Thursday, April 26, 2007

Low and High Culture (la de dah)

Looks Like Richard Gere's In Trouble ... for THIS.

Not sure why I care. Was just browsing the New York Times and found it interesting that someone could be arrested for a kiss. Major cultural disconnection of some sort, apparently.

When Collin Kelley was visiting, we went to Recycle Books, a wonderfully stinky place crammed with books, cats, and stained carpet. He pulled Tory Dent's HIV, Mon Amour off the shelf and said, "You must read this." I'd always been meaning to read it, ever since I heard a piece on NPR the day she died, so I bought it. I started it last night, and it's incredible. I love her long Whitmanesque lines, and the way she juxtaposes intellectual, almost disciplinarily specialized diction ("artificial extension of the body now commenced, / the transplantation of anatomized topography upon its badly damaged origin") with the perfect pop cultural image ("Loyal visitors arrived at odd hours like Pa gone to town in The Little House on the Prairie, shaking off snow on their coats). So far the book feels chillingly cold and in love with life--a stunning combination.

I'm glad I was able to return to the favor to Collin by introducing him to Marilyn Hacker's Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons, which he read in its entirety in about 24 hours at our house. It's that kind of book. You can't put it down. It's a sonnet cycle about a relationship, an obsession, and it reads like a juicy, moving novel.


Collin Kelley said... glad you read HIV, Mon Amour. Tory's voice is sadly missed on the poetry scene. Now, go get Stan Rice's "Singing Yet."

I don't know how I'd managed not to read Hacker's most famous collection. I've got "Desesperanto" and "Squares and Courtyards" but never got to this one. Thanks for sharing!

Kate Evans said...

Thanks! I've never read Stan, but I will now for sure.