Literary Criticism

America, A Prophecy

Jerome Rothenberg and George Quasha

Celebrated, controversial, influential, this highly unconventional and ground-breaking anthology of American poetry was widely read and taught throughout the 70s and early 80s. Treating the visionary and the experimental as essential American values,  America, A Prophecy maps…

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Jerome Rothenberg and George Quasha

Celebrated, controversial, influential, this highly unconventional and ground-breaking anthology of American poetry was widely read and taught throughout the 70s and early 80s. Treating the visionary and the experimental as essential American values, _America, A Prophecy_ maps diverse poetic forms and literary (and nonliterary) milieus, bringing together poets from all styles and schools, men and women equally; innovative poets (Beats, Black Mountain, etc.) academics, Native Americans, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics. This pre-PC multi-cultural perspective does not push ethnic difference or sameness but explores deeply common concerns and equally valid visions. True to its Blakean title, _America, A Prophecy_ is prophetic of openness to unfamiliar voices and new paths of the poetic art up to 1973 as well as being a timeless primer of poetic possibility.


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Ann Margaret Loves You

Franz Kamin

In this richly integrated collection of stories, poems, & other texts, the intermedial composer-performer Franz Kamin generates a personal mythos out of his musical, mathematical, biographical, & mystical concerns.

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Franz Kamin

In this richly integrated collection of stories, poems, & other texts, the intermedial composer-performer Franz Kamin generates a personal mythos out of his musical, mathematical, biographical, & mystical concerns.

“Once, while I was listening to a lecture on dreams, I noticed that the girl in front of me had fallen asleep on her arms. Where was she then? It would be gentle to guess that Franz Kamin is busy exploring the geography of her elsewhere. Yet the force in his work is like that of all the other explorers, whose images become gentle and benign only in hindsight (Audubon, for instance, fleeced Keats’ brother at cards). It is transgressive, impatient of the natives, hasty, not yet polished up for presentation to the Socit’ d’Ailleurs. Here are his travel diaries, still stained with blood and lime squash.” – Robert Kelly


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Atchley

David Green

David Green’s novel furthers the contemporary dialogue between “deconstructionist” philosophy and “post-modern” fiction with an ingenious structure. It is difficult to tell whether a certain author of “Borgesian” fictions has invented the critic who writes about him, or if….

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David Green

David Green’s novel furthers the contemporary dialogue between “deconstructionist” philosophy and “post-modern” fiction with an ingenious structure. It is difficult to tell whether a certain author of “Borgesian” fictions has invented the critic who writes about him, or if an ingenious critic has invented the author about whom he is a leading expert. Crisp critical prose alternates with lush narrative and descriptive rhetoric in this work of genuine inquiry into the relation between two styles of writing, two uses of mind, and two ways of being. Shades of Nabokov’s Pale Fire


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Being Form’d

Mark Bracher

“This exemplary philosophical reading of Milton is going to make a tremendous change in Blake’s criticism.  It will take a while to digest, and critics without a firm grounding in philosophy will find it difficult to follow some of the time.  Yet the careful reader of Bracher, who accepts his careful definitions and….

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Mark Bracher

“This exemplary philosophical reading of Milton is going to make a tremendous change in Blake’s criticism. It will take a while to digest, and critics without a firm grounding in philosophy will find it difficult to follow some of the time. Yet the careful reader of Bracher, who accepts his careful definitions and consistent employment of concepts and terms, will find aspect after aspect of the poem clarified and its whole argument and message made plain…. A landmark of modern scholarship!” -David V. Erdman

“Being Form’d opens truly new perspectives upon the primal ground not only of Blake’s revolutionary imaginative vision but also upon that new apocalypse which is simultaneously a reversal of the western consciousness and a new birth of a universal vision and consciousness.” -Thomas J.J. Altizer


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Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner

Martin Wallen, Ed.

This edition of “Ancient Mariner” makes available for the first time all the versions of the poem published over thirty years in Lyrical Ballads, Sybilline Leaves, and the 1828 Poetical Works, as well as those confined to notebooks and private copies. The juxtaposition of revisions….

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Martin Wallen, Ed.

