he's as edgy as they come. Look at what he's up to now. Here's some more stuff that he's done.

Hardin definitely had the right idea with Devouring Institutions. Not only does it include essays from some of the best scholars out there, like radical feminist Carol Siegel, Idaho State Ackerian Terry Engebretsen, "genre-disrupting" poet Carla Harryman, and Brandeis heavyweight Caren Irr, it provides the perfect entry point to the "theoretical and political motivations behind her work".

What more could literary laymen ask for when trying to familiarize themselves with one of the most "innovative, controversial, and difficult of American writers"?

For more info on Acker, look at the tons of interviews and articles online. Here's one from Larry McCaffery.

Oh, and here's an amazing Acker interview with William S. Burroughs:

And stay tuned because we will be unleashing a new Acker volume in the not-too-distant future!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ghost (?) of Tom Joad: Rage Against the Machine, John Steinbeck and More...

In the discussion recounted in Homer from Salinas: John Steinbeck’s Enduring Voice for California, William Deverell tracks the influence of art during John Steinbeck’s era and comments on its incredible impact on American politics of the 1930s. Artistic legends like Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, and Dorothea Lange were called to the front lines of the political arena, acting as surveyors and documentarians of the economic realities of the Great Depression.

Art as political protest? What a concept. Let’s fast-forward 70 years to “The Ghost of Tom Joad” resurrected by Rage Against The Machine. {a live video performance appears below}

Republican National Convention 2008: Artists Silenced by Police. The news media, however, failed to use the word “artist” to describe the enraged rioters prepared to rock the RNC. After police cut the electricity to prevent RATM from taking the stage, lead singer Zack de la Rocha proclaimed, “the reality is, we are just four musicians from Los Angeles who have used our voices, and our talent, and our musicianship, and our words to stand up against these unjust policies and why the f*** are these cops so afraid of us?!” What do you do when the cops cut your PA system? You sing a cappella, of course!

Although RATM represents an extreme example of subversive artistry, this street exhibition reflects the political system’s indifference to modern creators and their unwillingness to acknowledge to notable artistic figures. De la Rocha asks, “why are they afraid of us?” and rightly so. In Deverell’s panel discussion, he argues, “In the 1930s, as people were trying to figure it out and legislatively address economic strife through the New Deal, artists were often brought in as experts, documentary experts on what’s happening and part of the political debate” (39).

Akin to today’s economic struggles, legislators attempt to uncover the root of the country’s problems, but discount the ideas presented by mainstream musicians. Artists today are certainly not considered cultural, social and political “experts” of yesteryear. Here, the “ghost” of Tom Joad is less about the façade of the “promised land” (as presented in Bruce Springsteen’s original) and more about the ignorance of modern art in today’s political game.

As Deverell claims, art of today is not considered a part of the “political base” (40) because it truly does not matter to those in power. Is it the overwhelming amount of new artists? Has the political value of art diminished?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New SDSU Press Update! SurTEXT Pages--Theory and Culture of the American Southwest and Latin America

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SDSU PRESS and Hyperbole Books Cover Designer with Show Opening in England!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

War Books by Jean Norton Cru | Or, Why I Should Open a Book Before Judging It

I have a confession.

Sometimes, I do judge a book by its cover.

That's what happened with Jean Norton Cru's War Books. Don't get me wrong, the cover looks great. But it's a cover with a WWI soldier and the title is War Books. I'm not really a WWI buff, so I assumed it wasn't my cup of tea.

I passed this book on our shelves a thousand times, glanced at it, and then ignored it.

Shame on me.

This book is now one of my favorites from the entire SDSU Press lineup. It's not a list of books about war, or obscure facts and statistics, or a dry historical textbook. For no reason at all, I assumed it was.

It's actually a pretty darn awesome collection of non-fiction combat literature. And let me tell you something. There are some insanely good soldier-authors in this book.

The first section is called "The War Witnesses" and it has some great philosophical writings on man and war from men who've lived through it.

The second, larger section is called "Sketch of the War According to a Few Good Witnesses." For me, that's where things really heated up. I can open to any page in this section and be sucked in. I'll prove it. Here's an excerpt from a random page (132, to be exact):

July 2, 1916.--The newspapers today confirmed the news of yesterday [beginning of the battle of the Somme]. It's started then, this new orgy of death. A new charnel house takes its place in an illustrious line. How many more blond, clean-shaven Tommies and rough peasants from our fields will render up their bodies to the earth and their souls to God! And for what chimera! Do they know why they are fighting, those knotty-legged Scotchmen, those blue-eyed Bretons? For Alsace-Lorraine? What does the far-away highlander care about the valley of the Ill? What does the man from Brest, born to the sea, care about Mertz? And then who still believes that Europe is on fire for that gob of land? Are they fighting for the fatherland? They do not know what the fatherland is.

