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Bibliodeath: My Archives (With Life in Footnotes)
     

Bibliodeath: My Archives (With Life in Footnotes)

by Andrei Codrescu
 

Award-winning author Andrei Codrescu’s Bibliodeath: My Archives (With Life in Footnotes) surveys the evolutionary relationship between language and technology by examining his own career as a prolific American writer for more than four decades. Born in Transylvania, Romania, Codrescu’s journey spans from his earliest days as a

Overview

Award-winning author Andrei Codrescu’s Bibliodeath: My Archives (With Life in Footnotes) surveys the evolutionary relationship between language and technology by examining his own career as a prolific American writer for more than four decades. Born in Transylvania, Romania, Codrescu’s journey spans from his earliest days as a scattered poet in the 1960s to his founding of the journal Exquisite Corpse in 1983 to his ongoing commentary today on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Amid the release of some of his most celebrated books, the author’s story is an insightful address of the survival of the literate world and the transformation of print, told through suspenseful reflection and alluring, signature footnotes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Celebrated Romanian novelist, essayist, radio commentator, and poet Codrescu scribes this eulogy-cum-paean of the printed publication. In tribute, Codrescu narrates his personal memoir as essentially archival and entangled with its textual production. He recounts an illicitly borrowed typewriter in Soviet-occupied Romania, handwritten poems copied by lovers, postcards written for posterity, marginalia, and the recent entombment of his various scrawls and snippets into an official archive. This official archive has its doppelgänger in a dispersed archive including his first journal, long-lost and still mourned, a twice mislaid government file, a stolen manuscript, disseminated letters, never-realized novels, and correspondences vaporized on crashed hard-drives. What becomes of this inherently written life when this multifarious cache is reduced to a spectrally digital library, condensed to the virtual, when all texts are read illuminated on the same screen? Codrescu's various hyperbolic and absurd edicts respond to the alleged death knell of literature at the hands of e-reading, yet the main tenor of the book is a jubilant fête for the diverse and rich history of linguistic technologies and the concomitant literary movements. Lucid, clever, and lyrical, Codrescu's delightfully distinctive prose extols a linguistic productive life as he commemorates this vertiginous moment in which the textual world flows from printed form to digital existence.
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From the Publisher

“Part cultural critique, part portrait of the artist as a young literary revolutionary, the author’s latest is a mature look at the rise of e-printing from the vantage point of someone who has already experienced, and survived, a number of technological revolutions. Longtime fans will naturally savor Codrescu’s idiosyncratic ambling and real-life reflections. New readers will find philosophical nuggets after some digging.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“For all the talk of the looming digital world and the frightening Posthumans who will inhabit it (perhaps you among them), this is still a storybook that you can hold, written by a palpable presence whose humanity is undeniable.”  —Bookforum

“A challenging and rewarding tour of our new nation, further proving that Codrescu is a unique and necessary writer.”  —Bookslut

“The result that is Codrescu’s writing must be savored, never skimmed, and because of its inventiveness, he actually ends up using his writing style to prove his point: writing and words are evolving forms, but they also possess a fundamental solidity that can’t be destroyed, even though the lines are blurring.”  —ForeWord Reviews

“(Starred Review) Lucid, clever, and lyrical, Codrescu’s delightfully distinctive prose extols a linguistic productive life as he commemorates this vertiginous moment in which the textual world flows from printed form to digital existence.”  —Publisher’s Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
Poet, essayist and novelist Codrescu (Whatever Gets You through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments, 2011, etc.) examines the oft-sensationalized "death of print" and redefines its place in the bigger picture of literary history. Part cultural critique, part portrait of the artist as a young literary revolutionary, the author's latest is a mature look at the rise of e-printing from the vantage point of someone who has already experienced, and survived, a number of technological revolutions. Codrescu recounts his growth as a writer, from his childhood in Romania to his tenure as a professor at LSU, tracing his journey through the "archives" of his life, which frequently spill over into footnotes. These footnotes go on for pages, offering insight into autobiographical and historical information that literally surrounds the primary body of text. Readers may ruminate on the footnotes as a simultaneous representation of old-fashioned marginalia at its finest and a Wikipedia-like informational hall of mirrors. Or, thin on patience, they may ignore them altogether. Codrescu's self-proclaimed "referential injoking" may try that same patience, but what elevates the author's argument is his understanding that what technology has actually defeated isn't writing or publishing (if anything, there's more of both of them than ever); it's "the flaws, the failures, the typos, the sweat, the traces of the human on the material," the works and remnants that ground a text in a real, flawed world. The pixelated kingdom, Codrescu observes, is highly ordered and smudge-free, occupying neither space nor time, like a virtual vapor that leaves no sensual trace for future generations of scholars and readers to study and treasure. Longtime fans will naturally savor Codrescu's idiosyncratic ambling and real-life reflections. New readers will find philosophical nuggets after some digging.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983868330
Publisher:
ANTIBOOKCLUB
Publication date:
11/29/2012
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Part cultural critique, part portrait of the artist as a young literary revolutionary, the author’s latest is a mature look at the rise of e-printing from the vantage point of someone who has already experienced, and survived, a number of technological revolutions. Longtime fans will naturally savor Codrescu’s idiosyncratic ambling and real-life reflections. New readers will find philosophical nuggets after some digging.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“For all the talk of the looming digital world and the frightening Posthumans who will inhabit it (perhaps you among them), this is still a storybook that you can hold, written by a palpable presence whose humanity is undeniable.”  —Bookforum

“A challenging and rewarding tour of our new nation, further proving that Codrescu is a unique and necessary writer.”  —Bookslut

“The result that is Codrescu’s writing must be savored, never skimmed, and because of its inventiveness, he actually ends up using his writing style to prove his point: writing and words are evolving forms, but they also possess a fundamental solidity that can’t be destroyed, even though the lines are blurring.”  —ForeWord Reviews

“(Starred Review) Lucid, clever, and lyrical, Codrescu’s delightfully distinctive prose extols a linguistic productive life as he commemorates this vertiginous moment in which the textual world flows from printed form to digital existence.”  —Publisher’s Weekly

Meet the Author

Andrei Codrescu is an author of poetry, novels, and essays, the founder of Exquisite Corpse: A Journal of Life and Letters, and has broadcast regular commentary for NPR since 1983. He was the recipient of a Peabody Award for his film Road Scholar, the Ovid Prize for poetry, and the ACLU Freedom of Speech Award.

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