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Constance DeJong performs recitations from her novel Modern Love at Western Front, Vancouver, 20 Jan 1978. The segment up to 1m23s has no audio.
“Constance DeJong‘s long-neglected, late-1970s novel, Modern Love, is one thing made up of many: It’s science-fiction. It’s a detective story. It is a historical episode in the time of the Armada and the dislocation of Sephardic Jews from Spain to an eventual location in New York’s lower east side. It is a first person narrator’s story; Charlotte’s story; and Roderigo’s; and Fifi Corday’s. It is a 150 year old story about Oregon and the story of a house in Oregon. Modern Love’s continuity is made of flow and motion, like an experience, it accumulates, as you read, at that moment, through successive moments, right to the end.”
DeJong initially published Modern Love in 1975–76. Serialized as five chapbooks, she designed, printed, and distributed it herself, then released a new edition with help from Dorothea Tanning on the short-lived Standard Editions imprint the following year.
DeJong also performed the book—not as a reading or play, but as a kind of mark of narrative in time. In 1976, she performed selections at The Kitchen’s first-ever literary event (a bill shared with Kathy Acker). Two years later, shortly after the book’s publication by Standard Editions, she produced a complete performance of the novel at The Kitchen, accompanied by prerecorded voices (including a cameo by David Warrilow of Mabou Mines) and music by Philip Glass.
The above video was posted on the website of Western Front in 2014.Comment (0)