Title: MEN IN THE OFF HOURS - Rare Fine Copy of The...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 170 pages. Published in 2000. Collection of poetry and prose. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Anne Carson's "Men In The Off Hours". Her "follow-up" collection to her stunning breakthrough, "Autobiography of Red" (1998). "Displays Anne Carson's signature mixture of opposites, the Classical and the Modern, cinema and print, narrative and verse. Reinvents figures as diverse as Oedipus, Emily Dickinson, and Audubon. She views the writings of Sappho, St. Augustine, and Catullus through a modern lens. She sets up startling juxtapositions (Lazarus among video paraphernalia; Virginia Woolf and Thucydides discussing war). And in a final prose-poem, she meditates on the recent death of her mother. With its quiet, acute spirituality, its fearless wit and sensuality, and its joyful understanding that 'the fact of the matter for humans is imperfection', 'Men In The Off Hours' shows us Carson at her best" (Publisher's blurb). "Carson is a wisdom writer" (Harold Bloom). "The most exciting poet writing in English today" (Michael Ondaatje). An absolute "must-have" title for Anne Carson collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed (initialled, as is her custom), dated, and inscribed in black ink-pen on the title page by the author: "Respectfully, A C 2008". Anne Carson rarely does public appearances/signings, making signed copies of her books quite scarce. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed, inscribed, and dated copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest poet/writers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ANNE CARSON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0375408037. Bookseller Inventory # 17943
Synopsis: Following her widely acclaimed Autobiography of Red ("A spellbinding achievement" --Susan Sontag), a new collection of poetry and prose that displays Anne Carson's signature mixture of opposites--the classic and the modern, cinema and print, narrative and verse.
In Men in the Off Hours, Carson reinvents figures as diverse as Oedipus, Emily Dickinson, and Audubon. She views the writings of Sappho, St. Augustine, and Catullus through a modern lens. She sets up startling juxtapositions (Lazarus among video paraphernalia; Virginia Woolf and Thucydides discussing war). And in a final prose poem, she meditates on the recent death of her mother.
With its quiet, acute spirituality, its fearless wit and sensuality, and its joyful understanding that "the fact of the matter for humans is imperfection," Men in the Off Hours shows us "the most exciting poet writing in English today" (Michael Ondaatje) at her best.
Review: Yes, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds--and minor poets. The major ones tend to operate in a trough-and-peak pattern, producing a dozen lesser works for every masterpiece. Still, Anne Carson pushes this tendency to extremes, and nowhere more markedly than in Men in the Off Hours, which contains some of the best and worst lyrics of her entire career.
First, the good news: Nobody has written more acutely about perception--about the chaotic collision of our senses with the real world--since the glory days of Wallace Stevens. Not that Carson echoes the airborne rhetoric of her great predecessor. Her fractured, zigzagging lines deliberately avoid the kind of gravity that was his trademark, and she likes to deflect the grand manner by ratcheting her diction upward (into Delphic utterance) or downward (into baby talk, if the baby happens to be Gertrude Stein). Still, like Stevens, she makes us think about how we think. She dislikes any attempt to remove cognition from its rustling Heraclitean framework. No wonder she ends up scolding taxidermy freak John James Audubon, whose point-and-shoot portraiture rubs her the wrong way: "In the salons of Paris and Edinburgh // where he went to sell his new style / this Haitian-born Frenchman / lit himself // as a noble rustic American / wired in the cloudless poses of the Great Naturalist. / They loved him // for the 'frenzy and ecstasy' / of true American facts." We comprehend things only in flux and, as Carson explains in "Essay on What I Think About Most," by mistake:
...what we are engaged in when we do poetry is error,Now for the bad news: Men in the Off Hours includes too ample a serving of Carson's weaker, semiprecious work--short lyrics in which she bends over backwards for an antipoetic poetic effect (if such a thing is possible). "Epitaph: Europe" is precisely the kind of freeze-dried surrealism she should avoid. And the spitballs this classicist fires at television in a piece like "TV Men: Thucydides in Conversation with Virginia Woolf on the Set of The Peloponnesian War" are truly puzzling. Why blame the tube for our cultural sins, particularly when the average NYPD Blue rerun contains more experiential fiber than most contemporary poetry? Still, Carson's blazing successes easily overshadow her failures. And those who have found her too recondite, too forbidding, need only take a look at the concluding poem, "Appendix to Ordinary Time." This elegy to the poet's mother is touching, emotionally direct, and completely original: an instant (to use a phrase Carson would probably loathe) classic. --James Marcus
the willful creation of error,
the deliberate break and complication of mistakes
out of which may arise
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