Great review!! Sounds like an interesting book. The moving toward God and orgasm, though, to me sounds mystical--I think particularly of Bernini's famous sculpture of St. Teresa of Avila, which maybe suggests an opening in the Puritan self-paring, some more noise. I'd be curious to see what happens to that dynamic as the book progresses into the language of financial exchange and ritual sacrifice. I'll have to check it out.
This is great! I look forward to checking out Anew. I can't really get through A, though a line from it stuck in my head and bounces up at moments, "No one really knows us who does not prove us." The Language poets are big on Zukofsky's A and its form--I think at least some of the sections are formally produced along the mathematical formula for conic sections. It seems to me one of the things about this kind of experimentation is that form makes sense even when content doesn't, form has an affective value even when content doesn't. I could say "No one really barks who does not poop." The words themselves make no sense but the form suggests to me a proverb, a wisdom. Maybe it sticks in my head and bounces up at moments. But I think "No one really knows us who does not prove us" makes sense on both levels. Take "know" in the sense of intimacy, and the thing is that connecting, relating to another person requires challenging the person. This strange, difficult kind of writing seems alienating, but maybe A is Zukofsky's way of trying to be intimate with us. Maybe I should give A another chance.
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