That This

That This

by Susan Howe
     
 

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Susan Howe’s newest book of poetry is a revelation as well as a mystery.See more details below

Overview

Susan Howe’s newest book of poetry is a revelation as well as a mystery.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this very beautiful four-part book, Howe (Souls of the Labadie Tract) seeks to come to terms with the sudden death of her third husband, the philosopher and scholar Peter H. Hare. The four sections take radically different formal "approaches" to his loss, in the sense of going backwards in time, to the days just before Hare's fatal embolism, and in the sense of finding a means of understanding, or at least of moving forward. The first section uses a simple, diaristic prose through which Howe incorporates the terse capitals of Hare's autopsy, along with a variety of 18th-century epistolary condolences. The result conveys Howe's sense of "being present at a point of absence where crossing centuries may prove to be like crossing languages." The next section, "Frolic Architecture," comprises densely layered photocopied text fragments whose three-dimensional quality seems to extend into a fourth—time. The title section follows with seven pages of strophic, hymnlike verse, where "Grass angels perish in this// harmonic collision because/ non-being cannot be ‘this.'" By the final, untitled collage, Howe has made her grief speak as much through textual interstices and shifts in diction and form as through each singular elegy. (Dec.)
John Herbert Cunningham - Raintaxi
“Meaning appears on the edge of consciousness, unable to break through. This is Howe's magic—to make you, the reader, reach for something you feel is there, and to keep you returning to the page in hopes that, at some point, the boundary will be breached.”
Raintaxi
Meaning appears on the edge of consciousness, unable to break through. This is Howe's magic—to make you, the reader, reach for something you feel is there, and to keep you returning to the page in hopes that, at some point, the boundary will be breached.”— John Herbert Cunningham
Library Journal
Death is one of the preeminent subjects of poetry, and Howe (A Europe of Trusts) approaches this topic with the gravitas of one who has endured loss. Her newest volume deals chiefly with the death of her husband, Peter Hare. The book juxtaposes Howe's personal recollections with excerpts from an assortment of documents, ranging from 18th-century diaries to an array of half-decayed ephemera, such as bits of Poussin prints and fragments of linguistic sculpture. Most interesting is the way in which Howe historicizes her husband as a strategy for compartmentalizing the often-painful memory of him. In short, Howe makes him part of her inner life by transforming him into text. Thus changed, Hare now becomes a different kind of presence—one whose status is illustrated by the book's title, as it reminds us of the disparity between that which is here (This) and that which is elsewhere (That). VERDICT An intelligent and unorthodox treatment of grief, this title will appeal to poetry and visual arts enthusiasts.—Chris Pusateri, Jefferson Cty. P.L., Lakewood, CO

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811219181
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
02/07/2011
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
665,061
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Acclaimed poet Susan Howe, winner of the last Bollingen Prize, is the author of the seminal work, My Emily Dickinson.

James Welling, b. 1951, is an acclaimed experimental artist who employs a wide variety of photographic tools and media.

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