beaulieu-emersonEric Schmaltz has just reviewed John Riddell’s Writing Surfaces: selected fiction of John Riddell (as edited by Lori Emerson and myself) on Lemonhound:

This necessary volume offers a comprehensive selection of Riddell’s diverse array of meta-media writing strategies. Emerson and beaulieu’s selection spans from his better-known lipogrammatic comic “Pope Leo: El Elope” (illustrated by bpNichol) that recounts the tragic murder of Pope Leo using only four letters (P, O, E, L) to the dirty, concretistic “a deux,” a work composed of typewritten text that is disrupted by smears, hand drawn lines, and inkblots. Much of the work presented here explores Riddell’s interest in the relationship between machines and language–he creatively intervenes with the functions of the typewriter, photocopier, and paper shredder, among other technologies. Riddell’s work poses a special challenge to editors because much of it is unreproducible–much of it relies on aleatoric operations and at other times precise and irreproducible gestures. Considering both editors’ outstanding backgrounds exploring radical, media-related literature, there may be no one better to trust with this work.