by New Directions Publishing

Spontaneous Particulars: Telepathy of Archives
Susan Howe
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock

Great American writers — William Carlos Williams, Jonathan Edwards, Emily Dickinson, Noah Webster, Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, Henry James —in the physicality of their archival manuscripts (reproduced here in the beautiful facsimiles)—are the presiding spirits of Spontaneous Particulars: Telepathy of Archives.

Also woven into Susan Howe’s long essay are beautiful photographs of embroideries and textiles from anonymous craftspeople. The archived materials create links, discoveries, chance encounters, the visual and the acoustic shocks of rooting around amid physical archives. These are the telepathies the bibliomaniacal poet relishes. Rummaging in the archives she finds “a deposit of a future yet to come, gathered and guarded…a literal and mythical sense of life hereafter—you permit yourself liberties —in the first place—happiness.” Digital scholarship may offer much for scholars, but Susan Howe loves the materiality of research in the real archives, and Spontaneous Particulars “is a collaged swan song to the old ways.”

Memorably fierce: with her long career in view today, her comment on Dickinson, in 1985, applies to Howe herself: 'A great poet, carrying the antique imagination of her fathers, requires of each reader to leap from a place of certain signification, to a new situation, undiscovered and sovereign. She carries intelligence of the past into future of our thought by reverence and revolt. -- Langdon Hammer

Concordance
Susan Howe
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

“Only artworks are capable of transmitting chthonic echo-signals,” Susan Howe has said.

In Concordance,she has created a fresh body of work transmitting vital signals from a variety of archives. “Since,” a semiautobiographical prose poem, opens the collection: concerned with first and last things, meditating on the particular and peculiar affinities between law and poetry, it ranges from the Permian time of Pangaea through Rembrandt and Dickinson to the dire present. “Concordance” a collage poem originally published as a Grenfell Press limited edition, springs from slivers of poetry and marginalia, cut from old concordances and facsimile editions of Milton, Swift, Herbert, Browning, Dickinson, Coleridge, and Yeats, as well as from various field guides to birds, rocks, and trees: the collages’ “rotating prisms” form the heart of the book.

The final poem, “Space Permitting,” is collaged from drafts and notes Thoreau sent to Emerson and Margaret Fuller’s friends and family in Concord while on a mission to recover Fuller’s remains from a shipwreck on Fire Island. The fierce ethic of salvage in these three very different pieces expresses the vitalism in words, sounds, and syllables—the telepathic spirit of all things singing into air.

In the collage poems language is both word and image. Source texts are cut up and repurposed, overlaid, truncated--they scatter across the page and spill into the gutter, run to the outside margins. Small blocks of quotations are buttressed and broidered by other quotations, slender and enigmatic, running in the opposite direction; some are illegible, serving more as shapes, gnomic geometries born of inscrutable utterances. To embody, in graphic or poetic form, a reconstituted approach to reading and writing, one that reaches beyond the page, through difficulty, silence, and stutters, to another kind of knowledge. -- Emily LaBarge

 

Splay Anthem
Nathaniel Mackey
New Directions Publishing - 17.00€ -  out of stock

A collection of works by a Whiting Writer's Award-winning poet is divided into three sections including Braid, Fray, and Nub and features two ongoing serial poems that have evolved throughout more than twenty years, such as a West African spirit song and an exploration of a lost we tribe.

In the cosmology of the Dogon of West Africa, the Andoumboulou are progenitor spirits, and the song of the Andoumboulou is a song addressed to the spirits, a funeral song, a song of rebirth. "Mu ," too, splays with meaning: muni bird, Greek muthos, a Sun Ra tune, a continent once thought to have existed in the Pacific. With the vibrancy of a Mira painting, Mackey's poems trace the lost tribe of "we" through waking and dreamtime, through a multitude of geographies, cultures, histories, and musical traditions, as poetry here serves as the intersection of everything, myth's music, spirit lift.

Index Cards: Selected Essays
Moyra Davey
New Directions Publishing - 18.00€ -

In these essays, the acclaimed artist, photographer, writer, and filmmaker Moyra Davey often begins with a daily encounter, with a photograph, a memory, or a passage from a book, and links that subject to others, drawing fascinating and unlikely connections, until you can almost feel the texture of her thinking.

While thinking and writing, she weaves together disparate writers and artists, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jean Genet, Virginia Woolf, Janet Malcolm, Chantal Akerman, and Roland Barthes, among many others, in a way that is both elliptical and direct, clearheaded and personal, prismatic and self-examining, layering narratives to reveal the thorny but nourishing relationship between art and life.

Published May 2020.

Nightwood
Djuna Barnes
New Directions Publishing - 15.00€ -  out of stock

Nightwood, Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force, "belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch" (Times Literary Supplement). That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes' novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe's great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna--a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous.

The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction--there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O'Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes' depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, "A man is another persona woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own") has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature.

The Helens of Troy, New York
Bernadette Mayer
New Directions Publishing - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Profiles of all the women named Helen in Troy, NY, with poems and images, mixing the classical with the ordinary and delightful intelligence with irreverence. 

'everybody died there’s nothing more to say my hair’s braided like a family i took off, it was fun, i loved it if you did something wrong, they punished you one helen is enough, trust me'

My Emily Dickinson
Susan Howe
New Directions Publishing - 16.00€ -  out of stock
For Wallace Stevens, “Poetry is the scholar’s art.” Susan Howe—taking the poet-scholar-critics Charles Olson, H.D., and William Carlos Williams (among others) as her guides—embodies that art in her 1985 My Emily Dickinson (winner of the Before Columbus Foundation Book Award). Howe shows ways in which earlier scholarship had shortened Dickinson’s intellectual reach by ignoring the use to which she put her wide reading. Giving close attention to the well-known poem, “My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun,” Howe tracks Dickens, Browning, Emily Brontë, Shakespeare, and Spenser, as well as local Connecticut River Valley histories, Puritan sermons, captivity narratives, and the popular culture of the day. “Dickinson’s life was language and a lexicon her landscape. Forcing, abbreviating, pushing, padding, subtracting, riddling, interrogating, re-writing, she pulled text from text….”
Vale Ave
H.D.
New Directions Publishing - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Vale Ave, Latin for "Farewell, Hail", is a hymn to Eros that unfolds as a gorgeous palimpsest of eternal recurrence and reincarnation, charting the course of two lovers who each seek the other across cultures, myths, and centuries. Vale Ave is alchemical, "mystery and portent, yes, but at the same time," as H. D. writes, "there is Resurrection and the hope of Paradise."

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