(“Bookworm,” in other words.)
Anobium, as the brainchild of creators “Mary J. Levine” and Benjamin van Loon, was started in January 2011 as both an exercise and an experiment. Though neither Mary nor Ben were new to Chicago, it was difficult for them to find their niche in the nuclearized Chicago literary scene. The ‘scene’ as such had many pockets and alcoves, but no core. Like a party in an ant colony. So Mary and Ben thought, why not here? Why not now?
We started with a small goal: to publish. Give writers a place to send their writing ‒ experimental and hybrid writing generally pishaw’d by the Academic scene (which has somehow gotten its tendrils stuck around the many boughs of Literature per se) ‒ get it read, and possibly get it published. Simple.
But then we thought: first and foremost, we’re about literature, and literature is like religion. From it our Weltanschauungen spring forth. Literaryness qua Literaryness is more than just words on a page. It’s aesthetic sensibility, cultural awareness, creative sensitivity, and knowing how to wear a funny hat. As such, over the next year (years?), you will see Anobium continuing to expand its ‘literary scope.’
Not only do we remain dedicated to our biannual literary volumes, but we are going to be more seriously pursuing boundary-pushing single-author titles, artist and musician collaborations, new conversations, and new types of ‘literature’ that bend, blend, and transgress. Not only do we want to be important in Chicago, but we want to be relevant to the greater creative community as Chicagoans. This is something like us making ourselves available to you; to new conversations and to new experimentations.
The banner on the Anobium website reflects our passion for three things: Literary Publishing, Multimedia Arts, and Cosmonautics. They break down like this:
1) Literary Publishing.
Online and, more importantly, in print. Good books, well designed. Some by multiple authors, some by single authors, some by authors pretending to be authors. This also means e-book counterparts, inferior in heft by equal in import. Simple. This is our blood.
2) Multimedia Arts.
Online and, more importantly, in whatever media best represents said art form. This can mean interviews, primers, retrospectives. It can also mean album releases, concerts, gallery events. This is where literature extends beyond words on a page.
Designates the exploration of space, or of new, unearthly realms. Space, in this case, is something like a mirror. The look outwards is the look inwards and vice versa. The greatest anomalies of the universe are both hidden and revealed by the polychromatic nebulae of the psyche. This knowledge is what sets us apart, as our fascinations are not informed by genre, tropes, or the so-called constraints of ‘realism,’ but rather, by genuine philosophical/metaphysical/pataphysical/everyday curiosity.
Our affiliations include:
Some of our favorite writers are Franz Kafka, David Foster Wallace, Roberto Bolaño,Vladimir Nabokov, Jose Saramago, Sam Lipsyte, Haruki Murakami, Blaster “Al” Ackerman, Daniel A.I.U. Higgs, Rikki Ducornet, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Italo Calvino, Michael Chabon, Hunter S. Thompson, Jorge Luis Borges, Charles Baudelaire, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Arthur Schopenhauer, and many others.
Some of our favorite artists and filmmakers are: David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Luis Bunuel, Maya Deren, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, René Magritte, Charlie Kaufman, Alex Cox, M.C. Escher, Errol Morris, Joel & Ethan Coen, and many others.
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Mary J. Levine, MFA
Benjamin D. van Loon
Jacob van Loon