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The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty
Peter Klappert



Carnegie Mellon Classic Contemporary Series: Poetry

Carnegie Mellon
2010 • 224 pp. 5 1/2 x 9 1/4"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$19.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-525-1



“Klappert has written a dirge for a dying era, and he has composed it in the language of that culture. Among other things, The Idiot... [continued in Reviews below]”—Edmund White, The New Republic

A reissuing of The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty, poems by Peter Klappert.

The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty is a sequence of dramatic, apocryphal monologues spoken by an American Irishman who had come to France in the Great War and stayed on, a flamboyantly homosexual abortionist and torrential reconteur with a sweeping knowledge of the seamier regions of history, psychology and culture. Holding court in a Parisian café from September 1939 through June 1940 and the fall of France, Mahoney captivates strangers and habitués alike.

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Reviews / Endorsements

"Klappert has written a dirge for a dying era, and he has composed it in the language of that culture. Among other things, The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty is a consummate piece of ventriloquism. Only Thomas Pynchon in Gravity's Rainbow has reproduced with the same authenticity the European slang, politics, popular entertainment, brand names, hopes, and anxieties of this World War II epoch. That Klappert was only three years old when the war ended merely serves to heighten the miraculous nature of his recuperation of this vanished world. Not only has his ambition been vast but his achievement has also been distinguished. The Idiot Princess is a final and original expression of the very modernism the war brought to an end."—Edmund White, The New Republic

"An artistic triumph . . . Klappert's book offers a tribute to Paris and its people in the bright, feverish period just before World War II . . ."—David Kirby, Library Journal

"For all its strangeness—because of it!—The Idiot Princess succeeds. Klappert has taken on a most daring and difficult conceit in order to hurl new tonal possibilities our way. . . . If the poet's job is to invigorate the speech of the tribe, then here is a poet who is earning his keep."—Sven Birkerts, Electric Life



PETER KLAPPERT was born in 1942 and grew up in Rowayton, Connecticut. He is the author of several collections of poems including Lugging Vegetables to Nantucket, which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty was first published in 1984 by Alfred A. Knopf. For many years Klappert has taught in the Graduate Writing Program at George Mason University. He lives in Apollo Beach, Florida, and in Washington D.C. with Anonymous Bosch.



Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:36:47 -0500