This week, I broke all of my fiscally conservative book-buying rules. This is okay, though, because my birthday is this Thursday, the 26th, and if nothing else, I can break a few self-imposed spending rules. However, I am worried, kind of, about the time I waste posting blogs about books that could be spent reading them. So! In other words, let's get to the point...
Rothenberg, Jerome and Pierre Joris, Eds. Poems for the Millennium: Book of Modern & Postmodern poetry, Fin-de-Siecle to Negritude. Berkley: University of California Press, 1995. [paperback]
Rothenberg, Jerome and Jeffrey C. Robinson, Eds. Poems for the Millennium: Book of Romantic & Postromantic Poetry. Berkley: University of California Press, 2009. [paperback]
We just started to recieve these volumes at work in a strange number over the past few months. At first, the first two trickled in and out occasionally, but over the last few weeks, we have been buying and selling them a little more frequently. I saw that there was a third volume only this week, and this led me to a good flipping through. I like the way that these are organized. I like that they include poetry that is rare to find non-anthologized. I like that they are so big and complete in their aims. They seem to be something like the best of the best for what they are. I reccomend them. The volumes include selections from prose, which I think is an interesting choice considering they are poetry anthologies. Perhaps because prose can be poetic in ways that make it almost poetry, even reaching back before hybrid labels existed for genres (prose-poetry, for example). Where would we categorize James Joyce had he written Ulysses today? (This is, yes, an impossible question.) But then, to include passages from Rosseau's Reveries of the Solitary Walker seems a bit odd. However, there are points to be made for each entry chosen, and to truly show a history of poetry in the way that these volumes suceed to, one must not leave out prose that affected verse in ways that cannot otherwise be explained. I need to buy the middle volume, volume two. I didn't, because the books are very heavy. Soon.
Notley, Alice. Disobedience. New York: Penguin Poets, 2001. [paperback]
Anytime an Alice Notley books comes in, I take a good look at it, and usually put it aside for myself. These are rare occasions. I only own, now, two of her books. The one I really want, Grave of Light, we had once, and I gave it to a friend / customer that really wanted it. Mistake! Well, he was grateful. But I wish I owned it, now. Anyway, I am super glad to have another book of hers. Notley is more than brilliant, all over the place in the best way and hard to find at the store I work at.
Bataille, Georges. Divine Filth: Lost Writings. Paris: Creation Books, 2004. [paperback]
Bataille, like Notley, very hard to get one's hands on at the Strand. I snapped this one up within minues of finding the Notley book, as though I had struck gold. This book wound up in the poetry section though the sticker on it for the store was labeled "erotic literature". It contains snippets from his private notebooks, which, in the same way I feel bad reading Kafka, I do hesitate briefly to want to read. However, the want overpowers the hesitation, and here I am with Bataille in my lap. The font they use to print this book is sans serif and sort of strange, but any Bataille I can get my hands on, I will buy. The back cover says it is only rivaled by The Story of the Eye in its filth. Hm.