Tesserae: Memories and Suppositions

Tesserae: Memories and Suppositions

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by Denise Levertov
     
 

"A series of mini-memoirs bound together like a mosaic."—Publishers Weekly
Tesserae, the small individual pieces of glass or stone that make up a mosaic, is an apt title for this series of memoirs by Denise Levertov.
Rather than a completed autobiography, these collected memoirs are, for the author, fragments "composed from time to time between poems."

Overview

"A series of mini-memoirs bound together like a mosaic."—Publishers Weekly
Tesserae, the small individual pieces of glass or stone that make up a mosaic, is an apt title for this series of memoirs by Denise Levertov.
Rather than a completed autobiography, these collected memoirs are, for the author, fragments "composed from time to time between poems." Each of the twenty-seven pieces of Tesserae explores a memory vital to Levertov's life; each is complete in itself and set here chronologically. And, as in any good mosaic, every piece reflects light at different angles, giving this self-portrait its living complexity. Tesserae differs for the first time the unique memoirs or "a poet who may just be the finest writing in English today" (Kirkus Reviews).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Acclaimed poet Levertov presents a series of mini-memoirs bound together like a mosaic. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Tesserae are pieces of a mosaic, and these brief prose pieces-not quite prose poems, not quite essays-are autobiographical fragments that offer a context for Levertov's largely nonconfessional poetry. Epitaphs to the lost world of late childhood, they disclose the seemingly slight, often humorous minutiae that make up a formidable artistic sensibility. Levertov, who now lives in the United States, was raised among the bohemian elite in England by a nature-loving Welsh mother and a distinguished Anglican priest father from a scholarly Russian-Jewish family. Particularly amusing is a piece from a series entitled "Metting and Not Meeting Artists," in which the author's parents navely attempt to enlist a fashionable French painter to tutor their painter-daughter (their pilgrimage to the artist's studio interrupts his midday tryst). In spite of an irritating fortune-telling motif regarding the writer's predestination for "an extraordinary life," these are elegant, unpretentious pieces that evoke a poet's coming of age in London during World War II. Recommended.-Ellen Kaufman, Dewey Ballantine Law Lib., New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811213370
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
10/17/1996
Pages:
148
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Denise Levertov (1923-1997) was a British born American poet. She wrote and published 20 books of poetry, criticism, translations. She also edited several anthologies. Among her many awards and honors, she received the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Frost Medal, the Lenore Marshall Prize, the Lannan Award, a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Tesserae: Memories and Suppositions 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago