The Book of Fables

( 1 )

Overview

“Metaphors, puns, surrealist visions, converted into sharp, disturbing little narratives . . . only a poet, and a good one, could have written it.”—The Atlantic Monthly

W.S. Merwin’s acclaimed short prose—many of which first appeared in The New Yorker—blur the distinction between fiction, poetry, essay, and memoir. Reminiscent of Kafka, Borges, and Beckett, they evoke mythical patterns and unlikely adventures and raise questions about art, reality, and meaning. As the Saturday ...

See more details below
Paperback
$18.24
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$20.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $4.62   
  • New (4) from $10.40   
  • Used (7) from $4.62   
Sending request ...

Overview

“Metaphors, puns, surrealist visions, converted into sharp, disturbing little narratives . . . only a poet, and a good one, could have written it.”—The Atlantic Monthly

W.S. Merwin’s acclaimed short prose—many of which first appeared in The New Yorker—blur the distinction between fiction, poetry, essay, and memoir. Reminiscent of Kafka, Borges, and Beckett, they evoke mythical patterns and unlikely adventures and raise questions about art, reality, and meaning. As the Saturday Review remarked, they have “astonishing range and power.”

The Book of Fables is an affordable paperback of all the short prose from two out-of-print collections, The Miner’s Pale Children and Houses and Travellers. The pieces run from a single sentence to a dozen pages and create a poetic landscape both severe and sensuous.

From “A Garden”:

You are a garden into which a bomb once fell and did not explode, during a war that happened before you can remember. It came down at night. It screamed, but there were so many screams. It was heard, but it was forgotten. It buried itself. It was searched for but it was given up. So much else had been buried alive . . .

Poet and translator W.S. Merwin has long been committed to artistic, political, and environmental causes in both word and deed. He has received nearly every major literary accolade, including the 2005 National Book Award in Poetry for Migration. Merwin lives in Hawaii, where he cultivates endangered palms.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Michael Dirda
Despite the imagination and astonishing variety revealed in these pieces, Merwin's style tends to remain singularly even and unchanging -- a formal tone, somewhat abstract, with a penchant for striking declarative sentences, situations more perplexing than playful, and stark, emblematic characters.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal

Since his earliest writing, Pulitzer Prize winner Merwin's poems have been built upon imagery, often a pileup of what Lorca called the duendeand Robert Bly defined as the deep image. Given the leaps from line to line in these poems, the transition to brief prose pieces seemed a natural and welcome diversion. This volume includes everything from two o.p. collections-The Miner's Pale Children(1969) and House and Travelers(1977)-as well as new pieces, ranging from a paragraph to 13 pages. "The true present is the place where only one can stand, who is standing there for the first time," he says in one of the later pieces here. And this sense of self and other, with the speaker either part of a primitive collective mythology or a detached observer, pervades. Despite an underlying current of fear and doom, the surreal landscape is accepted without struggle. The two volumes published here appeared before the recent prose poem and flash fiction movements became fashionable in American literature, but Merwin's writing adds another dimension to both genres.
—Rochelle Ratner

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592560
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 792,819
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

W.S. Merwin is one of America's leading poets. His prizes include the 2005 National Book Award for his collected poems, Migration, the Pulitzer Prize, the Stevens Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and Lannan Foundation. He is the author of dozens of books of poetry and translations. He lives in Hawaii, where he cultivates endangered palm trees.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2014

    Great Fables in an Ok Book

    W.S. Merwin definitely delivers, as this is one of his most beautiful, poignant, and impressive collections. The works are so stunning, and many draw heavily on history to express modern emotions and events. My two favorites are The Lost Tribe and The New World. My only problem was that the book itself is not a 'nice' book to hold or read; it's a little too big, stiff, and glossy to really be comfortable for a reader.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)