Silk Egg: Collected Novels

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Overview

Last century, I temporarily borrowed Jorge Luis Borges' chatelaine. I slipped off a certain key and made a copy before I returned it to its chains and the old man (OMG: can he ever snore!). Since then, I've been able to slip into Jorge's Library of Babel whenever I wished-that permanent stain on the 7th floor's limestone windowsill was from the d'Yquem I'd carelessly spilled from my treasured wine glass (stolen previously from Vermeer). About a yearafter I wrote all of the novels that comprise Silk Egg, I ...
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Overview

Last century, I temporarily borrowed Jorge Luis Borges' chatelaine. I slipped off a certain key and made a copy before I returned it to its chains and the old man (OMG: can he ever snore!). Since then, I've been able to slip into Jorge's Library of Babel whenever I wished-that permanent stain on the 7th floor's limestone windowsill was from the d'Yquem I'd carelessly spilled from my treasured wine glass (stolen previously from Vermeer). About a yearafter I wrote all of the novels that comprise Silk Egg, I returned to the Library of Babel's 7th floor with a bottle of Ajax cleanser ("stronger than dirt!") that I'd hoped would work this time in erasing proof of my unpermitted visitations: that hardened pool of "nectar of the gods" ever winking out a small sun from the bibliophilic dimness. It was during this yet again failed attempt at the domestic arts that I also stumbled across a book whose spine mirrored the color of the sweet liquid I'd spilled; I do love this wine's color-an apt symbol of enlightenment among Buddhists. I pulled out the book from the shelf, blew off the dust,opened it, and discovered there the same words that comprise Silk Egg. However, the novels werecontextualized by the book's title: Inevitable Gibberish. I dispute the Library of Babel's context-but there's no need to take my word for it: I've decided torelease Silk Egg to the public and havereaders judge whether these novels are more than the leavings from more acceptable narratives as authors strive to use everyletter, space and punctuation mark in every possible combination.-Eileen R. Tabios
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848611436
  • Publisher: Shearsman Books
  • Publication date: 1/14/2011
  • Pages: 132
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author


Eileen R. Tabios has released seventeen print, four electronic, and one CD poetry collections, an art essay collection, a poetry essay/interview anthology, a short story book, and a collection of novels. She is a recipient of the Philippines' National Book Award for Poetry. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Tagalog, Japanese, Paintings, Video, Drawings, Visual Poetry, Mixed Media Collages, Kali Martial Arts, Modern Dance, and Sculpture.
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  • Posted January 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Words and the Source of Creativity

    Eileen R. Tabios continues to startle us with every publication she creates. Her mind must work like a finely turned kaleidoscope, every movement she makes results in something new, something we hadn't expected, something that starts our brains working in different ways. For this reader (and admittedly a devoted fan) her invention of the poetic form of hay(na)ku seemed a springboard from which many further works would sprout. But Tabios is ever on the watch for the novel (meaning of course the new) and just as has happened in this sentence, her explorations have resulted - for the time being - in this fascinating collection of 'novels' she presents as SILK EGG. An introduction that can only be described as a journey into the surreal explains that she spent time in the Library of Babel belonging to Jorge Luis Borges which she shares is the source of the ideas for all of these novels. What this book contains are 'novels', each containing seven chapters and each chapter confined to one page - and only a few lines on that page to boot! But oh how she manages to toss words in the air and have them settle into dream like episodes that could easily being with an inhalation on an opium pipe! Example, form the novel titled DEAR CLOUD: Chapter I Clouds, a poet's mother called them"puffballs." Soft cotton balls. How can something so soft be dangerous when contextualized under X-ray to be interruption of bone? Chapter II Her mirrors hear many thoughts unspoken to others. Like, "What does it mean that Daddy had to die before I could become big enough to be a parent?" skip to Chapter VI A "puffball" killed my father. A white cloud as soft as his daughter who nonetheless also killed him. Where is the comfort to your whispered, "Life causes death"? And so flows the magic and challenge of Eileen R. Tabios. She takes us places simply by sculpting words in unfamiliar ways - places we would have never found without her lamp. She continues to be a joy and one of the most creative artists of words around. Grady Harp

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