That was written by French soldier Louis Maret in 1916. He died in 1917. He had spent twenty months at the front before he was killed.

Don't make my mistake. Recognize the value of this book! You can find it here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't Pass Up This Chance to Feel Superior! Buy The Border: The Future of Postmodernity

Can't you just see it?

You're walking down the street and there he is. That arrogant, pseudo-anarchistic, over-compensating, Urban Outfitter's-wearing, Deleuze-worshipping, hair-always-just-a-little-too-messy, brings-his-own-coffee-mug-to-the-coffee-cart guy.

"Oh. Hey." He'll say to you.

"Hey." You'll say back, bracing yourself for his latest attempt at intellectual superiority.

"Have you ever read Chomsky's Modular Approaches to the Study of the Mind?" He'll ask you. "My friend and I just got into a debate over his comparison of Newton's postulation of action at a distance to Descartes' postulation of a creative principle. She's such a fascist."

You, as a frequenter of this blog and a lover of SDSU Press books, will reply, "Why yes, I have. Actually, something I just read in Segio Gómez Montero's The Border: The Future of Postmodernity reminded me of that. Of course, you've read Montero?" You'll query.

"Um, no. I haven't." He'll reply, looking surprised and a little flushed.

And smugly, victoriously, you'll answer, "Really? Odd. I guess some people can't recognize the value of Latin American intellectual thought."

Looking down your nose, you'll deliver the death blow. "Well, maybe you'll get around to reading it someday. When you aren't too busy shopping at Walmart or drinking Starbucks or whatever."

That's what we're offering you. Right here. Only $5.95.

Gómez Montero is considered one of the most important thinkers in northern Mexico. Director of the National University of Education in Mexicali, he's known for his work in linguistics, cultural anthropology, political economy and cultural criticism.

The Border: The Future of Postmodernity is one of his best books. It contrasts regional and national culture, explores the relationship of indigenous sources to the cultural politics of a centrist state, and critiques the tradition of the literary essay.

We have the only English translation available, the third book in our popular Baja California Literature in Translation series. We don't have many copies left, so order yours now!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Speak kitschy to me, baby | Modernism Since Postmodernism: Essays on Intermedia

Don't deny it. We all use "kitschspeak" at some point, whether we are talking to a colleague or a friend. We're academics! Kitsch it what we thrive on! Modernism Since Postmodernism: Essays on Intermedia is the perfect companion for any kitsch convo. Dick Higgins, an incredibly influential Fluxus artist and author, finalizes his astounding analysis of all things "arty" he started in A Dialectic of Centuries: Notes Towards a Theory of the New Arts and continued with Horizons: The Poetric Theory of Intermedia. In the first part of the book, he tackles the history of art and how perceptions of theories have led to how art is approached today, as well as provides an appropriate definition of intermedial art. In the second part, he discusses intermedial music, particularly focusing on John Cage's monumental compositions. With no suprise, Higgins focuses on Fluxus in the third and final section of the book, defining, explaining and predicting the next step for this accidental art concept.

In the following video, Higgins discusses Fluxus.

Some of Higgins' art.
"Invocation of Canyons and Boulders"

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

From Alyagrov to | Zaum: The transrational poetry of Russian futurism (Paperback) by Gerald Janecek | San Diego State University Press

Hit the image to be instantly transported to our Amazon portal where you can order yourself a copy of Gerald Janecek's definitive study of Dada's cousin, "Zaum."

Zaum (ZA-oom) is more than just a fun word to say. It's a Russian Futurist neologism describing a hard-to-pin-down art movement with an equally hard-to-pin-down translation: "trans-mental," "transrational," "trans-sense," "metalogical" and our favorite, "beyonsense."

The root "um" translates to mind, wit, and intellect. "Za" means "beyond the bounds," "trans" and "on the other side." The two combined describe an innovative school of poetry meant, as author Gerald Janeck puts it, to go "beyond the limits of a locale... like rational, intelligible discourse."

Zaum influenced later groups and movements, such as Pop Art, Nouveau réalisme, and Fluxus.

Finding your interest piqued and your curiosity bubbling? Then check out our book, Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism, one of the defining works on the movement!

