Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.
Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals such as Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Nelson binds her personal experience to a rigorous exploration of what iconic theorists have said about sexuality, gender, and the vexed institutions of marriage and child-rearing. Nelson's insistence on radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry of this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.
A lyrical, philosophical, and often explicit exploration of personal suffering and the limitations of vision and love, as refracted through the color blue. With Bluets, Maggie Nelson has entered the pantheon of brilliant lyric essayists.
Maggie Nelson is the author of numerous books of poetry and nonfiction, including Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa Press, 2007). She lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the California Institute of the Arts.
Then, one November afternoon, Nelson received a call from her mother, who announced that the case had been reopened; a new suspect would be arrested and tried on the basis of a DNA match. Over the months that followed, Nelson found herself attending the trial with her mother and reflecting anew on the aura of dread and fear that hung over her family and childhood--an aura that derived not only from the terrible facts of her aunt's murder but also from her own complicated journey through sisterhood, daughterhood, and girlhood.
The Red Parts is a memoir, an account of a trial, and a provocative essay that interrogates the American obsession with violence and missing white women, and that scrupulously explores the nature of grief, justice, and empathy.
Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag and Elaine Scarry, Maggie Nelson has emerged as one of our foremost cultural critics with this landmark work about representations of cruelty and violence in art. From Sylvia Plath’s poetry to Francis Bacon’s paintings, from the Saw franchise to Yoko Ono’s performance art, Nelson’s nuanced exploration across the artistic landscape ultimately offers a model of how one might balance strong ethical convictions with an equally strong appreciation for work that tests the limits of taste, taboo, and permissibility.
the world seems to split up
into those who need to dredge
and those who shrug their shoulders
and say, It’s just something
that happened. While Maggie Nelson refers here to a polluted urban waterway, the Gowanus Canal, these words could just as easily describe Nelson’s incisive approach to desire, heartbreak, and emotional excavation in Something Bright, Then Holes. Whether writing from the debris-strewn shores of a contaminated canal or from the hospital room of a friend, Nelson charts each emotional landscape she encounters with unparalleled precision and empathy. Since its publication in 2007, the collection has proven itself to be both a record of a singular vision in the making as well as a timeless meditation on love, loss, and—perhaps most frightening of all—freedom.
»Maggie Nelson är en av de skarpaste och spänstigaste tänkarna i sin generation.« | The Guardian
Maggie Nelson är en av USA:s just nu mest hyllade författare. Genombrottet i hemlandet kom med Blått [Bluets], en hybrid mellan poesi och essä; en lyrisk, filosofisk och inte minst självutlämnande undersökning av lidelsen och lidandet, av kärlekens och önskningarnas tillkortakommanden – allt reflekterat genom färgen blå. Färgens kulturhistoria, dess konnotationer, läror, etymologier, metaforer, betraktas genom den personliga berättelsens prisma, samtidigt som textväven är sprängfull med referenser till klassisk litteratur; Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gertrude Stein, Novalis med flera.
Här i svensk översättning av kritikern och litteraturvetaren Viola Bao.
MAGGIE NELSON [f. 1973] är en amerikansk författare, poet, essäist och forskare, bosatt i Los Angeles. Med Blått [Bluets, 2009] gjorde hon sig ett namn i hemlandet, innan hon slog igenom internationellt med den sedermera flerfaldigt prisbelönta memoarboken Argonauterna [The Argonauts, 2015]. Utöver dessa har Maggie Nelson skrivit tre essäböcker och fyra diktsamlingar. Till vardags undervisar hon i kreativt skrivande på California Institute of the Arts.