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    Kane X. Faucher
    Apr 07, 06:45am

    Can't seem to post stories above. This originally appeared in ArtSCAPE magazine (now defunct), copyright reversion to author upon impact - a bit pedestrian given the audience.

    Enigmatizing the London Literary Scene

    Esoteric, postmodern, and sophisticatedly obscure literature has always faced an uphill battle to be recognized, let alone be welcomed by publishers willing to take a chance in publishing it. Generally passed over or consigned to pejorative labeling as pretentious or unreadable, authors who blaze unapologetically forward in this frequently misunderstood tradition now have a welcome local publisher who is "enigmatizing" the London literary atmosphere. Their innovation not only shows in the content of what they publish, but in how they publish as well.
    Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink, having made its quiet debut in April, 2008, is now a thundering force in a city with a grievous dearth of active book publishers. The publishing house honours Ezra Pound's injunction, "There still exist readers who want the strenuous exercise. There are still days when one can not read piffle."
    Wayne Groen, Editor-in-Chief of the press, has been anything but idle. The ambitious scope of the press to disseminate challenging, experimental literature has been met by an active list-building that includes local authors such as Mark A. Rayner as well as seasoned national and international “postmodern” authors Tom Bradley, J.J. Steinfeld, Hugh Fox, V. Ulea, GX Jupitter Larsen, Martin Heavisides, Duane Locke, among others. Future releases will include Journal of Experimental Fiction editor Eckhard Gerdes and Mad Hatters' editor and literary doyenne Carol Novack. To members of the general public, these names may not resonate, but in the shadowy crèches of lofty experimental prose these are names of an “eliterary” force that Groen has steadily assembled. In Groen's view, "To me literature should be an artistic expression, but bookstore stock is predominantly pulpy, mundane and insignificant, most of which is designed merely to please a general public who've been trained to consume anything propped up for them by small groups of lacklustre business people."
    The daunting label of "experimental" does not mean these texts read like an impenetrable literary version of "Revolution Number 9", or that these books sacrifice readability in order to make art for art's sake. Instead, the books reside in a milieu that has something to offer the cultural aesthete as well as the more general reader looking for literature to shake up the realm of literary possibility and expectations. They are magical-realist, irreal, metaphysical, and yet culturally relevant artifacts. These books privilege the kind of poignant beauty inherent to conceptual exploration and the perplexing intersections between is a guiding rubric in CCEI's operations: "I recognize chaos as an essential element of invention, of beauty, of everything remarkable. Only by breaking boundaries and dismissing rules, by transcending chaos or least ways embracing its positive nature, can innovation occur. This is how the avant-garde exist. This is what Crossing Chaos means."
    There is a twist of ironic play when Groen releases a few of these high prose books that defy classification in pocketbook-sized format, giving them the guise of pulp when the contents themselves are ambiguous and challenging.It is almost to say that what is transgressive and viral is housed in a safe package of innocuous if not kitschy expectations, but this is the delicate art of destabilizing the inertia of systems from within. Some of these revolutionary offerings to literature are loud and militant, while still others are quiet and shadowy; but both are united by their protective bastion of CCEI, and both are guided by the belief that literature can always be better, more, and is free to challenge all values and assumptions.
    CCEI is also devoted to environmentally sound practices utilizing vegetable-based inks, eschewing dangerous chemicals in their book production, and using 100% recycled paper. This green sensibility in production has no negative impact on the quality of the books which are on par with industry standards.
    For those who know engaging literature exists beyond Giller Prize nominees, tired of that which has been embalmed as our nationalized "Can(ned) Lit", CCEI promises a transfusion of fresh ink for our literary veins.

    Press website:
    CCEI also produces an annual webthology:

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