PARIS SCRATCH ~ bart plantenga [RQ’s First Advertorial]

No Comments yet


advertorial /ˌadvəːˈtɔːrɪəl/ – noun: advertorial; plural noun: advertorials – a newspaper or magazine advertisement giving information about a product in the style of an editorial or objective journalistic article.

The complete PARIS SCRATCH is now available from Sensitive Skin.

The skill and intensity with which plantenga chronicles these sorties into life lived at the edge should ensure his place in the next pantheon of great bohemian saints and sinners.
Kevin Riordan, Chicago Reader, Coal Hill Review

I’m really excited to announce this because PARIS SCRATCH is a magical book containing 365 [1 per day] not quite poems; not quite journal entries – “zen blink meta-factual snapshots of everyday Paris life” where the author lived for some 3 years, deejayed, worked everyday jobs and wrote for outlets such as Paris Passion, Paris Free Voice, The Frank, etc.

“A marvelous book – imagine Baudelaire taking a camera & throwing out his pen in a rebellious manner then taking snapshots of everything that comes his way…”
• Nina Zivancevic, author of Living on Air & Death of NYC 

bart plantenga spent much time roaming the Paris streets, but instead of documenting with a camera he chose a pen instead, scribbling observations while walking in ragged notepads in a handwriting not quite illegible.

I really like the way he describes it: “Wandering the streets & writing simultaneously fuses two key creative acts – if worn shoe heels & barely legible scribbles can be considered manifestations of creativity. When you live in a city long enough, you wake up one day & what was fascinating & compelling yesterday suddenly becomes the background for routine. You may not even notice you’ve stopped looking, curiosity curbed, eyes down to the ground & fixed on getting from point A to point B.  To reinvent my relation to my surroundings – first Paris & later NYC – I came up with the Unloaded Camera Snapshots series, a simple exercise to document the ‘snapshots’ of everyday life. They served as attempts to re-pollinate existence with the fecund, oft-neglected details of the everyday, la vie quotidienne.

plantenga was born in Amsterdam, grew up on the American East Coast, lived all over America, moved to Paris and eventually back to his native Amsterdam. He is the author of the much-excerpted novel Beer Mystic, which Luc Sante described as: “Top-fermented, with a good nose, an acrid middle, a dry finish – bubbly and acidulous in reserved measure – and with ambient yeast peculiar to the Lower East Side, the kind that turns concrete to dust. Plantenga is a poet and a prankster as well as a distinguished bathtub brewer. He deserves immediate investigation.”

His short story collection Wiggling Wishbone and novella Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man earned him positive reviews and favorable comparisons to JG Ballard, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson. Andrei Codrescu, National Public Radio described his writing as “frightfully intelligent.”

His books on yodeling YODEL-AY-EE-OOOO: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World [Routledge, 2004] Yodel in HiFi: From Kitsch Folk to Contemporary Electronica plus the CD compilation Rough Guide to Yodel received worldwide attention: NPR, BBC, Al-Jazeera, ABC television, WNYC, WFMU, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair,Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, UTNE Reader, The Wire, Village Voice, London ReviewNew York Times Magazine featured Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo in its “6th Annual Year of Ideas”. The books have created the misunderstanding that he is one of the world’s foremost yodel experts.

His work has appeared in many academic journals, popular magazines, literary journals: [Ambit, Evergreen Review, Vokno, Exquisite Corpse, Downtown, Urban Grafitti, Fringecore, Sandbox, Carolina Quarterly, Mississippi Review] and mainstream media: The Guardian, Times of London, American Heritage, American Book Review, Actuel, New Hampshire, Michigan Today, Brooklyn Rail, KLM Holland Herald, American Lawyer…

He also writes about refugees for both Vox Populi & Truthdig.

He has lectured/read at the Library of Congress, Rotterdam Opera Days, Sound Escape Conference [Toronto], NYU Fales Library, The Brooklyn Bridge Reading, & countless venues around the world.

Anthologies: Nation-KGB Nonfiction Reader; Waiting for a Train: Jimmie Rodgers’s AmericaUp Is Up, But So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene; Reggae, Rasta, Revolution: Jamaican Music from Ska to Dub [Simon & Schuster]; Sonic Geography Imagined and Remembered; Semiotext(e) SF, Crimes of the Beat, Radiotext(e),Noirotica #3, Fiction International, Best American Erotica 1994 [Simon & Schuster]

He is one of the co-founders of the NYC-based Unbearables writing group, which has produced numerous anthologies and countless thematic lit events since their founding in the later 1980s.

He is also a DJ-radiomaker and has produced guest radio shows for the BBC and VPRO (NL), has appeared on a dozen NPR radio shows, as well as NBC and ABC TV plus public radio in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. He has produced his radio show Wreck This Mess since 1986 in NYC (WFMU), Paris (Radio Libertaire) & Amsterdam (Radio 100/Radio Patapoe/Mixcloud) where he now lives.

“Paris Scratch” is a beautiful, picturesque read that I’ve been savoring slowly for a couple of weeks now. In the tradition of writers like Georges Perec, Roland Barthes, Patrick Modiano, Jean-Paul Clebert, with echoes of Queneau’s “Exercises in Style,” Plantenga captures a Paris that finds beauty and wonder in simple exchanges between prostitutes and shopkeepers, children, workers, and random passersby. … The synthesis of poetry and prose, the homage to the visual image, and the recognition of the sublime beauty of the unspectacular, make this a compelling and immensely satisfying read. Sip this book like cognac.
Alfred Vitale, author, academic, editor of RANT

The companion to Paris Scratch, NY SIN PHONEY IN FACE FLAT MINOR (Sensitive Skin) documents New York using the same tactics and will appear in November 2016.

Please let me know if you are interested. Thanks so much,
Blandine Broche

* For free pdf or paper reviewer’s copy: contact us & we will forward your request to the publisher.


Bookmark and Share


Leave a Reply

What is 19 + 8 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

  • About

    Rozenberg Quarterly aims to be a platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress. Read more...
  • Support

    Rozenberg Quarterly does not receive subsidies or grants of any kind, which is why your financial support in maintaining, expanding and keeping the site running is always welcome. You may donate any amount you wish and all donations go toward maintaining and expanding this website.

    10 euro donation:

    20 euro donation:

    Or donate any amount you like:

    ABN AMRO Bank
    Rozenberg Publishers
    IBAN NL65 ABNA 0566 4783 23
    reference: Rozenberg Quarterly

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please see our About page or contact us:
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Archives