Anne Gorrick : Kyotologic
Published 15 September 2008
Paperback, 100pp, 9x6ins, £8.95 / $15
"In the winter, when it is very cold and one lies buried under bedclothes listening to one's lover's endearments, it is delightful to hear the booming of the temple gong, which seems to come from the bottom of a deep well. The first cry of the birds, whose beaks are still tucked under their wings, is also strange and muffled. Then one bird after another takes up the call. How pleasant it is to lie there listening as the sound becomes clearer and clearer!"—The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.
Anne Gorrick was born 1,000 years after Sei Shonagon (ca. 966–1017). She writes over and within the historic text of the Pillow Book and through various textual manipulations and colonizations, makes a new work out of it. An ancient Eastern text drunk on Western footnotes: Tristan Tzara, Susan Howe, Robert Duncan, Robert Desnos, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Modernity sewn flamboyantly over the holes of an old cloth, an ancient boro text/ile.
a sampler PDF of work from this book here.
"A densely beautiful book, young poems growing out of old poems, vines round an ancient pine. Imagine language talking to itself, all skin and rain and blossoms, scattering like leaves, seeming to remember some other country some other time—yet always being vividly present like a strange food you've taken into your mouth that's too sweet—but after a moment, just barely sweet enough, as we get to like this world Gorrick has incarnated for us here, safe in our deepest feelings." (Robert Kelly)
"In Kyotologic, Anne Gorrick takes Sei Shonagon's poetic diaries as materials for a new performance of eccentric intimacy. A book of days that is also a "model of interruptions," Gorrick's work admits us as voyeurs, offers us mysterious routines in lieu of identity, and includes history (albeit processual history). Trust that this book is written in silk, cherries, and "with a good pen," but don't expect orientalism or even orientation, as such. The logic of Kyotologic is a cold engagement with personhood mediated by a world of things." (Aaron McCollough)
See a short review at the Poetry Foundation's "some favorite books of 2008" (scroll about hjalf way down) here.
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