Allen Shelton’s “Where the North Sea Touches Alabama” (On sale by University of Chicago Press: press.uchicago.edu) is a work of sociological fictocriticism that explores not only the author’s relationship to the artist but his physical, historical, and social relationship to northeastern Alabama, in rare style.
“In Christ there is no East or West, North or South, and the North Sea touches Alabama.” Part of the sermon by a Sand Mountain preacher, 1979.
This utterance by a preacher inexplicably came true when the dead artist Patrik Keim’s coffin may have been uncovered two hundred miles from where it was interned in an ancient beaver swamp in Alabama by dozer operator who quickly reburied the miraculous coffin. The artist Keim was obsessed by the North Sea.
The report of the investigation into the event is titled Where the North Sea Touches Alabama by Allen Shelton, University of Chicago Press, 2013. The fictocritical account is part memoir, part steam-punk theory, and a hard edged psychic materialist analysis of the possible return.
Book Trailer credits
Directed & Edited by Nathan Peracciny
Lesley Stern, author of The Smoking Book.
Michael Joyce, author of Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden.
Donna Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto.
Kathleen Stewart, author of Ordinary Affects.
Special thanks to:
Anne Costello, Molly Jarboe, Lesley Stern, Michael Joyce, Donna Haraway, Kathleen Stewart, Ruah, Nadja, and Tyree Shelton.
Artistic contributions by:
Julian Montague, Molly Jarboe, and Patrik Keim’s archives.