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Jalal Toufic is an amazing writer. He documents the moves of consciousness in a way that leads the reader ever deeper, from impasse to illusion to new impasse—turning the trap of “what can’t be named” into a true paradise. Both of his books [Distracted and (Vampires)] knocked me out; totally original, totally fascinating.
Richard Foreman, Artistic Director of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, and a MacArthur Fellow

Jalal Toufic is one of the best writers in America today. Although fluent in French and Arabic, he has chosen English as his language of expression and his first 2 books, Distracted and (Vampires), are some of the best writing of the past 20 years.
John Zorn, Film Works IV

This year has already seen the publication of Toufic’s Undying Love, or Love Dies (Post Apollo), a book that among other things unforgettably re-writes various versions of the Orpheus myth, as well as the release of a “revised and expanded” version of (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (also from Post Apollo), first published in 1993, and written for “mortals to death.” (Vampires) is a sort of sequel to Toufic’s 1991 debut Distracted, explicitly written for the living and here becoming what Toufic calls an “untimely collaboration” with the author of the original edition and of (Vampires) too. As one proceeds through the book [Distracted]’s aphoristic prose paragraphs, very different eras and states of being seem to flow along and past one another and through the speaker’s utterly unique sensibility. The book is thus not so much about what happens when Raymond Roussel repeats a sentence but changes billard (pool table) to pillard (plunderer), or about theories of the effects of “surpassing disaster” on cultures (including Jewish and Shi‘ite) and literatures, or about reactions to how love, drunkenness and distraction are rendered by (and in) the deeply interconnected media of memory, film and language. Rather, the book records a kind of double or even multiple experience of these things.... There is nothing else in literature like it.
Publishers Weekly, November 2003


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