Monday, March 08, 2010

In Memoriam to Postmodernism: Essays on the Avant-Pop | Also, an Etiquette Question to be Answered by You, Gentle Reader

Yes, it's true. Postmodernism, or "pomo" to its friends, passed away. Avant-pop killed it, ravaged its corpse, devoured its innards, slurped up its philosophy and tossed it on a funeral pyre. Sadness.

My question is this: just what sort of condolences does one send to a deceased school of thought? A card? A muffin basket? Is it crass to just send cash?

Emily Post has no answer, nor do Mark America and Lance Olsen in their compelling book, In Memorian to Postmodernism: Essays on the Avant-Pop.

Still, don't let its appalling lack of a "Guide to Manners" section deter you from checking out this slick book. It's, honest to [insert your deity here], one of the most fascinating essay collections I've ever come across.

Not sure what Avant-Pop is? Don't worry, our own Larry McCaffrey (Professor Emeritus of San Diego State's Department of English and Comparative Literature) will help you out with his essay, "13 Introductory Ways of Looking at a Post-Post-Modernist Aesthetic Phenomenon Called 'Avant-Pop.'"

Other gems in this book include: a fantastic essay by Harry Polkinhorn (Director of this very press) entitled "Avant-Pop at the Border," Steven Shaviro's "Strategies of Disappearance: or Why I Love Dean Martin," and from the incomparable Raymond Federman, "AVANT-POP: YOU'RE KIDDING! or THE REAL BEGINS WHERE THE SPECTACLE ENDS [a manifesto of sorts]." This book rocks. So buy it here!

Shaviro recently invaded the Reality Hackers seminars at Trinity University--more info here.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Description of Distant Roads Original Journals of the First Expedition into California, 1769-1770 by Juan Crespí

A Description of Distant Roads
Original Journals of the First Expedition into California, 1769-1770 by Juan Crespí
Edited and Translated by Alan K. Brown.
San Diego State University Press,
2001. ISBN 1-879691-64-
890 pages || deluxe hard cover edition || $60.00

This volume includes the complete journals of Juan Crespí in Spanish and English. Este tomo incluye los diarios completos de Juan Crespí en español y ingles.

This work makes available for the first time the complete journals of Juan Crespí, the Franciscan friar who accompanied the first expeditions that established Spanish presence in Alta California. Beginning at the northern edge of the mission frontier of Baja California, the 1769 expedition trekked overland some three hundred miles to establish San Diego. From there, Crespí and the contingent of military personnel and Indian auxiliaries traveled northward on to Monterey and back again. Crespí journals provide the first detailed observations about the new land of Alta California and its peoples. This book is an essential source for the history of Spanish occupation of Alta California and the native Americans inhabiting the land. Here's what the critics are saying:

"Thanks to the erudition and detective work of Alan K. Brown and the high scholarly standards of SDSU Press, we no longer have to depend on a flawed version of this essential account of the founding of Spanish California. This is the definitive edition, in English AND Spanish.

David J. Weber, Dedman Professor of History, Southern Methodist University, and author of The Spanish Frontier in North America (1992) and many other books on the Spanish-Mexican borderlands.

"This work will be an integral part of any collection of basic California historical materials. Researchers in related fields such as anthropology, historical geography, and ethnobotany, along with history buffs and mission aficionados will seize upon it as a Îmust read itemâ and it becomes an instant Îmust possessâ title for any California library reference collection. Alan K. Brown deserves immense credit for his monumental research, editing, and analytical effort that produced this volume.

Harry W. Crosby, author of Antigua California, Mission Colony on the Peninsular Frontier, (1994).

"Alan K. Brown has provided historians, scholars, and researchers with a tremendous gift. His monumental and authoritative translation of Crespí's complete journals will quickly become an indispensable work for all who study the history of California. The introduction to Brown's work is, in and of itself, a masterful piece of research and writing. The extensive and thorough footnotes attest to Brown's careful attention to detail and desire to include the latest scholarship in his work. Brown's translations from the original Spanish texts are superbly done. They remain faithful to the Spanish but are "reader-friendly." Having the Spanish version of the original journals available in the text for comparison purposes greatly increases the value of Brown's contribution to researchers.

Rose Marie Beebe, President, California Mission Studies Association and Professor of Spanish, Santa Clara University

Thursday, March 04, 2010

"Conjunction junction, what's your function?" | Conjunctions: Verbal-Visual Relations, edited by Laurie Edson

Well, we think your function is to read this enticing collection of original scholarly essays, Conjunctions: Verbal-visual Relations, edited by Laurie Edson.

