The Monstrous and the Marvelous

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9780872863545: The Monstrous and the Marvelous

With the great Renaissance voyages to the New World came the popularity of Wunderkammern, or cabinets of wonders, in which newly discovered monsters and marvels could be displayed. Like such a cabinet, this collection of essays surveys the monstrous and the marvelous - as transmuted in the alembic of Rikki Ducornet's open-hearted vision - in literature, art, and film. For her, excess anomaly, and heterodoxy entice the imagining mind to embrace "otherness," enlarge the world, and regenerate Eden.

"We need writers to look at difficult issues in a sophisticated manner. Ducornet has done this. She is a mirror of our innermost selves and she gives us back to outselves. Despairing, hopeful, active, contemplative, fractured but surviving, playful, even happy sometimes (in our cash), whole." —The Nation

"Ducornet playfully investigates works of literature, art, and film that create ruptures in our sense of normality. ...[She] shows how the road of excess indeed leads to the palace of wisdom. Most important, however, her ability to transfix and communicate her sense of wonder becomes wondrous in itself, making these essays read with the same quirky delight as her fiction."—Rain Taxi

"Rikki Ducornet is a writer fascinated by the ways the concrete and illusory can be interwoven. [In this] quietly resplendent book of essays . . . she manages to create her own cabinet of marvels as she infects her readers with the sweet venom of language." —Bart Schneider, The Ruminator

Rikki Ducornet, born in 1943, is an American writer, poet, and artist who focuses her work on sexuality and religion. Her other works include Entering Fire (also published by City Lights), Brightfellow, The Deep Zoo, and Netsuke.


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"We need writers to look at difficult issues in a sophisticated manner. Ducornet has done this. She is a mirror of our innermost selves and she gives us back to ourselves. Despairing, hopeful, active, contemplative, fractured but surviving, playful, even happy sometimes (in our case), whole!" -- The Nation

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