September 24, 2010

Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed

A novel by Jacob Wren

Sept 27, 2010
Montreal Book Launch

(Launched alongside Fieldnotes, a Forensic by Kate Eichhorn, Tracelanguage by Mark Goldstein, The Little Seamstress by Phil Hall, Other Poems by Jay MillAr and O Resplandor by Erín Moure. Hosted by Angela Carr.)
Casa Del Popolo, 7:30 - 9:30

Oct 4, 2010
Toronto Book Launch, Relay-Interview & Dance Party

(Relay-Interview featuring Jonathan Adjemian, Marcus Boon, Eric Chenaux, Sheila Heti, Amy C Lam and Jacob Wren. Dance party DJ'd by Marcus Boon.)
This Is Not A Reading Series, The Gladstone, 9:30

Read an interview between Beth Follett and Jacob Wren here.

"Jacob Wren’s work has always explored the dissonance between psychodynamics – which reveals the ambiguities and possibilities of human behavior – and the deadening psychic economy of capital. In Revenge Fantasies, he demonstrates how deeply literary these concerns are. Whether depicting the intricate mood-shifts of a triangulated romance, or chronicling the inchoate optimism of marathon group meetings designed to identify ‘what went wrong’ with the left, or recasting the recent political past as dystopian sci-fi, the novel is fascinating, lurid and highly accomplished, evoking the best of Colette, Robert Musil and Julio Cortazar."

– Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick, Aliens & Anorexia and Torpor

Set in a dystopian near-future, Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed is a novel – a kind of post-capitalist soap opera – about a group of people who regularly attend ‘the meetings.’ At the meetings they have agreed to talk, and only talk, about how to re-ignite the left, for fear if they were to do more, if they were to actually engage in real acts of resistance or activism, they would be arrested, imprisoned or worse. Revenge Fantasies is a book about community. It is also a book about fear.

Characters leave the meetings and we follow them out into their lives. The characters we see most frequently are the Doctor, the Writer and the Third Wheel. As the book progresses we see these characters, and others, disengage and re-engage with questions the meetings have brought into their lives. The Doctor ends up running a reality television show about political activism. The Third Wheel ends up in an unnamed Latin American country, trying to make things better but possibly making them worse. The Writer ends up in jail for writing a book that suggests it is politically emancipatory for teachers to sleep with their students. And throughout all of this the meetings continue: aimless, thoughtful, disturbing, trying to keep a feeling of hope and potential alive in what are starting to look like increasingly dark times.

Revenge Fantasies asks us to think about why so many of us today, even those with a genuine interest in political questions, feel so deeply powerless to change and affect the world that surrounds us, suggesting that, even within such feelings of relative powerlessness there can still be energizing surges of emancipation and action.

Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed will be published in English by Pedlar Press and in French by Le Quartanier.

An excerpt can be read here.


September 20, 2010



The devil is insecure.


September 18, 2010



I had the dreadful sensation that I was not really alive or wholly dead. I was a living corpse, unrelated to the world of living people and at the same time deprived of the oblivion and peace of death.

- Sadegh Hedayat


Leszek Kolakowski quote


A modern philosopher who has never once suspected himself of being a charlatan must be such a shallow mind that his work is probably not worth reading.

- Leszek Kolakowski, Metaphysical Horror