by Leslie Scalapino

Zither & Autobiography
Leslie Scalapino
Wesleyan - 17.00€ -

Zither & Autobiography is comprised of two parts: the author's autobiography and a book-length poem entitled Zither. Both parts of the book are concerned with facts and their undoing. In Autobiography, Scalapino explores her shifting memories of childhood—especially of years spent in Asia—experimenting with the memoir form to explore how a view of one's own life develops, how fixed memories move as illusion. 

Zither opens with a unique narrative that the author describes as samurai film, and as Classic Comic of Shakespeare's King Lear (without using any of Shakespeare's language, characters or plot). Creating a complex spatial soundscape, the poem works formally to allow continual change of one's conceptions while reading. The juxtaposition of the two parts and the connection between them is the anarchist moment... disjunction itself, a key concept in much of Scalapino's work. This vivid book reveals in every thought-sparking section just why Scalapino has been hailed by Library Journal as one of the most unique and powerful writers at the forefront of American literature.

The Front Matter, Dead Souls
Leslie Scalapino
Wesleyan - 16.00€ -  out of stock

This extraordinary new book is essay-fiction-poetry, an experiment in form, a serial novel for publication in the newspaper that collapses the distinction between documentary and fiction. 

Leslie Scalapino is widely regarded as one of the best avant-garde writers in America today. This extraordinary new book is essay-fiction-poetry, an experiment in form, a serial novel for publication in the newspaper that collapses the distinction between documentary and fiction. Loosely set in Los Angeles, the book scrutinizes our image-making, producing extreme and vivid images-hyena, Muscle Beach in Venice, the Supreme Court, subway rides-in order for them to be real. Countering contemporary trends toward interiority, Scalapino's work constitutes a unique effort to be objectively in the world. The writing is an action, a dynamic push to make intimacy in the public realm. She does not distinguish between poetry and real events: her writing is analogous to Buddhist notions of dreaming one is a butterfly, and becoming aware that actually being the butterfly is as real as dreaming it.

The Public World / Syntactically Impermanence
Leslie Scalapino
Wesleyan - 19.00€ -

The Public World / Syntactically Impermanence is a rich consideration of the strategies of poetry, and the similarities between early Zen thought and some American avant-garde writings that counter the language of determinateness, or conventions of perception. The theme of the essays is poetic language which critiques itself, recognizing its own conceptual formations of private and social, the form or syntax of the language being syntactically impermanence. 

Whether writing reflexively on her own poetry or looking closely at the writing of her peers, Leslie Scalapino makes us aware of the split between commentary (discourse and interpretation) and interior experience. The poetry in the collection is both commentary and interior experience at once. She argues that poetry is perhaps most deeply political when it is an expression that is not recognized or readily comprehensible as discourse.

cart (0)