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The Village on Horseback: Prose and Verse, 2003-2008
     

The Village on Horseback: Prose and Verse, 2003-2008

by Jesse Ball
 

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This second volume of poetry by experimental writer Jesse Ball is a philosophical recasting of myth and legend. Employing an eerie narrative simplicity, these always unpredictable poems are cautionary tales of the oppressiveness of monolithic culture on the development of artistic, philosophical, and political leadership. Alternating from the personal to the public,

Overview

This second volume of poetry by experimental writer Jesse Ball is a philosophical recasting of myth and legend. Employing an eerie narrative simplicity, these always unpredictable poems are cautionary tales of the oppressiveness of monolithic culture on the development of artistic, philosophical, and political leadership. Alternating from the personal to the public, Ball attains a wide enough vantage to observe the cowardliness of historians in their refusal to ascribe causality. Unearthing parables from the compost heap of oral tradition, folklore, literature, and popular culture, this book projects shadows of figures we think we recognize: Helen Keller, Pompeii, Ellis Island, Houdini, Lazarus, the Pied Piper, Punch and Judy, Hawthorne, Shirley Jackson, and more.

Comprised of three separate “volumes,” The Village on Horseback creates an entirely original world of interrelated characters, with a mix of references, allusions, evocations—the result being a sort of Brueghel-esque feel—and yet there’s also a self-conscious acknowledgment of modernity as well as a questioning of the “authority” of the author in determining meaning. At times evoking Gorey, Chaucer, and the tale of Robin Hood, these fables, ghost stories, and riddles of human nature dissect the individual’s interaction with “culture,” particularly commenting on the ascribing of meaning by communal groups resulting in “truth-making,” and the limitations of our leaders (artists, philosophers, politicians) in their ability to break us out of communal indoctrination.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781571318237
Publisher:
Milkweed Editions
Publication date:
07/12/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
File size:
378 KB

Meet the Author

Jesse Ball is a poet and novelist. His works include The Way Through Doors (Vintage 2009), Samedi the Deafness (Vintage 2007), Vera&Linus (Nyhil 2006), Og svo kom nottin (Nyhil 2006), and March Book (Grove 2004). His work was included in Best American Poetry 2006. He won the Plimpton Prize for the novella, The Early Deaths of Lubeck, Brennan, Harp&Carr. He is an assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. See more at www.jesseball.com.

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