This edition of “Ancient Mariner” makes available for the first time all the versions of the poem published over thirty years in Lyrical Ballads, Sybilline Leaves, and the 1828 Poetical Works, as well as those confined to notebooks and private copies. The juxtaposition of revisions in parallel text avoid granting privilege to any one version, making Coleridge’s changes evident in full detail. Tracing the complex history of the poem’s publication, the accompanying commentary places this edition in the context of Romantic scholarship and raises many critical issues for the understanding of Coleridge’s most widely known and studied poem. As Donald Ault comments in the Introduction, “Whereas Coleridge’s ‘Mariner’ stood out in the early 19th century as a radical impertinence, an incommensurable text that needed to be tamed, Wallen’s Mariner can celebrate its unreadable intrusion (and revision of) a critical tradition that has too easily believed that Coleridge knew what he believed.”


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Dialectic of Vision, The

Fred Dortort

This meticulous, close reading of the entire of William Blake’s great prophetic poem, “Jerusalem,” challenges almost every extant critical assumption about this poem, from the function of the figures Los and Entitharmon to the belief that….

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Fred Dortort

This meticulous, close reading of the entire of William Blake’s great prophetic poem, “Jerusalem,” challenges almost every extant critical assumption about this poem, from the function of the figures Los and Entitharmon to the belief that in Jerusalem Blake is finally reconciled with Christianity. In the face of decades of continuing efforts to domesticate and normalize Blake’s poetry, The Dialectic of Vision seeks to reaffirm, in the strongest possible terms — its spirit, as well as its uniquely organized coherence and astonishing relevance for our time.


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Disorders of the Real

Alan Sondheim

This collection of writing represents, in Sondheim’s words, “a basic text for postmodern poets.”

Sondheim states, “My approach would describe something like….”

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Alan Sondheim

This collection of writing represents, in Sondheim’s words, “a basic text for postmodern poets.”

Sondheim states, “My approach would describe something like the impossible search for the grounds of the Self in sexuality and ideology; the hysteria of the loss of speech; a work situated between poetry and theory that extends the boundaries of theory itself; ‘the poetry of deconstruction’; ‘the narrative of loss’ …”

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From the Desert to the Book

Edmond Jabes Pierre Joris (trans.)

The fate of the individual among disintegrating tradition is a major theme of Edmund Jabes. In this book of literary and philosophical conversations, France’s leading Jewish writer adds an intimate, personal dimension to his formidable 40-year career.

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Edmond Jabes,
Pierre Joris (trans.)

The fate of the individual among disintegrating tradition is a major theme of Edmund Jabes. In this book of literary and philosophical conversations, France’s leading Jewish writer adds an intimate, personal dimension to his formidable 40-year career. Compelling in its inquiry into the fate of reading and writing in our time, it is also profoundly ambiguous, open to a multiplicity of possible readings. This work offers insight of a new kind into this major writer’s growing canon in English—thoughts on his own works combine with stories of his youth in Egypt, his exile in 1956, other writers and artists, the Kabbalah, and projections for a postmodern world.


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Gary Hill: HanD HearD/Liminal Objects

George Quasha and Charles Stein

This essay, discussing a two-part installation at Galerie des Archives in Paris by the internationally celebrated artist, Gary Hill, explores the enigmatic nature of the work of art as an object and of objects in general, as such issues pertain to Hill’s work and these installations in particular.

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George Quasha and Charles Stein

This essay, discussing a two-part installation at Galerie des Archives in Paris by the internationally celebrated artist, Gary Hill, explores the enigmatic nature of the work of art as an object and of objects in general, as such issues pertain to Hill’s work and these installations in particular. The text is by two well-known poet/artists who have a long history of association and collaboration with Gary Hill. This book is handsomely illustrated with photographs of the installation and other relevant works by Hill and is presented in a bilingual, French-English edition.

Excerpts from the text:

“There are works of art that require initiation. This does not mean that they require explanation, special consensus, or any other prescriptive bearing. It does mean that one must discover an _appropriate mode of entry_ which is more than informational. This can involve radical reorientation, as in the case of _HanD HearD_, which directly (but non-coercively) introduces us to the posture of awareness appropriate to our participation in the piece.”

