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Angle of Yaw

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Overview

In his bold second book, Ben Lerner molds philosophical insight, political outrage, and personal experience into a devastating critique of mass society. Angle of Yaw investigates the fate of public space, public speech, and how the technologies of viewing—aerial photography in particular—feed our culture an image of itself. And it’s a spectacular view.

The man observes the action on the field with the tiny television he brought to the stadium. He is topless, painted gold, ...

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Angle of Yaw

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Overview

In his bold second book, Ben Lerner molds philosophical insight, political outrage, and personal experience into a devastating critique of mass society. Angle of Yaw investigates the fate of public space, public speech, and how the technologies of viewing—aerial photography in particular—feed our culture an image of itself. And it’s a spectacular view.

The man observes the action on the field with the tiny television he brought to the stadium. He is topless, painted gold, bewigged. His exaggerated foam index finger indicates the giant screen upon which his own image is now displayed, a model of fanaticism. He watches the image of his watching the image on his portable TV on his portable TV. He suddenly stands with arms upraised and initiates the wave that will consume him.

Haunted by our current “war on terror,” much of the book was written while Lerner was living in Madrid (at the time of the Atocha bombings and their political aftermath), as the author steeped himself in the history of Franco and fascism. Regardless of when or where it was written, Angle of Yaw will further establish Ben Lerner as one of our most intriguing and least predictable poets.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Employing the language of aphorism, advertising, parable, personal essay, political tirade, journalism and journal, the collage-like poems of Lerner's second collection express the ennui of American life in an era when even war feels like a television event. Two sequences of untitled prose poems weave public and private discourse, yielding often absurd yet frighteningly accurate observations: "We have willingly suspended our disbelief on strings in order to manipulate it from above"; "Some child actors have never been off camera"; "The right to have it both ways is inalienable or it isn't." Punctuating the prose are three extended free verse pieces, including "Didactic Elegy," a self-conscious, heady meditation on the collapse of the World Trade towers that is equal parts logic-proof, art criticism and subtle indictment of American mourning for 9/11: "The first men and women to be described as heroes were in the towers./ To call them heroes, however, implies that they were willing to accept their deaths." A handful of the more fragmentary poems in this long collection lack the satisfying associative logic and punch that characterize the best of these, and could have been omitted, but overall this collection places Lerner (The Lichtenberg Figures, 2004) among the most promising young poets now writing. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592461
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 579,469
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Ben Lerner is from Topeka, Kansas, and holds a B.A and M.F.A. from Brown University. A former Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, Lerner co-founded No: a journal of the arts. His first book, The Lichtenberg Figures, won the Hayden Carruth Award and was named one of the year's best books of poetry by Library Journal.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Meh. But not because of you.

    Nice story telling. These sort of story have never appealed to me, so I won't overly judge because of my bias. But grammarwise...what's the hizzle with the period marks?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Good

    Good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Jay

    Pretty good interesting plot beggining... but a good start.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    A Happy Family Part 1 By Bry

    This morning I woke up , groaning as the bright sunlight poured throug my bedroom window . I sighed getting up . I turned my alarm off as I rumaged through my pile of clothes on that was almost as high as my desk . See I was the type of girl who didn't really care about what clothes I was going to wear , what jewlery I should put on to match my clothes . I was more of a tomboy . After I changed into a pair of blue skinny jeans and a crinkled shirt , I pulled my ratsnest that sat up top my head into a , what I thought was a messy bun . I ran downstairs as I saw it was 6:45 . I was going to be late , yet again . Once I made it downstairs I quickly threw on my shoes . I kissed my mom on the cheek as I grabbed my bookbag .
    <br>

    "Bye Mom ." I yelled over my shoulder as I booked it to the shed to retreave my bike . I yelled as I saw my bike had the word 'bi<_>tch' spray painted on the side . I turned around as I saw my three stepbrothers , Kevin , Micheal , and Jake , laughing at me as they hopped in their car to go to school . I pushed away the anger that was rising inside and hopped on my bike .
    <br>

    'I'll clean it when I get home .' I thought .
    <br>

    'What do those stupid bas<_>tards have against me ?' I thought and sighed . See my stepbrothers were the popular kids in school . I was just the invisible girl who only had two friends .
    <br>

    "I wish mom didn't have to meet Shane DimField ." I said to myself as I finally made it to school . I groaned as the bell blared signaling that class had started . I sighed as I locked up my bike , the security guard yelling for me to pick up the pace . I went to the Deans office to recieve a late pass . I shook my head as I finally got to my first period . I was happy to see my two best friends , Lily Haven and Jack Hernandez . Out the corner of my eye I saw my stepbrother , Kevin , laughing at me as Mrs. Lister yelled at me for being late again .
    <br>

    "Miss Arianna Jacobs do you know this is your fifth time being late ?" She yelled as I cringed not liking everyone's eyes on me .
    <br>

    "Yes . I'm very sorry , Mrs. Lister . It won't happen again ." I said as my chocolate brown eyes searched her forest green ones for a sign that she would take it .
    <br>

    "Okay , Miss Jacobs . Go sit down ."
    <br>

    <br>

    - Gonna cut you off there . Three positive comments and I'll continue to write . c:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Annonymous, the stoy critict

    I's give this four stars; it had a casual beggining thats told us about setting and characters. However, there were 5 punctuation errors and 1 spelling error. I'd reccomend going back to check your work before posting it. In the next chapter, I'm expecting you to introduce the problem of the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Frost

    I like it please continue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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