Author Showcase: Joachim Frank
by Nathaniel Tower
Today we feature Joachim Frank in our Author Showcase. We will be sharing his story “The New Gift” with you in our Post-Experimentalism issue.
“The New Gift” has conventional, linear narration, and physical groundedness. Yet as a story it has been brushed by the era of Magic Realism, and would not have been written before the onset of experimentalist prose, so it definitely qualifies as “post.”
More about Joachim:
In his fiction writing, Joachim Frank renders re-interpretations of reality, often from the point of view of a total stranger, in the concise language of a scientist. He has published more than thirty short stories and prose poems, the latest in Offcourse, Hamilton Stone Review, and Cezanne’s Carrot. Perhaps his most experimental piece is The Monk Weed, written 30 years ago, which has appeared in the Duck and Herring Co. Pocket Field Guide. (This imaginative journal has faltered, but the story can be found on my blogsite, Franxfiction.) The entire story consists of nine words, with all but two of these footnoted, and the footnotes sprouting further footnotes to fictitious publications and pre-Wiki era, Wiki-like definitions. Lately he joined the small story-telling community of Cowbird. This platform allows a text, a story – often the account of a personal experience — to be featured with a striking image. In reversing the primacy relation between text and image, he starts from an image and creates a text as a “legend” — a little myth that explains the image or uses it as purported proof (example). In the blog on his Franxfiction website, Joachim ruminates on small observations and discoveries of hidden connections in everyday life. For instance, the significance of the fact that the color of the handbag of the woman who carried the Coptic papyrus fragment mentioning Jesus’ wife to a specialist for authentication was red, and the possible reason why the color of the handbag entered the news circuit.
Joachim Frank, a German-born scientist and writer, moved in 1975 to Albany, New York and recently (2008) relocated to New York City. He took writing classes with William Kennedy, Steven Millhauser, Eugene Garber, and Jayne Ann Philipps. He has published several short stories and prose poems in Lost and Found Times, The Agent, Inkblot, Heidelberg Review, Groundswell, Peer Glass, and Open Mic, all print. He wrote three novels, still unpublished. Several pieces of short fiction and poetry were published online, by elimae, 3711 Atlantic, Cezanne’s Carrot, Brilliant, Eclectica, Offcourse, The Noneuclidean Cafe, Ghoti Magazine, Duck and Herring Co. Pocket Field Guide, Hamilton Stone Review, and Raving Dove. His work as a scientist (Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University) has been published in over 200 peer-reviewed articles and six books.