“Considering more particularly the piece _HanD HearD_, we discover that its way of being a text imposes nothing on the mind, yet it offers an _image_ (a hand in front of a person’s face) as a possible _posture_ of awareness. And because the “text” has no “content” other than this posture, it grants the participant _direct access_ from the beginning.”


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Gaze of Orpheus, The

“When we come to write the history of criticism for the 1940 to 1980 period, it will be found that Blanchot, together with Sartre, made French’discourse’ possible…”

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Maurice Blanchot and Lydia Davis, trans.

“When we come to write the history of criticism for the 1940 to 1980 period, it will be found that Blanchot, together with Sartre, made French “discourse” possible, both in its relentlessness and its acuity….This selection…is exemplary for its clearly translated and well-chosen excerpts from Blanchot’s many influential books. Reading him now, and in this form, I feel once more the excitement of discovering Blanchot in the 1950s…”-Geoffrey Hartman


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Giving the Lily Back Her Hands

This text is a psychotypographic romance caught listening to the voices inside the voice from which it issues. It mates willingly with its Reader, releases quickness & lightness in the marriage of syntax, then returns to…

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This text is a psychotypographic romance caught listening to the voices inside the voice from which it issues. It mates willingly with its Reader, releases quickness & lightness in the marriage of syntax, then returns to the underground where Lily & Hands receive their power to discourse.



Joyce of Cooking, The

Alison Armstrong

“Know me come eat with me” wrote James Joyce, and this book is the guide he might have written…

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Alison Armstrong

“Know me come eat with me” wrote James Joyce, and this book is the guide he might have written. The Joyce of Cooking aims to delight and amuse anyone who loves good food, drink, and conviviality. It’s all here in this Ulysses for your kitchen; authentically honest Celtic fare as well as imaginative Continental extensions, even vegetarian and fruitarian fantasies equal to the Joycean dream. This literary cookbook makes for a delicious reading even for a non-chef, and a suitable condiment for the more voracious Joyce reader. As for “Irish Gastronomology”- devotees of food, drink, Joyce, and all things Celtic will relish the fruits of the author’s hearty research.


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Joyce of Cooking, The (hardcover)

Alison Armstrong

“Know me come eat with me” wrote James Joyce, and this book is the guide he might have written…

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Alison Armstrong

“Know me come eat with me” wrote James Joyce, and this book is the guide he might have written. The Joyce of Cooking aims to delight and amuse anyone who loves good food, drink, and conviviality. It’s all here in this Ulysses for your kitchen; authentically honest Celtic fare as well as imaginative Continental extensions, even vegetarian and fruitarian fantasies equal to the Joycean dream. This literary cookbook makes for a delicious reading even for a non-chef, and a suitable condiment for the more voracious Joyce reader. As for “Irish Gastronomology”- devotees of food, drink, Joyce, and all things Celtic will relish the fruits of the author’s hearty research.


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Let Me Be Los

A guided reading of Finnegan’s Wake, with 135 illustrations, showing the book’s simple and elegant pattern inspired in Joyce by two visionary cosmologies: the poetic Prophecies of William Blake and the Egyptian Myth of Osiris…

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Frances Phipps

A guided reading of Finnegan’s Wake, with 135 illustrations, showing the book’s simple and elegant pattern inspired in Joyce by two visionary cosmologies: the poetic Prophecies of William Blake and the Egyptian Myth of Osiris.

In this book Frances Phipps has marshalled an impressive array of primary and scholarly/critical resources that provide exciting, often eccentric, but always illuminating perspectives on the complex relations between Blake and Joyce. Recognizing both the limitations and the possibilities of typography and visual illustrations, Phipps has converted these dimensions of conventional bookmaking into a veritable kaleidoscope of Egyptian iconography, explanatory diagrams, and imaginative juxtapositions of texts in an unprecedented book form, whose appearance should be seen as a major publishing event.” -Donald Ault, author of Visionary Physics: Blake’s Response to Newton and Narrative Unbound: Re-Visioning Blake’s THE FOUR ZOAS

