The Poetry Lesson

Princeton University Press
3
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"Intro to Poetry Writing is always like this: a long labor, a breech birth, or, obversely, mining in the dark. You take healthy young Americans used to sunshine (aided sometimes by Xanax and Adderall), you blindfold them and lead them by the hand into a labyrinth made from bones. Then you tell them their assignment: 'Find the Grail. You have a New York minute to get it.'"--The Poetry Lesson

The Poetry Lesson is a hilarious account of the first day of a creative writing course taught by a "typical fin-de-siècle salaried beatnik"--one with an antic imagination, an outsized personality and libido, and an endless store of entertaining literary anecdotes, reliable or otherwise. Neither a novel nor a memoir but mimicking aspects of each, The Poetry Lesson is pure Andrei Codrescu: irreverent, unconventional, brilliant, and always funny. Codrescu takes readers into the strange classroom and even stranger mind of a poet and English professor on the eve of retirement as he begins to teach his final semester of Intro to Poetry Writing. As he introduces his students to THE TOOLS OF POETRY (a list that includes a goatskin dream notebook, hypnosis, and cable TV) and THE TEN MUSES OF POETRY (mishearing, misunderstanding, mistranslating . . . ), and assigns each of them a tutelary "Ghost-Companion" poet, the teacher recalls wild tales from his coming of age as a poet in the 1960s and 1970s, even as he speculates about the lives and poetic and sexual potential of his twenty-first-century students. From arguing that Allen Ginsberg wasn't actually gay to telling about the time William Burroughs's funeral procession stopped at McDonald's, The Poetry Lesson is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of an inimitable poet, teacher, and storyteller.

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About the author

Andrei Codrescu is an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, and NPR commentator. He edits the online journal Exquisite Corpse and taught literature and creative writing at Louisiana State University for twenty-five years before retiring in 2009 as the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English. His recent work includes The Posthuman Dada Guide (Princeton) and Jealous Witness: Poems.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 16, 2010
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9781400836048
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Poetry
Poetry / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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"This is a guide for instructing posthumans in living a Dada life. It is not advisable, nor was it ever, to lead a Dada life."--The Posthuman Dada Guide
?

The Posthuman Dada Guide is an impractical handbook for practical living in our posthuman world--all by way of examining the imagined 1916 chess game between Tristan Tzara, the daddy of Dada, and V. I. Lenin, the daddy of communism. This epic game at Zurich's Café de la Terrasse--a battle between radical visions of art and ideological revolution--lasted for a century and may still be going on, although communism appears dead and Dada stronger than ever. As the poet faces the future mass murderer over the chessboard, neither realizes that they are playing for the world. Taking the match as metaphor for two poles of twentieth- and twenty-first-century thought, politics, and life, Andrei Codrescu has created his own brilliantly Dadaesque guide to Dada--and to what it can teach us about surviving our ultraconnected present and future. Here dadaists Duchamp, Ball, and von Freytag-Loringhoven and communists Trotsky, Radek, and Zinoviev appear live in company with later incarnations, including William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gilles Deleuze, and Newt Gingrich. The Posthuman Dada Guide is arranged alphabetically for quick reference and (some) nostalgia for order, with entries such as "eros (women)," "internet(s)," and "war." Throughout, it is written in the belief "that posthumans lining the road to the future (which looks as if it exists, after all, even though Dada is against it) need the solace offered by the primal raw energy of Dada and its inhuman sources."

"This is a guide for instructing posthumans in living a Dada life. It is not advisable, nor was it ever, to lead a Dada life."--The Posthuman Dada Guide
?

The Posthuman Dada Guide is an impractical handbook for practical living in our posthuman world--all by way of examining the imagined 1916 chess game between Tristan Tzara, the daddy of Dada, and V. I. Lenin, the daddy of communism. This epic game at Zurich's Café de la Terrasse--a battle between radical visions of art and ideological revolution--lasted for a century and may still be going on, although communism appears dead and Dada stronger than ever. As the poet faces the future mass murderer over the chessboard, neither realizes that they are playing for the world. Taking the match as metaphor for two poles of twentieth- and twenty-first-century thought, politics, and life, Andrei Codrescu has created his own brilliantly Dadaesque guide to Dada--and to what it can teach us about surviving our ultraconnected present and future. Here dadaists Duchamp, Ball, and von Freytag-Loringhoven and communists Trotsky, Radek, and Zinoviev appear live in company with later incarnations, including William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gilles Deleuze, and Newt Gingrich. The Posthuman Dada Guide is arranged alphabetically for quick reference and (some) nostalgia for order, with entries such as "eros (women)," "internet(s)," and "war." Throughout, it is written in the belief "that posthumans lining the road to the future (which looks as if it exists, after all, even though Dada is against it) need the solace offered by the primal raw energy of Dada and its inhuman sources."

Bokens död?



Andrei Codrescu växte upp i det kommunistiska Rumänien, där det tryckta ordet betraktades som ett farligt vapen. Nu lever han i den virtuella värld där vi översvämmas av virtuella ord som finns tillgängliga alltid och överallt.

Bibliograv är en bok om boken – dess förflutna och framtid. I detta nu då många talar om bokens död. Codrescu håller dock inte riktigt med, för honom är denna domedag bara en reinkarnation där boken lämnat sin tidigare papperskropp för att kliva in i den virtuella. Bokens själ förblir intakt.

Bibliograv är både essä och memoarbok. I sitt resonemang utgår Codrescu från sig själv och sitt eget förhållande till böcker. Hans teoretiska betraktelser kombineras med hans egna minnen, som förmedlas i fotnoter som ringlar sig fram över sidorna och blir minst lika viktiga som själva huvudtexten. Han skriver om barndomen i den medeltida rumänska staden Sibiu, om en ung mans poetdrömmar och om den dagliga kampen med det lilla samhällets fördomar och stela regler, om ungdomens anteckningsböcker, om hur han tog sig till USA på 1960-talet och fortsatte sin författarbana där... Men framför allt skärskådar han hur begreppet ”bok” och därmed även begreppen "arkiv" och "bibliotek" drastiskt förvandlats under hans livstid och förändrat litteraturens utseende.

Bibliograv blandar på ett fantastiskt sätt det personliga med det profetiska, det intima med det universella. En ren och sann glädje att läsa, för alla som är intresserade av litteraturhistoria och av vad som händer med boken i vår virtuella värld.

Översättare: Ulrika Junker Miranda

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