Derek White: Poste Restante

Poste Restante

Derek White

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122 pages

ISBN 0-9770723-6-3


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Poste Restante is a collection of text and image fragments (postcards, if you will, sent from the subconscious) by Derek White. From the forward:

Whenever I dream about "home," it's never where I am residing at the time. For that matter, whenever I dream of a place, say, Maldives or the Plaza de Toros in Seville, it's never the place but an idealized concept of one, perhaps amalgamated with other places, including absurd ones I have never been to or that might not even exist. Yet. The same is true of people. Say, Madonna or Captain Beefheart. Or even elementary particles such as quarks or gauge bosons. Or the relationships in between. 

The nocturnal histories contained here were transcribed in the dark, in the wake of sleep when I couldn't always see what, in fact, I was writing. These are merely the residuals, in translated words and images, that clung to my feet as I woke up and walked across the floorboards of where I was living at the time. This is all I can say with any degree of certainty without sacrificing knowledge of place for where I was going with it. 


When a letter or parcel is addressed and postmarked, you are assured that it passed through human hands and physical devices to reach its intended destination. It is a validation. A proof of concept. A collapse of its wave function. Poste Restante (literally, 'post remaining' or 'residual mail') is an ad hoc destination for mail sent to recipients who are just passing through a place they do not permanently reside. It's what you say when you don't have a place you call "home." 


"White calls the pieces in Poste Resante "residuals," and that may well be the best description. Like memory and it's closest collaborator, imagination, they are built out of that which remains: both dross and deep beauty. The whole feels honest, unsettingly accurate, fresh."

-Laird Hunt, from a review in American Book Review


"Yet his ability to clearly translate the logic of dream-life is what makes this a specialized, noteworthy work of fiction...the stories in Poste Restante represent some of the most enigmatic work being published on flash-fiction websites and in journals around the country."

-Ross Simonini, from a review in The Believer


"Although there are threads that continue between stories, some of the same characters and places, and more than a heaping spoonful of physics and math (add some paranoia and we're ready for the crying to begin on the auction for White's subconscious) there is no real narrative thread that links them. Like dreams, these stories rise from the ether and then disappear back from whence they came."

-Robert Bell, from a review in New Orleans Review

"Like the detached sentimentality often evoked after time spent in one's own dreams, the stories seem hungry to communicate the things humming within them; they want to transfer their energy into a remote location."  

-Blake Butler, from a review in Bookslut





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