“Through her ingenious explication and illustration of the cosmologies of William Blake and the Osiris myth of ancient Egypt, Frances Phipps reveals the formal mysteries of Joyce’s great dreambook as being founded in the notion of Contraries. She states that, while Finnegan’s Wake does not copy Blake, it establishes Joyce’s own “myth of the history of the world as representing a battle of contraries in which he used the Egyptian religion….” Whereas the Egyptians had Osiris and Blake had Albion, Joyce had the Irish mythological giant Finn and his mundane form of Tim Finnegan. And whereas the contraries of Night and Day, Darkness and Light, are necessarily embattled in Egyptian and Blakean systems, Joyce also historicized this perpetual cosmic strife in terms of the Battle of Contrarf, with Danes versus Celts, the result of which was Dublin, his micro-cosm.

For this newly explicated approach to the structure of Finnegan’s Wake, Phipp’s study deserves to have its place on the shelf of every serious Joycean alongside such classic commentaries as those of Clive Hart and Adaline Glasheen.” -Alison Armstrong, Irish Literary Supplement, Author of The Joyce of Cooking and co-editor of James Joyce Broadsheet and I.L.S.


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Looking for Arthur

Fictional “spiritual autobiography,” Arthurian fantasy, and compendium of instruction in mystical and magical practices, _Looking For Arthur_ presents, in a contemporary setting, the entire scope of materials…

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Fictional “spiritual autobiography,” Arthurian fantasy, and compendium of instruction in mystical and magical practices, _Looking For Arthur_ presents, in a contemporary setting, the entire scope of materials surrounding the legend of King Arthur. By turns reverent and impious, earnest and witty, metaphysical and lighthearted, the book is set in present-day Glastonbury amidst a hub-bub of occultists, mystics, and tourists swarming about the ruins of this ancient site of Arthurian lore. We follow the narrator as he is inducted into the living myth of King Arthur, the energies of the sacred landscape, the “secret history” of the earth, and the role of angels, gnomes, and ascended masters in the redemption of human culture, while we experience a completely unexpected side to this once and future myth.


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Narrative Unbound

Foreword by George Quasha

Narrative Unbound is the first full-scale interpretation of the verbal text of Blake’s most complex long poetic prophecy, “The Four Zoas”…

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Donald Ault
Foreword by George Quasha

Narrative Unbound is the first full-scale interpretation of the verbal text of Blake’s most complex long poetic prophecy, “The Four Zoas.” Never engraved or published in the poet/artist’s lifetime, the poem remains in a single manuscript, apparently unfinished and heavily revised, yet widely celebrated as one of Blake’s most powerful narrative works. Ault challenges the view that the poem is intrinsically incomplete and flawed, arguing instead that the famous difficulties of the text are aspects of Blake’s transformative narrative strategies. By respecting the integrity of Blake’s work, taking every written mark on the page as potentially functional, Ault shows how the intricate interweaving of narrative patterns and interruptions are instrumental to conscious reading. The poetic intent is nothing less than a complete renovation of the reading experience, the potential of which is the realization of what Blake has called “Four-fold vision.” Ault’s approach serves as a guide both to reading “The Four Zoas” and to participating in a radical poetic method. Narrative Unbound engages in the inquiry of contemporary poetics: how is it that altered processes of reading can restructure consciousness?

“This book will be a great delight—and help – to anyone deep in Blake studies; a comfort and aid to the beginning scholar.”-David V. Erdman, author of Blake: Prophet Against Empire and editor of The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake

“Donald Ault is probably the most innovative Blake critic in the country.” – Jerome J. McGann, author of The Romantic Ideology

“Ault’s marginal glosses and illuminating diagrams evoke a sense of respect for dedication to the book as artifact…the book…is a powerful picture of reading.” – Nelson Hilton, author of Literal Imagination: Blake’s Vision of Words


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Pathwings

Elliot R. Wolfson

These essays and poems by a leading scholar of Jewish mysticism explore the connections between sexuality, divinity, and textuality, working with topics such as the gender of the Godhead, Apocalypse in the Kabbalah, the suffering of God, the hermeneutics of visionary experience, and other controversial features of Jewish thought…

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Elliot R. Wolfson

These essays and poems by a leading scholar of Jewish mysticism explore the connections between sexuality, divinity, and textuality, working with topics such as the gender of the Godhead, Apocalypse in the Kabbalah, the suffering of God, the hermeneutics of visionary experience, and other controversial features of Jewish thought. The poems and essays reverberate with and shed light on one another, creating a resonance that reinforces the depth and originality of Wolfson’s thought.

