by The Last Books

Repetition
Peter Handke
The Last Books - 14.50€ -  out of stock

An English translation of Peter Handke’s 1986 novel Repetition, previously out of print for a quarter of a century.

“In Repetition, Handke allows the peculiar light which illuminates the space under a leafy canopy or a tent canvas to glisten between words, placed here with astounding caution and precision; in doing so, he succeeds in making the text into a sort of refuge amid the arid lands which, even in the culture industry, grow larger day by day.” —W. G. Sebald

“In his earliest work … Handke found a way of conveying a state of mind … where words seem to come between you and the world, where nothing coheres or appears natural, and from the vantage-point of which the ease with which other people talk and go about their business seems deeply suspicious. But just as Kafka felt there were moments when, miraculously, a written sentence – even one written by himself – seemed full light, seemed to fill its own space and establish its own rhythm, and when even the whole story seemed mysteriously to stand as solidly in the world as a tree or a rock, so it has been with Handke. He has, in his later work, appeared to make a conscious effort to escape from the debilitating awareness of his own lack of authority or authenticity, and tried to write as though somehow the story were already written, had, in a sense, always been there… Repetition is the triumphant climax of his career so far…

What saves the book from the sort of sentimentality we find in John Berger’s recent work is first of all Handke’s uncanny ability to convey what it is this urge for pattern has to overcome, and secondly, his extraordinary attention to detail, historical, geographical, botanical, and linguistic. (No review can possibly convey the richness of Filip’s meditation on his brother’s two books, or Handke’s magical way with images.)

His narrative … is one of the most dignified and moving evocations I have ever read of what it means to be alive, to walk upon this earth.” —Gabriel Josipovici

Selected Poems and Letters
Friedrich Hölderin
The Last Books - 19.00€ -

This volume gathers all of Christopher Middleton’s Hölderlin translations, comprising thirty-one poems and fourteen letters. With an introduction, notes, and four essays on (translating) Hölderlin’s poetry.

“Christopher Middleton is an extraordinary translator, bringing his fine poet’s ear and inventiveness to the task. In addition to the brilliant versions, this volume offers Middleton’s essays on the poet and a selection from Hölderlin’s letters – a great gift to us all.” —Rosmarie Waldrop

Blackfishing the IUD (Yellow Papers 3)
Caren Beilin
The Last Books - 9.50€ -

Excerpts from Caren Beilin’s 2019 essay/memoir about reproductive health and the IUD, gendered illness, medical gaslighting, and activism in the chronic illness community.

“The moon is hollow. The moon is hollow says a certain contingent of people, because of aliens (and, also, the moon has experienced bangs on its surface that have apparently made it ring just like a bell).
These people are conspiracy theorists. Paranoid, conclusive, certain. Too certain. They connect the dots with their eager, enormous chalk. They want something to be true. They want, I think, something new to be true, and they are taken (as I am) with the moon being like a bell, two phonemes, moon, bell, beautiful and struck across each other’s false armor, mutable and beautiful.
The moon is a bell, as the theorist Georges Bataille, in 1931, said, ‘The sun is an anus.’ He was arguing about the beauty – the absolute energy – of the copula.

‘The verb to be is the vehicle of amorous frenzy,’ he wrote, the year that Benjamin unpacked his library, alone. The moon is a bell, and I believe this absolutely, sure. The IUD is the RA. The sexual force of the verb, is, to be, of my verbacious being, will knock any noun into the moon and beyond. Everything is a parody, can be anything. The moon is hollow and made of muleskin. The moon is hollow, insofar as it is coated with the agglutinate, the shining coat, of a limit. I cannot go into the moon with my eyesight. I can’t enter my womb from that time (in November 2015) and sit crosslegged by the device, at the base of its suspending embedding, in the oaty red fist of my uterus, and watch the metal loam off its rigid cross-branch – and leech into tissues and activate, or reanimate, flare, or push over my problem. I can’t spy the center of the inception or the core of my being. I only know the timing. My health deteriorated rapidly after it was in, and I know how horrible it is, to cease planning for trips, outings, applications, or children, waiting and watching for how bad and how soon, and that the moon is hollow

This pamphlet excerpts from Blackfishing the IUD, published in 2019 by Wolfman Books, Oakland. With thanks to Caren Beilin, Jacob Kahn, and Justin Carder.

scherzos benjyosos
keston sutherland
The Last Books - 15.00€ -

Scherzos Benjyosos is a set of four poems, scherzos in prosimetrical blocks, a comical, wild, and delirious sifting through the carnage of the financial crash, the dreamscapes of capitalist infancy, histories of sadism and persecution, the fetish bars of canonical literature, and the psychoanalysis of grass. The book also includes “Sinking Feeling,” Sutherland’s long poem from 2017, described by J. H. Prynne as “breathtakingly lovely, and desperate, racked with desire to become truthful love.”

Some reviews of other books by Keston Sutherland:
“[Hot White Andy] is the most remarkable poem in English published this century… A possible poetic future starts here.” — Jacket Magazine

“The most unsettling but also authentically hopeful account of what it is to be human now.” —3AM on The Odes to TL61P

“Immediately takes its place among the most essential works of literature in English in this new millennium.” — Chicago Review on Poetical Works 1999 –2015

“[‘Sinking Feeling’] moves like a piece of music through recursive and repeated moments, shifting and developing its described and conceptual spaces, its logics of representation, and its narrative. The thinking it follows is not always easy, but the disorienting effect on the reader is exhilarating because of the intellectual and emotional space it opens up as you try to follow it.” — London Review of Books

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