Browser's Ecstasy

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9781582432458: Browser's Ecstasy

This is a prose poem about reading - a playful, epigrammatic nocturne upon the dream-state one falls into when lost in a book, and the uncanny, trancelike pleasure of making silent marks on paper utter sounds inside one's head. A meditation on reading, the book goes both far and deep, resisting easy summary and classification.

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About the Author:

A renowned poet, critic, editor, and cultural historian, Geoffrey O'Brien has received numerous awards and fellowships, and is the editor in chief of the Library of America. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

"In that cobwebbed kingdom the rows of books were like rows of cupboards with rusty handles, each to be tried in turn: What's in this one, or that one?" Brainy and often convoluted, O'Brien's "meditation on reading" ranges through memory, autobiography, allegory and literary theory to try to describe the value he finds in books. Some smart readers will think it a lark and a half, while others will deem it so much navel gazing. A noted essayist, editor and poet, O'Brien has organized his topics and metaphors into 32 small units: their ideas and images hang together through the barest threads of suggestion and similarity. Children's encyclopedias, Chinese classical poetry, Virgil's Aeneid, the invention of the alphabet, a half-remembered metaphysical novel about "Doctor Tobacco" and much else give rise to gleams of language and flashes of insight, and then disappear. Originally published, in part, in magazines like Word, this slim volume can recall O'Brien's previous book-length essaysAThe Phantom Empire (on movies) and The Times Square Story; it also suggests the polymathically playful critical prose of Elaine Scarry, though without her moments of philosophical rigor. Readers familiar with academic theorists will recognize some of O'Brien's key ideas: "To move through a book from beginning to end is to advance triumphantly toward the death that waits after the last word of the last sentence." It is by no means a new point (nor does O'Brien make stringent records of his sources), but novelty of argument isn't the point. The point is the beauty and aptness of the analogy, the speed with which one context slips into the next and the momentary rightness of O'Brien's observations. Readers who care for this brand of highly associative, highbrow prose will appreciate this latest sample. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Counterpoint LLC. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 160 pages. Dimensions: 7.8in. x 4.6in. x 0.5in.From one of the most original writers now at work, an expansive, learned, and utterly charming reverie on what it means to be lost in a book. . Louis Menand, writing in The New Yorker , called Geoffrey OBriens The Phantom Empire a prose poem about the pleasures and distractions of movie-watching, an ambitiously literary attempt to write about the mystery of the medium as though it were a dream the author had just awakened from. Now, in The Browsers Ecstasy , OBrien has written a prose poem about reading, a playful, epigrammatic nocturne upon the dream-state one falls into when lost in a book, upon the uncanny, trancelike pleasure of making silent marks on paper utter sounds inside ones head. We call The Browsers Ecstasy a Meditation on Reading, but like any truly original book-and especially the short book that goes both far and deep-it resists easy summary and classification. As Luc Sante once wrote, The density of OBriens work makes word count irrelevant as an index of substance; he is seemingly capable of compressing entire encyclopedias into his parenthetical asides. I defy you to name any precedent for what he does. Hes a school unto himself. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781582432458

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