“Wolfson has discerned that the poetic mode is more than a stylistic accessory to his Kabbalistic texts, for the poetic way opens modes of logic inaccessible to traditional philosophizing. Rather than maintaining strict dichotomy between philosophy and poetry, Wolfson offers a fruitful convergence. Here, as always, this brilliant thinker and master of paradox steeps his readers? minds in the glistening depths of Jewish mystical waters.”-Barbara E. Galli, McGill University


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Porphyry On The Cave of the Nymphs

Robert D. Lamberton

A unique survival of ancient hermeneutical literature, this essay reveals the allegorical implications of Chapter 13 in the Odyssey. The Neo-Platonist Porphyry gives us invaluable insight into the way Homer was read in antiquity…

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Robert D. Lamberton

A unique survival of ancient hermeneutical literature, this essay reveals the allegorical implications of Chapter 13 in the Odyssey. The Neo-Platonist Porphyry gives us invaluable insight into the way Homer was read in antiquity. This is the first publication of a new annotated translation from the Greek by Robert Lamberton, a poet, classics scholar, film critic, naturalist, and translator of both ancient and contemporary literature.

Robert Duncan writes, “Robert Lamberton’s study and translation has at last brought us this volume… long needs to stand beside the work of the Platonist Thomas Taylor. He has cast light from a new hermeneutics, the heritage of sciences of the soul since Taylor’s time, a work that will open the Way again.”


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Romantic Presences

Jeffrey C. Robinson

This book is a set of meditations in prose and poetry on a range of images and topics from the repertoire of early nineteenth-century English poetry and prose. Many of the images are familiar, stock properties of the Romantic tradition—e.g. the skylark, the nightingale, the sigh…

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Jeffrey C. Robinson

This book is a set of meditations in prose and poetry on a range of images and topics from the repertoire of early nineteenth-century English poetry and prose. Many of the images are familiar, stock properties of the Romantic tradition—e.g. the skylark, the nightingale, the sigh. Others are not precisely images but historical figures who have gained a mythic status – e.g. “Robert Burns,” “S. T. Coleridge.” And finally, there are images that have no place in the traditional repertoire because they come from women’s writing – e.g. “washing day.” Such “new” elements of Romanticism have been folded in with the old, unobtrusively, in order to create the impression that all implicitly were already there. This book is not intended to be a series of explications of poetry. Instead, images lift themselves out of their formal and functional settings, coming forward in their own right as “presences,” recovering their power for current readers.


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Secret of the Black Chrysanthemum, The

Charles Stein

This text explores Charles Olson’s visionary poetics and the extensive use he made of the writings of Jung. Offering numerous readings of poems from the “Maximus” series, Stein provides a useful and clearly written introduction to the major themes, cosmological speculations, and poetic inventions of Olson’s work…

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Charles Stein

This text explores Charles Olson’s visionary poetics and the extensive use he made of the writings of Jung. Offering numerous readings of poems from the “Maximus” series, Stein provides a useful and clearly written introduction to the major themes, cosmological speculations, and poetic inventions of Olson’s work. Using the poet’s notes and marginalia, Stein reveals complex interrelationships of language, geography, and the human body, leading to The Maximus Poems as an archetypal vision of the self.


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Squeezed Light: Collected Poems 1994-2005

Lissa Wolsak

With the publication of this volume, Lissa Wolsak — who seemingly emerged as a fully-formed poet in the mid-1990s after various other pursuits — emerges for the first time once again…

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Lissa Wolsak

With the publication of this volume, Lissa Wolsak — who seemingly emerged as a fully-formed poet in the mid-1990s after various other pursuits — emerges for the first time once again. Her work is neither easily classified, nor traceable to a particular school or lineage, but instead continually creates its own unimpeachably evanescent context, independent of thought outside the work itself. “The mirror would do well to reflect further,” demands one of Jean Cocteau’s Orphic “radio” voices. Wolsak’s poetry more than satisfies this strange demand, for the self-reflective moment in her work takes us far beyond fashionable literary recursion, finding again and again a genuinely mysterious interpenetration of awareness, language, and human care. Squeezed Light includes all of Wolsak’s previously published poetry to date, her poetic essay “An Heuristic Prolusion,” an interview with the author, and an Introduction by George Quasha with Charles Stein.


