Transfer of Qualities

Overview

Transfer of Qualities addresses the uncanny and myriad ways in which people and things, but also people and those around them, exchange qualities with one another, moving in on, unsettling: altering stance, attitude, mood, gesture. Each entry in the book probes the dissolving boundaries between those sharing space with one another; and the various cross-genres in the book—prose poem, creative non-fiction, personal essay—echo the theme of inter-dependence. Material things often seem amazingly alive and tropic—a ...
See more details below
Paperback
$14.44
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$17.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $9.98   
  • New (7) from $11.11   
  • Used (2) from $9.98   
Sending request ...

Overview

Transfer of Qualities addresses the uncanny and myriad ways in which people and things, but also people and those around them, exchange qualities with one another, moving in on, unsettling: altering stance, attitude, mood, gesture. Each entry in the book probes the dissolving boundaries between those sharing space with one another; and the various cross-genres in the book—prose poem, creative non-fiction, personal essay—echo the theme of inter-dependence. Material things often seem amazingly alive and tropic—a puppet or toy, a plate, a rug underfoot, a dim photograph on the wall across the way—and this collection follows in the footsteps of other authors also obsessed with the boundaries between life and death, the moving and the still, the stone-like book and the vivid stirring within the pages. There are many authors behind Transfer of Qualities, but the major genie of the piece is Henry James whose musings on his own, The Sacred Fount, provided the book’s title and direction.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/23/2013
Ronk’s 10th collection takes as its central tenet the idea that people and objects engage in a deep kind of transference. That is, in any interaction with a thing, a person’s desires and thoughts are imprinted on the thing, and some aspects of the thing rub off on the person. This thesis of sorts is established at first with small prose poems that take their cues from Stein’s Tender Buttons, poems titled “The Cup,” “The Folded Muslin,” “Corroded Metal.” But the association with Stein stops there: “We wonder what, if anything, objects want, if our rearranging satisfies some hidden need not only of ours but of theirs. Things found in the gutter and rescued, we say, are given another life, but as what—to be looked at, handled, to be made into what one wills…” Ronk’s collection of “various objects,” books, photograms, people and portraits dominate the collection, which moves from prose to lineated poems, to essays, to brief passages of nonfiction, seguing into topics of representation, death, mourning, love, and intimacy with the physical world. “…breakable bowls, plates, pitchers, and vases. If a piece is old and it has been broken and mended, its fragility exposed by means of glue and cracks, it seems ever more profoundly touched by the sensual and uncanny.” (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Ronk’s collection of “various objects,” books, photograms, people and portraits dominate the collection, which moves from prose to lineated poems, to essays, to brief passages of nonfiction, seguing into topics of representation, death, mourning, love, and intimacy with the physical world.—Editors, Publishers Weekly

“Martha Ronk places before us a series of such freighted objects—objective correlatives, dialectical images, call them what you will. These are objects—material or written—which collapse time, reshaping the perspectives of their owners. It may seem strange to the contemporary reader that such an occupation still bears our attention, especially when objects in our grasp tend to epitomize disposability (how quickly the iPhones replace themselves!), but Ronk’s work clarifies just how rare and crystallizing these moments of recognition tend to be.”—Benjamin Landry, The Rumpus

Library Journal
"Nothing has an essence of its own, but is what it is only in relation to all that is around," writes Ronk (English, Occidental Coll.), winner of a PEN USA Award for In a Landscape of Having To Repeat. Her new collection is philosophical, asserting that people have no individual identity: they are shape-shifting entities composed of objects beside them, things that continuously affect their essence—which isn't an essence at all. Rather, it's an existence, and one constantly in flux. The collection includes poems, prose poems, and short reflections that resemble snapshots of those changes, illustrating the transfer that occurs between people, objects, and ideas, as is suggested by the book's title (taken from The Sacred Fount by Henry James). "People and even things are changed by what they touch," says Ronk, "just as cool objects can turn the skin cool." True, maybe. VERDICT Told as interior monologs, these are language poems about objects like streetlights and paperclips. Ronk uses few metaphors and instead relies on surrealistic musings which, although engaging in their own right, do not necessarily make this a strong collection of poetry.—C. Diane Scharper, Towson Univ., MD
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890650827
  • Publisher: Omnidawn Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 835,311
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MARTHA RONK is the author of nine books of poetry, including Partially Kept (Nightboat Books), Vertigo (Coffee House), a National Poetry Series Selection, and In a landscape of having to repeat (Omnidawn), a PEN/USA best poetry book 2005, and Why/Why Not (University of California Press). She has also published a fictional memoir, Displeasures of the Table, and a collection of fiction, Glass Grapes and other stories (BOA Editions 2008); her poetry is included in the anthologies Lyric Postmodernisms (Counterpath Press), American Hybrid, (Norton), and Not For Mothers Only (Fence). She had residencies at Djerassi and The MacDowell Colony, and taught summer programs at the University of Colorado and Naropa; in 2007 she received an NEA Award. She worked as editor for Littoral Books and The New Review of Literature, and is the Irma and Jay Price Professor of English at Occidental College in Los Angeles, teaching Renaissance Literature and Creative Writing.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

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

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)