About Shigekuni

readingThis is Shigekuni’s place, welcome. He is a scatterbrained poet, whose accent betrays his teutonic origins. That’s right, he’s half-German, half Russian and writes predominantly in English. He studied literature but they wouldn’t even give him a T-Shirt for it, nor has the world decided to award his self-sacrifice to culture with a proper job. He’s now writing a PhD on American poetry (on Lowell, Bishop and Berryman) and invests his spare time in reading even more than before and writing reviews about what he read.

If you want to support him in doing so, you could click on the paypal “Donate” button, which you can find in the column on the left of this blog. He is extremely thankful for every little bit of support, because he needs it very badly. Nice words are good, too, however. 😉 If the Button doesn’t work (which it doesn’t for some people), my paypal ID is i_marcel(at)web.de. I am deeply thankful for everybody who has so far decided to help.

He will read anything provided it has a nice cover and is not written by Paolo Coelho or Terry Goodkind. He likes poetry mostly because it appeals to his short attention span. He also watches an insane amount of TV. Sundays he gets loaded and takes part with three to five smart cookies in Bookbabble, a podcast about books. If you’re interested, well, you’re lucky, because he posted a few episodes here. If you want to take part, you’re welcome. Email him (see below for means to contact me).

IMG_20130725_130131He reads mostly at night which explains the lack of things he remembers about the books in question. Good examples of this can be found on this blog, which contains reviews, god-awful poems and quotes by smart people to make him look good. If you’re interested to know why it’s called as it is, click here. The explanation is both reliably self-absorbed and reliably arrogant. Yes, he is the irate troll that lives under your shelf and makes it rumble when you buy a bad book and put it there. He writes poems whenever the fancy takes him, preferably in public, in a Starbuck’s, on a laptop. He also likes and reads a lot of philosophy but he’s insufferable, really, about it, so don’t ask him. You could ask him why he never wears pants when he goes out but be sure you want to know the answer. He listens to music, because he has no talent in making it, but he paints pictures although he doesn’t have any talent for it. He loves a good party, too. He loathes bad parties and will leave a punitive Coelho in your apartment if you invite him to one. He responds least well to insufferably boring rock music. Hence, do think twice about putting on that Goo Goo Dolls / Mando Diao record.

He loves books, really. He wants you to read more Arno Schmidt, Julián Ríos, William Gaddis, Thomas Bernhard and John Wray. And he demands you read more poetry.


You can contact him at shigekuniblog (at) rocketmail (dot) com

Or find him on Twitteror or on tumblr.

Or on skype. His skype name is shigekuni.wordpress

He’s really everywhere.

There’s a plethora of things on his blog, many of them related either to books or some vaguely political issue that annoyed him enough to annoy you, in turn. If you are looking for anything specific, do use the search box to your right (if it doesn’t work, take the wordpress one in the top right corner of the page). It will lead you to your goal quickest. As a service to his readers, he has shoved all posts into all kinds of categories, which you can find on the right side of the screen. Since there are lots and lots of them, it’s a very long list, so they might be hard to navigate. However, the drop down box (directly below the ‘search box’) may be helpful in this regard. He is open to suggestions and will accept review copies of novels and poetry, as well as poetry scholarship. Also donations (see column to the right).

Feel free to browse. Leave a comment. Buy him dinner. Or cake. Yes, especially that one.


33 thoughts on “About Shigekuni

  1. I love your blog. It’s so full of everything, it’s a total joy just to look at, without actually getting in to reading it all. I think I’m going to be here for a while… I’m ‘steffee’ everywhere else, by the way.

  2. Shig, I love your blog, and the way you like to shake things up. You have a brilliant mind and are so completely unafraid to ask the hard questions and tackle the hard answers. Great job!!!

  3. Thanks for the review of Lydia Davis. I can’t understand all the raves that are written about her. I like the short form and there’s one piece by her called The Sock that I read in an anthology and led me to get her novel… But really most of her stuff doesn’t fly.

  4. thunderstruck by how acute your review of “Winter In the Blood” was. I’m making a film of that book, and have been living with it for 30 years, but found fresh meat in your post. Good for you for doing this.

  5. this is the kind of blog i wanted to find. i never imagined i will, of course, but it has just happened.

    by the way, stop smoking, may i have your socks?, what’s the best book you’ve ever read?

  6. Mr Poet,

    Went to see a man singing called Ghostpoet in Dublin last night – good gig but trying company with friend who doesn’t do big talk or small talk, just lots of silence. Thanks be to jesus for the music. Stumbled upon you while looking for information on Serbian artist in Jakic as quoted In a Strange Room. I also thought the book was amazing and have just finished The Quarry very Becketidian indeed. Have you read Dead Mass by John Gray on the demise of capitolism very good. Poetry Vera Groark Spinthrift is good – unlike my spelling.


  7. I can’t even remember how I stumbled onto your blog (sometime around 3:45 this morning, jet-lagged from 32 straight hours of travel from China to California). What I can remember, however, is that I then spent the next three or so hours hooked on it. What a trove – I’m agog over your blog – you even managed to dispel my irritation with Padget Powell’s “The Interrogative Mood” – something no other reviewer has been able to do.

    Buy you dinner? For sure.

  8. You once wrote that you missed me on WLF. My turn to say the same to you. Is anything wrong? You have been aux abonnés absents for some time now… Quite honestly, WLF is not nearly so interesting anymore.
    Muss zugeben, mache mir doch Sorgen um Dich.

    PS Have no idea how else I can get in touch other than via your wordpress site. You have my email address and I hope you’ll get in touch one way or the other.

  9. Pingback: Tumbling « shigekuni.

  10. Hello! I love your blog. I guess everyone does, but I’m just beginning to explore here and I’m delighted. Your passion for words comes through and feeds my own.
    Again, I’m new here so maybe there’s already a bit of this out here, but I’d enjoy seeing some of your recommendations on english translations for great works.
    Thanks for doing what you do.

  11. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Roth’s Nemesis, but rather than Achilles, I think it is the Hercules myth that informs the characterization of Bucky Cantor.

  12. I think I see where you are coming from. One of the central aspects, however, of Bucky is his weakness, isn’t it, I think that’s what made me think of Archilles. Hercules had no such clear weakness. I would be really interested in your reasoning.

  13. 11/14/2013
    Dear shigekuni:
    I read your piece on J. P. Donleavy’s Gingerman. I am so old to have read it when it was first published in the U.S. As you are presumably much younger than I, I wondered if you have heard of or read John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces. If so, have you ever compared that work to the Gingerman? I have, and would like to read your juxtaposition of these two chef d’oeuvres.

  14. I just wanted to let you know, in one of my ultimately spontaneous acts so impossible to follow, that I still absolutely and undisputably adore and love you. Thanks for the card, btw. Eli

  15. I have come to this site as a result of reading “The Lyre of Orpheus.” the third in the Cornish trilogy by Robertson Davies. I have come to discover that Mr Davies, now deceased for some time, was quite knowledgeable in a wide variety of topics. He mentions ‘Later Murr’ and I wondered if this was real.

    Should you desire a great read, start with “Rebel Angels,” go on to “What’s Bred in the Bone,” and then finish with “Lyre.”

    Kater Murr comes up as a result of a young musical genius woman trying to get her Ph.D by finishing an alleged opera about King Arthur that ETA Hoffmann never finished.

    So now I know. Thank you.

  16. Pingback: Linkradar: Bowies Bücher, Chaussee der Enthusiasten, Literaturhaus München – Lesen mit Links

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