Through an assortment of theoretical and critical approaches, the book examines how scholars and intellectuals from many diverse areas of focus, including visual art, philosophy, poetry and book illustration, have tackled the difficult relationship between the verbal and the visual. Contributors include Michel Deguy, Judd D. Hubert, Claude Gandelman,Laurie Edson, Marjorie Perloff, Roger Shattuck, Georges Roque, Sydney Lévy, Anne-Marie Christin, Richard Vernier, Breon Mitchell, Steven Winspur, Roger Cardinal, Robert W. Greene, Eric T. Haskell, Harriett Watts, Willard Bohn, and Virginia A. La Charité

Come on, who wouldn't want to check this out?

Do You Love Dickens' HARD TIMES? You Have to Read...

Monday, March 01, 2010

That Notorious Scallywag Conan O'Brien...

...has a twitter, and so do we! hit the logo below or click here to follow our adventures online.
Follow us! We shall lead you someplace exciting, like Costco, or Antiquity.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

New SDSU Press GEAR now available...

Oliver Mayer's HURT BUSINESS--Special Sale on

Click the image or hit this link to see the special HURT BUSINESS page.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Next Twilight Movie, Eclipse...

...isn't out yet. But you know what is?
This incredible SDSU Press book!

Alright. Maybe that was kinda sneaky, making you think that this post had something to do with Kristen Stewart and her vampire beaux, but don't hold that against Daniele Chatelain's work, Perceiving and Telling: A Study of Iterative Discourse.
To Chatelain, a narratologist, narrative does not equal story. Story includes chronology, narrative includes structuration. The book explains how these rival yet linked dimensions exist on a "spacetime continuum" within the fictional world.
For those with a passion for the literary discourse, an interest in critical theory, or a love of narratology, this work belongs on your shelf!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two-way street: The Paulista Avenue, flux and counter-flux of modernity | Hey, you! Smartypants! Think you got brains?

Today we have a book for people who have minds and like to use them. Does that sound like you?


Ever stopped to admire some local architecture? Ever been captivated by the lines of buildings as you walked down the street? Ever gazed at the glass, steel, refracted and reflected light of a chain of high rises and pondered its semiotic value in understanding the flux and counter-flux of modern society within an unpredictable urban fabric?

You will after this book.

Two-Way Street, by Marta Vieira Bogéa, critically examines São Paulo's Paulista Avenue as a coded form communication, a network in which metropolitan space becomes message and discourse.

Followers of architecture, contemporary Brazilian theory or Latin American research in semiotics may already be aware of Bogéa and Dr. Samira Chalub of Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo, who wrote the forward. If you're not, get hip with this book! You won't regret it.

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Chalub's introduction in Two-Way Street:
She [Bogéa] captures the sense of design of the visible space as an architect while also exposing the invisibility of ambiguous spaces: the sensorial-synthetic, the brilliance, the opacity, the paralyzed, the dynamism of nervous-muscular movement, entropic sounds, the whole spectrum of colors, tonalities, antiquities, modernities... an imaginary de-architectonics of the city's architecture. Poetic flaws in the symbolism of modern design.
A labyrinth of almost indescribable surprises imposes itself upon the rectangular and rectilinear surfaces projected by modern intentions between the use and the passage of "Baudelairean" man in the multitudes.

And that's just the forward!

The list price says $20, but buy it direct from SDSU Press and we'll send it to your for $6.95!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

SDSU PRESS GEAR! Can You Say San Diego State University Press Branded Boxers? I Knew You Could!

Hit the image above to visit our exclusive SDSU PRESS boutique!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Classic Memoir from the Annals of 20th Century American History: Soldier to Ambassador: From the D-Day Normandy Landing to the Persian Gulf War by Charles W. Hostler--SDSU Press

Like some fusion of James Bond and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., this fascinating memoir, Soldier to Ambassador: From the D-Day Normandy Landing to the Persian Gulf War, marks key, life-shaping moments from Charles W. Hostler's amazing odyssey--a remarkable man who began his life as a newsboy during the Great Depression, who developed himself whilst a soldier in the U.S. military, working his way up still further as an agent in the OSS and, finally, as the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain. 

Hostler describes his 20 year residence in the Middle East, as well as his extensive world travels and dedicated public services.

Click on the book cover image to order now.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

SDSU Press Customers are Pretty Happy!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Arguably the Best, Most Affordable Paperback Study of German Expressionism is Back in Print...

Hit the image here to your left for more info and a special offer from SDSU Press via

Attention Italophiles and Poetry Fanatics: the Brain-Popping Genius of Italian Experimental Poetry Now Available for Discovery

Renato Barilli published his Voyage to the End of the Word in Italy in 1981, it was a huge success.