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Tabula Rasula

Jed Rasula

Donald Byrd says of this book: “Laughing Gnosticism is the most ancient of the secret traditions. Its earliest texts were discovered in a cave in the Caucasus in 1927…”

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Jed Rasula

Donald Byrd says of this book: “Laughing Gnosticism is the most ancient of the secret traditions. Its earliest texts were discovered in a cave in the Caucasus in 1927. I have reason to believe that Rasula’s Tabula is based on these ancient texts. The central tenet of Laughing Gnosticism is that Laughter is a divine language which humans continue to use, with more or less adequate syntax and diction, despite the ancient loss of its semantic. Its meditational practices are variously directed toward the recovery of the ancient code.” A first book by the editor of Wch Way magazine.


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Tall Ships

You enter a long, dark corridor. Indistinct luminous shapes seem to move in place on the walls. Then a human figure rises, walks towards you, stands and gazes at you, becomes almost intimate with you before turning back whence it came…

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George Quasha and Charles Stein

You enter a long, dark corridor. Indistinct luminous shapes seem to move in place on the walls. Then a human figure rises, walks towards you, stands and gazes at you, becomes almost intimate with you before turning back whence it came. In this award-winning interactive installation created by video projection, world-renowned artist Gary Hill presents an underworld-like journey from which each visitor returns to daylight somehow transformed. The second book in an ongoing series of the Quasha & Stein dialogue on Gary Hill leads you on an initiatory journey that parallels the experience of the installation itself. The book is beautifully illustrated in duotone to give a living sense of the actual installation as it appeared in the Whitney Museum (New York) and many other museums throughout the US and Europe.


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Thomas the Obscure

Before Sartre, before Beckett, before Robbe-Grillet, Maurice Blanchot created the “new novel, ” the ultimate post-modern fiction…
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Maurice Blanchot and Robert Lamberton (Translator)

Before Sartre, before Beckett, before Robbe-Grillet, Maurice Blanchot created the “new novel, ” the ultimate post-modern fiction. Written between 1932 and 1940, Blanchot’s first novel, here brilliantly translated by Robert Lamberton, contains all the remarkable aspects of his famous and perplexing invention, “the ontological narrative”—a tale whose subject is the nature of being itself. This paradoxical work discovers being in the absence of being, mystery in the absence of mystery, both to be searched for limitlessly. As Blanchot launches this endless search in his own masterful way, he transforms the possibilities of the novel. First issued in English in 1973 in a limited edition, this re-issue includes an illuminating essay on translation by Lamberton.


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Unavowable Community, The

The Unavowable Community is an inquiry into the nature and possibility of community, asking whether there can be a community of individuals that is truly “communal”…

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Maurice Blanchot

The Unavowable Community is an inquiry into the nature and possibility of community, asking whether there can be a community of individuals that is truly “communal.” The problem, for Blanchot, is that the very terms of an ideal community make an “avowal” of membership in it a violation of the terms themselves. This meditation ranges from the problematic effects of a defect in language to actual historical experiments in community. The latter involves the life and work of George Bataille whose concerns (e.g. “the negative community”) occupy the foreground of Blanchot’s discussion. Taking as his point of departure an essay by French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, Blanchot appears once again as one of the most attentive readers of what is truly challenging in French thought. His deep interest in the fiction of Marguerite Duras extends this inquiry to include “The Community of Lovers,” emerging from certain themes in Duras’ recit, The Malady of Death. As Blanchot’s first direct treatment of a subject that has long figured in or behind his work, this small but highly concentrated book stands as an important addition to his own contribution to literary, philosophical, social, and political thought, figuring as it does at the center of the emerging concern for a redefinition of politics and community. Readers of Blanchot know not to expect answers to the great questions that move his thought – rather, to live with the questions at the new level to which they have been raised in his discourse.


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