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WISH FOR AMNESIA is a modern-day mix of futuristic fable and historical fact that follows six idiosyncratic characters in New York andRome from 1968-1985, Hippiedom to Halley's Comet. It pivots around JackRubin, son of Holocaust resistance workers, who develops a MessianicComplex as he struggles to be as exemplary as his father. Jack rises to greatsuccess in a life of politics, anthro-genetics and early computer technology,but is beset by doubt, paranoia and voices in his head. They say he has noright to lead until he has the perfect plan.
A troubled relationship with Beatrice, a blind, black performance artist, moves him to marry one of her students, Caroline, stunning, but disturbed. Caroline grows up in a dismal little town, her character set by rivalry. Jack becomes a tyrant to his family as he uses his wife for sex and their precocious daughter, Jewel, as his basis for creating a perfect hominid through genetic engineering.
The artist is named the child's godmother. She takes Jewel to Rome, where they fall in with a nefarious cabdriver, Toto, who causes several transformations in them both, some good, some harrowing. Jack desperately strives to fulfill the potential of his father's sacrificedgeneration, but when he travels to Rome to bring his daughter home, as hedescends a ramp at DaVinci Airport on the day of a historically infamousattack there, he's killed by someone he knows.
Terrific!-- Gunther Stuhlmann, ed. Diary of Anaïs Nin.
The mind, the eye, of a camera ... fantastic on detail.-- Raymond Andrews, James Baldwin Prize Novelist.
The cheekiest tongue-in-cheek writing to come out of ... any experience ofhuman beings in "this Trans-Millennial Century."-- CT Rhodes, Director, eMediaLoft.org, NYC.
Barbara Rosenthal re-imagines the art of ction between new modes ofimagination and reality. She is the closest thing we have to a Wallace Stevens.--Stephen Paul Miller, ed. Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture.
A Pynchonesque, sci-fi, gospel parable! -- Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Ragazine.
Very readable, very funny, and very visual. It would make a great genre lmclassic. -- AD Coleman, Photography and Culture Critic, NYC.
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NOTE ABOUT EDITIONS:The Definitive First Edition was released March 2017, ISBN 978-1-937739-92-8 with Publisher's Foreword dated Jan. 3, 2017, and available in print and online for an infinite run. That's the Wish for Amnesia you should read, unless you are a scholar or collector interested in the writing process. The foreshadowing is sharpest, the philosophies most clear, the characters at their weirdest differentiations and the wording at its most-combed perfect.Any of the other 17 Wish for Amnesia to this date (from 1979-Jan 2017) are Proto-editions that were printed in experimental runs of 6-500 during the 40-year gestation of this project. If you are interested in this "Leaves of Grass" approach, you can refer to wishforamnesia.com to find out more, with direct link to sale of all editions (Especially recommended for scholars and Book Clubs).From the Inside Flap:
by Joseph A.W. Quintela, publisher
At a sun-soaked gathering of poets in 2013, ina grassy Queens park overlooking Manhattan, I first encounter Barbara Rosenthal, barefoot, face shaded bya wide-brimmed black hat, perched on a stone wall and looking every bit the part: an oracle. This image alone might tbe the ideal introduction to Wish for Amnesia.
I recognize the artist immediately, but it takes awhile before we say hello. At the gathering, we are both performing poetry interventions that use text cards to initiate interaction. At one point, we each spontaneously say something aloud that combines two of our cards in a moment of cosmic collaboration. By this entrée, I find myselfjoining her later for Long Island Iced Tea and rambling conversation that returns frequently to one preoccupationof the ensuing pages: the multiplicity of variations that exists within an individual's perception of time; "...time plays tricks," reflects Jack, the pivotal character in thenovel and, for me, this has never been as true as it is in thishours-long conversation, which has never left my mind. Bythe time we part on the subway back to Manhattan, my headis pleasantly reeling. So begins my acquaintance with this futurist, visionary and tragi-comedian.
The agreement to finally publish Wish for Amnesia with Deadly Chaps Press comes a year later. At this point, we'd planned to release a trilogy of her "journal-text artistbooks," assimilating materials from 1990-2005, and she previewed a segment from it on our stage at the NY Poetry Festival on Governor's Island in July. However, as that project expands it becomes clear that it must be prefaced bythe very thing that prefaces the decade: construction of the rst of her two existential novels, slowly developing insuspension thirty-eight years.So work on the trilogy is paused in October of 2014 as Barbara throws open one of the Six Trunks of Journals, Drafts, Workbooks and Mock-ups that occupy her riverside loft in the Westbeth Artists' Complex in Greenwich Village. From this treasure trove of process notes, thick les and looseleaf binders devoted to characters, scenes, philosophic compilations and chronologies begun in 1980, she pulls a comb-bound copy of the Wish for Amnesia 1991 "proto-edition." I rush it home. I can not put it down. I am smitten. All too prophetic at the time of its writing, and with a plot that concludes in 1985, the novel's immediacy right now isstriking. Now is its time.
Rosenthal's concept of the "Trans-MillennialCentury," an era whose beginning could be marked byher own birth, might best be seen as the era of reckoningfor the excesses of Modernism. She marks its onset yearas July 23, 1944 - August 6, 1945, "the simultaneous firstliberation of the Concentration Camps and first dropping of the A-Bomb, when worldwide and together we faced the Horricides of ethnic annihilation in the cause of mass hysteria." It is on this stage, woven with pivotal events plucked from history, that Wish for Amnesia unfolds. Shesubtitles it a Tale about a Family, and Time and Art and Science, Religion, Philosophy and Current Events. Inshort, a book almost as exhaustive in purview as its author.
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Book Description Deadly Chaps, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111937739759