Bruce Andrews Lip Service

ISBN 13: 9781552450635

Lip Service

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At nearly 400 pages in length, Lip Service is Bruce Andrews' major poetry work of the 1990s. The book is divided into ten 'planets' corresponding to the ten 'bodies' of the Paradiso, each of which is in turn divided into ten sections. Andrews draws on resonances between the semiotic rubble of late capitalist society (overheard or found phrases and words gathered over a four-year period, then meticulously organized and edited) and Charles Singleton's translation of Dante to create a bleak vision of a contemporary world where vanity and self-regard are paramount, love is nothing but pretense and dissimulation, and mutability and immutability are inverted.

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About the Author:

Bruce Andrews, a co-founder of the journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E and a Professor of Political Science at Fordham University in New York, is the author of many acclaimed books of poetry including Love Songs, I Don't Have Any Paper so Shut Up (or, Social Romanticism), and Ex Why Zee.

From Publishers Weekly:

Nine years after the spellbinding book-length poem I Don't Have Any Paper So Shut Up (Or, Social Romanticism), which has become recognized as a classic of Language Writing, Andrews returns to the large canvas with this phonetic translation/ recasting of Dante's Paradiso, the final part (often ignored for its darker cousin) of the Divine Comedy. As opposed to the high-octane "in your face" quality of Shut Up where Situationism meets punk rock in a way Greil Marcus never imagined Lip Service is quieter, even "lyrical," perhaps showing for the first time Andrews's genuine facility with voice-based poetic meters such as those derived from Projective Verse or middle-period Pound. This isn't to say that Andrews is softening up; the act of writing, the praxis of living, cajolings of the social being, and sexual and gender politics intermix as wildly and unpredictably as ever. Each of the book's 100 cantos seems to spill down the page in one continuous, overlapping sentence, creating a compelling composite image of the hero/speaker in highly data-fied, micro-moments. "When did imaginary curry its whole," Andrews asks in "Primum Mobile 9"; this long poem, right down to its detourned relationship to its esteemed 14th century predecessor, demands to know what sort of utopian vision is reconcilable with a globalized capitalist culture, one that wants the self to be alienated from being whole within society and uses language as one of its main forces of estrangement. This incredible long work a complete lexicon of communication games, queries, contents, variables, and deceptions in lush distinctive prosody suggests the poem as one reply. (July 4) Forecast: Andrews published several shorter books of poems and a collection of criticism (Paradise & Method) during the '90s, and remains a primary influence on experimental poetry and poetics. Shut Up is the book of his most often assigned on campus; look for this beautifully produced volume to be brandished at MLA sessions and readings alike.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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