Collected Poems by Paul Auster

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Synopsis

Paul Auster’s penetrating and charged verse resembles little else in recent American poetry. This collection of Auster’s poetry, translations, and composition notes from early in his career do much to reinforce the idea that Paul Auster is, indeed, a unique and masterful figure in the literary world.

Taut, densely lyrical, and everywhere informed by a powerful and subtle music, this selection of writings begins with the compact verse fragments of Spokes (written when Auster was in his early twenties) and Unearth, continues on through the more ample meditations of Wall Writing, Disappearances, Effigies, Fragments From the Cold, Facing the Music, and White Spaces, then moves further back in time to include Auster’s revealing translations of many of the French poets who influenced his own writing, as well as the provocative and previously unpublished "Notes From A Composition Book" (1967). An introduction by Norman Finkelstein connects biographical elements to a consideration of the work, and takes in Auster’s early literary and philosophical influences.

Powerful, haunting, and precise, this view from the past to the present will appeal to those unfamiliar with this aspect of Auster’s work, as well as those already acquainted with his poetry.

 

About Paul Auster

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Paul Auster is a writer, director, poet, and actor. The author of nine novels, including The New York Trilogy and, most recently, The Book of Illusions. He also edited the bestselling True Tales of American Life, the NPR National Story Project anthology. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1947, Auster lives with his wife, the writer Siri Hustvedt, and their two children.
 
Published January 12, 2004 by Overlook Hardcover. 205 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Collected Poems

The Guardian

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The stones which litter the poems - "From the first step, our voice / is in league / with the stones of the field", "From one stone touched / to the next stone / named" - represent the impenetrable antithesis of flesh, the hard, nubbed negation of the human realm, yet in some of the most beautifu...

Mar 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Collected Poems

Publishers Weekly

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To add heft to the slim book, a number of Auster's translations from the French are included, mostly of the surrealist communist poets of a previous era (Breton, Tzara, Eluard) who attained a new popularity when the events of May '68 made them, literally, poster boys for the New Left in Paris.

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A Patchwork of Books

Taut, densely lyrical, and everywhere informed by a powerful and subtle music, this selection of writings begins with the compact verse fragments of Spokes (written when Auster was in his early twenties) and Unearth, continues on through the more ample meditations of Wall Writing, Disappearances,...

Jan 12 2004 | Read Full Review of Collected Poems

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