Break Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing, and Moments of Desire

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9781582430638: Break Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing, and Moments of Desire

In this groundbreaking work of ecstatic criticism, Carole Maso shows why she has risen, over the past fifteen years, as one of the brightest stars in the literary firmament. Ever refusing to be marginalized or categorized by genre, Maso is an incisive, compassionate writer who deems herself daughter of William Carlos Williams, a pioneer in combining poetry and fiction with criticism, journalism, and the visual arts. She is daughter, too, of Allen Ginsberg, who also came from Paterson, New Jersey. Known for her audacity, whether exploring language and memory or the development of the artistic soul, Maso here gives us a form-challenging collection, intelligent, and persuasive.

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Carole Maso's novels (Ava, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat) have been called postmodern. Avant-garde. You do not devour them, as you might "popular" fiction. You give yourself over to them: to their meanderings, their idiosyncrasies, their eroticisms, their quirky narratives. Maso is tired of the typical New Yorker short story; she bemoans writers' willingness to conform in order to get published; and, yes, she is downright bored by those who think an essay should have "a hypothesis, a conclusion, [and] should argue points." While it is clear from these essays that Maso rails against a white-male publishing establishment, she is not so much a contrarian as simply determined to do it her way--even if she has to move to Europe to escape the influence of others.

From the start, says Maso, "I was never much for ordinary narrative.... Even as a child ... I would wander year after year in and out of our bedtime reading room, dissatisfied by the stories, the silly plot contrivances, the reduction of an awesome complicated world into a rather silly, sterile one." Fiction, she feels, should offer "a place for the random, the accidental, the overheard, the incidental." She sees the novel not as a neat, little self-contained package, but "as a huge, shifting, unstable, unmanageable canvas. Smudged with lipstick, fingerprints, crumpled, tear-stained, many-paged." In these 10 essays, Maso alights on her feelings about language and fiction, the teaching of creative writing ("part of why I'm here is to teach them to be bad, to question, to disobey"), her friendship with the composer Gustave Richter, gay and lesbian writing, and countless other topics. The book meanders. It is idiosyncratic and poetic. No matter your feelings about traditional narrative--and traditional essay form--you can't help but be moved by Maso's ability to live and work outside the lines and by her unbounded passion for language. "When I write sentences I am at home...." says Maso. "In the gloating, enormous strangeness and solitude of the real world, where I am so often inconsolable, marooned, utterly dizzied, all I need do is to pick up a pen and begin to write--safe in the shelter of the alphabet--and I am taken home." --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

Carole Maso is the author of seven books including Ghost Dance and Break Every Rule. She is a professor of English at Brown University.

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Book Description Counterpoint. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 260 pages. Dimensions: 8.6in. x 5.8in. x 0.8in.Ecstatic essays from the new standard bearer for experimental belles lettres The future is women, for real this time. Im sorry, but its time you got used to it. Well, weve been kept from ourselves too long, dont you think an old woman says to a friend two women in the park at dusk. -From Break Every Rule In this groundbreaking work of ecstatic criticism, Carole Maso shows why she has risen, over the past fifteen years, as one of the brightest stars in the literary firmament. Ever refusing to be marginalized or categorized by genre, Maso is an incisive, compassionate writer who deems herself daughter of William Carlos Williams, a pioneer in combining poetry and fiction with criticism, journalism, and the visual arts. She is daughter, too, of Allen Ginsberg, who also came from Paterson, New Jersey. Known for her audacity, whether exploring language and memory or the development of the artistic soul, Maso here gives us a form-challenging collection, intelligent, and persuasive. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9781582430638

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Book Description COUNTERPOINT, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this groundbreaking work of ecstatic criticism, Carole Maso shows why she has risen, over the past fifteen years, as one of the brightest stars in the literary firmament. Ever refusing to be marginalized or categorized by genre, Maso is an incisive, compassionate writer who deems herself daughter of William Carlos Williams, a pioneer in combining poetry and fiction with criticism, journalism, and the visual arts. She is daughter, too, of Allen Ginsberg, who also came from Paterson, New Jersey. Known for her audacity, whether exploring language and memory or the development of the artistic soul, Maso here gives us a form-challenging collection, intelligent, and persuasive. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781582430638

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