FORM OF TAKING IT ALL

Overview

Fiction. "In this Extraordinary collage-epic, Rosmarie Waldrop measures the highly subjective experience of her 'narrator' in contemporary Mexico City against the discourses that control—and yet cannot quite contain—that experience: the historical (the 'discoveries' of Columbus and Alexander von Humboldt), the scientific (the formulation of quantum theory), and the political (the view from Washington in the late twentieth century). The elaborate interactions of these 'unpredicted particles' create a language ...

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Overview

Fiction. "In this Extraordinary collage-epic, Rosmarie Waldrop measures the highly subjective experience of her 'narrator' in contemporary Mexico City against the discourses that control—and yet cannot quite contain—that experience: the historical (the 'discoveries' of Columbus and Alexander von Humboldt), the scientific (the formulation of quantum theory), and the political (the view from Washington in the late twentieth century). The elaborate interactions of these 'unpredicted particles' create a language field of extraordinary richness and excitement. In its verbal density and intellectual range, A FORM / OF TAKING / IT ALL is quite simply unique"—Marjorie Perloff.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In her second work of fiction, poet and translator Waldrop ( The Hanky of Pippin's Daughter, LJ 3/1/87) presents figures reminiscent of shadow puppets moving in blurred distance; when brought into focus, their emotions seem to exist without physical form. Moving from Mexico City to Washington, from past to present, this story of the budding relationship between two women is at once personal, historical, and political: ``Columbus, the first to connect with the NEW WORLD: and the two hemispheres which God had cast asunder were united, how sexual, and began to become alike.'' With subtle repetition, imagery describing a dance or the making of a pot is offered as strangely insightful character description. Sources such as Poetry Handbook, The Conquest of Mexico , and a novel by Jane Bowles are collaged into an experimental gem that will more than likely intimidate the uninitiated. For larger collections.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882680910
  • Publisher: Barrytown/Station Hill Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Pages: 90
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Kitzingen am Main, Germany, on August 24, 1935. At the age of ten, she spent half a year acting with a traveling theater. She has studied at Wuerzburg, Freiburg, Aix-Marseille and Michigan Universities, earning her Ph.D. in 1966. She has lived in the United States since 1958. Waldrop began publishing her poetry in English in the late 1960s and since 1968 has been co-editor and publisher of Burning Deck Press with her husband, the poet and translator Keith Waldrop. The pair met in 1954 while he was stationed in Kitzingen after the Second World War. She is now the author of more than three dozen books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, most recently her trilogy Curves to the Apple: The Reproduction of Profiles, Lawn of Excluded Middle, Reluctant Gravities (New Directions, 2006), and a collection of essays, Dissonance (University of Alabama Press, 2005). Her other poetry titles include Splitting Image (2006), Blindsight (2004), Love, Like Pronouns (2003), Well Well Reality (1998, with Keith Waldrop), Reluctant Gravities (1999), Split Infinites (1998), Another Language: Selected Poems (1997), A Key Into the Language of America (1994), Lawn of the Excluded Middle (1993), Peculiar Motions (1990), Shorter American Memory (1988), The Reproduction of Profiles (1987), Streets Enough to Welcome Snow (1986), Differences for Four Hands (1984), Nothing Has Changed (1981), When They Have Senses (1980), The Road Is Everywhere or Stop This Body (1978), and The Aggressive Ways of the Casual Stranger (1972). In the early 1970s, she spent a year in Paris, where she met several leading avant garde French poets, including Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Edmond Jabes. These writers not only influenced Waldrop's work greatly, but worked with her as she became one of the main translators of their work into English, with Burning Deck acting as a major vehicle in introducing their work to an English-language readership. She has since translated more than twenty books, including works by Paul Celan, Elke Erb, Joseph Guglielmi, Emmanuel Hocquard, Friederike Mayroecker, Jacques Roubaud, and Alain Veinstein. She received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for her 1993 rendering of The Book of Margins by Edmond Jabes. About her work, the poet Diane Wakoski has said, "Rosmarie Waldrop writes the poetry of everyday life and asks her reader to look beyond it, not by dazzling you with spectacular images or fancy metaphors but by simply quietly invoking you to look, listen, reflect." Waldrop's honors include the Rhode Island Governor's Arts Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Citation for Translation, a Translation Center Award, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in Poetry and Translation. She has taught at Wesleyan University and, as occasional visitor, at Tufts and Brown. She currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Table of Contents

I A Form of Vertigo 1
II A Form of Memory 25
III A Form of Doubt 53
IV Unpredicted Particles 77
Sources 90
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