The Age of Huts (compleat)

Ron Silliman, Author . Univ. of California $19.96 (311p) ISBN 978-0-520-25016-1

This new volume collects for the first time the four components of Silliman's seminal The Age of Huts , including one of the prose poems he is best known for, Ketjak . Silliman has taken on new guises since the original publications of these early works, especially as the author of the volumes-long The Alphabet and as inveterate blogger. This book shows a dynamic artist questioning nearly all the assumptions of English-language poetry. That he manages to dramatize the excitement of a very new way of thinking in an accessible way is a feat: no elitist head-in-the-clouds grandstanding here; Silliman writes in charismatic, direct sentences. "The Chinese Notebook" takes its primary structure from Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations —numbered paragraphs that ask questions about language and form while playfully operating through them—while "Sunset Debris" is a serial autobiography strangely punctuated by questions concerning sex: "Isn't it that certain forms of language, for example of erotic content, focus perception away from the words and the syntagmemic chain, a world suppressed in reference to another?" This volume makes available one of the few must-have works of American avant-garde poetry of the late-'70s. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/16/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Hardcover - 311 pages - 978-0-520-25014-7
Open Ebook - 324 pages - 978-0-520-94042-0
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