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The Front Matter, Dead Souls
Leslie Scalapino



Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
1996 • 103 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6295-1
$12.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7261-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



“Challenging, bizarre, and, surprisingly, engaging language-, image-, and action-play. Scalapino caputures the flux and motion that is late-twentieth-century living, and she does so with freshness, daring, and subtle skillfulness.”—Booklist

This extraordinary new book is essay-fiction-poetry, an experiment in form, “a serial novel for publication in the newspaper” that collapses the distinction between documentary and fiction.

Leslie Scalapino is widely regarded as one of the best avant-garde writers in America today. This extraordinary new book is essay-fiction-poetry, an experiment in form, “a serial novel for publication in the newspaper” that collapses the distinction between documentary and fiction. Loosely set in Los Angeles, the book scrutinizes our image-making, producing extreme and vivid images-hyena, Muscle Beach in Venice, the Supreme Court, subway rides-in order for them to be real. Countering contemporary trends toward interiority, Scalapino’s work constitutes a unique effort to “be” objectively in the world. The writing is an action, a dynamic push to make intimacy in the public realm. She does not distinguish between poetry and “real events”: her writing is analogous to Buddhist notions of dreaming one is a butterfly, and becoming aware that actually being the butterfly is as real as dreaming it.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Challenging, bizarre, and, surprisingly, engaging language-, image-, and action-play. Scalapino caputures the flux and motion that is late-twentieth-century living, and she does so with freshness, daring, and subtle skillfulness.”—Booklist

“Leslie Scalapino’s undulating phrasal rhythms are in turn psychedelic, analytic, notational, pointillistic, and narrational. Like a sumo wrestler doing contact improvisation with a ballerina, Scalapino balances the unbalanceable poetic accounts of social justice and aesthetic insistence.”
—Charles Bernstein


“Only a very few poets or writers of any disposition have such a formal enterprise as is here evident. In that sense one might qualify this work as being both the concept and demonstration in a way that would be akin to aspects of contemporary philosophy, or the most forward of international poetries…The formal brilliance of the construction is altogether dazzling. How Leslie Scalapino manages to make a ‘virtual reality’ in which reality itself becomes the determinant is an absolute wonder to me.”—Robert Creeley



LESLIE SCALAPINO is the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and plays, as well as the novel Dafoe (Sun and Moon,1994). Among her books of poetry are way (1988), that they were at the beach- aeolotropic series (1985), and Considering how exaggerated music is (1982), all published by North Point Press. Leslie Scalapino has taught most recently at Bard College and the Naropa Institute.



Sat, 17 Jun 2017 11:49:36 -0500