The End of Being Known: A Memoir

( 1 )

Overview

Written in poet Michael Klein’s uniquely passionate, unapologetic but humble voice, The End of Being Known explores the lines that define, yet also blur, the boundaries of sex, friendship, and compatibility. This collection of autobiographical essays probes the manifestations of sexual desire in its mystical variety: experiencing incest, falling in love, being a twin, and inhabiting the world of anonymous sex—in practice, and, in an essay about the Body Electric movement, as ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$18.57
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$19.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $7.99   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Written in poet Michael Klein’s uniquely passionate, unapologetic but humble voice, The End of Being Known explores the lines that define, yet also blur, the boundaries of sex, friendship, and compatibility. This collection of autobiographical essays probes the manifestations of sexual desire in its mystical variety: experiencing incest, falling in love, being a twin, and inhabiting the world of anonymous sex—in practice, and, in an essay about the Body Electric movement, as something recuperative and renewing.
    Each essay unfurls in a hybrid of poetry, narrative, and fragmentary literary devices. Here is an uncompromising gaze upon the quandaries of those whose sexual, emotional, and relational worlds collide, yielding no answer to the riddle of desire, yet finding meaning by piecing together personal examples of universal themes such as learning, through trial and error, about love and life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Klein’s thoughtful writing reflects ongoing ruminations, so thought-provokingly personal yet universal that readers may pause occasionally to really absorb them.”—Booklist

“Klein’s prose style, like his poetry, is dreamy, allusive, repetitive in that way that admirers term ‘hypnotic.’”—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Although this entry in Wisconsin's Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies series is labeled "a memoir," poet and anthologist Klein pastes together a sheaf of autobiographical meditations that drift and sweep aimlessly, unable to coalesce. Klein's previous memoir, Track Conditions (to be re-released along with this title), covered his five-year stint as a groom in a world-class Ohio racing stable, his abuse by his stepfather and his addiction to alcohol; this quasi-sequel adds a few revelations. In poetic chapters, Klein explains how sobriety has led to the "end of being known," his inability to conduct a successful long-term relationship. He attends a marathon sex workshop in TriBeCa, in lower Manhattan, in which adventurous men shed both clothes and inhibitions, but the experience brings Klein no real happiness. He remembers sexual liaisons with both his twin brother as well as his stepfather, the first a childish twin thing, the second all too adult and threatening. He ponders the rarity of being a twin, moves to a suburb "the month the planes crashed into the buildings into New York." Klein's prose style, like his poetry, is dreamy, allusive, repetitive in that way that admirers term "hypnotic." The book's focus is all too often on the foggy beaches of Provincetown, the bleak seascapes and boardwalk consolations, giving the book an annoying elusiveness. Fans of Klein will want to catch up with what he's been doing in the years since, but novices should start somewhere else. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
What could have been a maudlin, sentimental memoir in a time when that brand of book is the norm became a poetic tribute to resilience and creativity. A Lambda Literary Award-winning poet, Klein (1990) gives an episodic form to his memories rather than a chronological one, and rather than make himself the hero, he riffs on what has occurred in his life in a way that will provoke reflection. While it's true that many readers will not find his experience of bathhouses or fraternal incest familiar, most will be rewarded by Klein's amazing ability to integrate life and interpretation. His life has been difficult-dealing with alcoholism, familial mental illness, and the AIDS epidemic. The difference is that Klein makes sense of this life instead of turning it into clich or a nihilistic pit. He can also write eloquently about the great issues of friendship, love, and trust, making the specifics of his life applicable to any. Recommended.-David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299188702
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Living Out Series
  • Pages: 135
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Klein is an award-winning poet and author. His poetry collections 1990 and Poets for Life are winners of the Lambda Literary Book Award. He lives in New York City and teaches memoir writing in the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
 

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Something Else Is the World 1
A Wedding in the Sky 25
The End of Being Known 45
A String of Variances 67
Once, My Brother 83
Fugue Life 89
Anonymous Life 99
A Resort for the Betrayed 119
A Dream: Who He Is Will Be Him 127
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

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
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    Fantastic, Utterly Original Work of Art

    Michael Klein's first memoir, 'Track Conditions' was a poem disguising as a memoir about the racetrack and thoroughbred racing and, not incidentally, a fractured past involving drug addiction and sexual abuse. His new book is even more poetic and pushes the envelope even further into trying to answer the riddle of sexual desire. It is spare, beautiful and terrifying at times and it's great strength is the fact that there is very little Klein is willing to look at or talk about. Brave AND artistic AND, surprisingly, a great read.

    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)