Now, this brilliant collection of poetry and criticism has been published in English, and is available only from the
SDSU Press.

There's more to the book than the mini-anthology of fantastic work by poetic experimenters (though that's pretty awesome). In
Voyage, Barilli places Italian experimental poetry in a new context. His criticism combines the linguistic theories of Ferdinand Saussure with the Freudian notions of pre-oedipal bliss. The essays delve deep, revealing the puns, visuality, neologisms and full range of devices that experimental poets utilized to expand the capabilities of expressive language.

Also, it's a
steal. Just sayin'.

If you understand Italian, you can check out Barilli below. I have no idea what he's saying, but you might enjoy it!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Autographed Copies of Federman A to X-X-X-X: A Recyclopedic Narrative—Only 14 Left!

Main Entry: Raymond Federman
Pronunciation: /RAY-mund feh-DER-man/
Function: noun
Earliest Usage: 1928
: a French-American wearer of reversible jackets
Synonyms: novelist, poet, academic, critic, translator, deconstructed brilliance

Raymond Federman didn’t buy into “the rules” of writing. Instead, he shredded them (something we’ve all wanted to do to our copies of The Little Brown Handbook and Strunk and White).

Born in Montague, France, this Columbia and UCLA graduate became the foremost expert on Samuel Beckett, founded a publishing company for the avant-garde, wrote criticism, translated, and of course, created incredible work. He eventually moved to San Diego, and many of our University faculty personally knew him. When he passed last October, it was a blow to all.

Federman’s novels and poems defy definition. He deconstructs them, rearranges them, hammers them into the page in the strangest of orders. His poetry, especially, is graphic—not just descriptive, but deliberately placed on the page to form images and patterns, giving the entire piece an added layer of meaning. His wrote about everything, from the impossibility of putting the human debacle down on paper to a potato (it turns into a tomato).

Federman A to X-X-X-X: A Recyclopedic Narrative, covers everything about Federman—and it does so in the same freely chaotic spirit. A joint project of Larry McCaffrey, Thomas Hartl and Douge Rice, this must-have is currently available in a special, autographed, hardcover edition.

One of the few remaining copies can be yours for $34.95 (postage and handling included). Interested? Of course you are, but unlike the paperback version, these collector editions are not available online. To order, make out a check to SDSU Press (for $34.95) and send it to:

Harry Polkinhorn
Director, SDSU PRESS
SDSU mailcode: 8141
San Diego, California 92182.8141

Friday, January 29, 2010

Marco Antonio Samaniego’s Award Winning Novel Available in English Translation

Marco Antonio Samaniego’s Donde las voces se guardan, winner of the 1992 Augustín Yañez award, is now available in English translation from SDSU Press as The Whispering Voices of Atabalpa. Hit the image above to order it right away via (our online distribution lackey!)

The fifth novel in the SDSU Press series “Baja California Literature in Translation," the book centers on La Chueca, the crooked and deformed female. Condemned from birth for her appearance and her inability to cry as a newborn girl ought, La Chueca grows into a woman who flees her small, unforgiving town to experience life, desire and death. 

Following is an excerpt from the novel described by famed Mexican journalist and author Elena Poniatowska as a “great literary effort.” 

From the moment she spied the little clump of flesh, she knew it was deformed, but she said nothing; she kept quiet, not wanting to be accused of having the evil eye. "It’s a girl, it’s a girl!" She ran outside shouting, where the crowd had gathered, gossiping about the slut Vicenta who had gotten involved with the Silerios and stolen the husband of La Manuela, the daughter of the town’s religious zealot. The women crowded in to see her. Her eyes were red and squinty. Her mouth twitched and her skin was the color of the evening sun, The child had hardly cried at all. That’s why the tongues began to wag; she was born during the sofoque: "The child that doesn’t cry is the child that brings evil; the sign of Satan, of the devil, of evil itself."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Utopian Vision: Seven Essays on the Quincentennial of Sir Thomas More

From the heavenly garden of ancient Sumeria, to the plans of nineteenth-century Latin American positivists, to feminist science fiction—concepts of utopia continue to transfix and inspire the human imagination.

Originally published as a celebration of the quincentennial of the birth of Sir Thomas More, The Utopian Vision consists of seven essays on the “enduring symbol of mankind’s hopes.”

Enhancing this SDSU Press original is a fully annotated bibliography of 500 utopian works and works about utopian thought, one for each year between the birth of Saint Thomas More, advisor to Henry VIII and author of Utopia, and the essays within the book.

And now, in the interest of maintaining our allegiance to the conventions of 21st century blogging, a clip--of Sir Thomas More, of course: