Testimony by Charles Reznikoff

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Synopsis

A major work by an essential American poet, published in full for the first time.

Available again for the first time since 1978-and complete in one volume for the first time ever- Charles Reznikoff's Testimony is a lost masterpiece, a legendary book that stands alongside Louis Zukofsky's "A" and William Carlos Williams's Paterson as a milestone of modern American poetry. Taking as its raw material the voices of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators discovered by the author in criminal court transcripts, Reznikoff's book sets forth a stark panorama of late- 19th- and early 20th-century America-the underside of the Gilded Age, beset by racism and casual violence, poverty and disease-in a radically stripped-down language of almost unbearable intensity. This edition also includes Reznikoff 's prose studies for the poem, unavailable to readers since the 1930s, and a new introduction by essayist Eliot Weinberger.

"[Testimony] is perhaps Reznikoff 's most important achievement as a poet. A quietly astonishing work . . . at once a kaleidoscope vision of American life and the ultimate test of Reznikoff's poetic principles . . ." - Paul Auster

"Reznikoff 's astonishingly engaging and quietly powerful work has been steadily gaining a passionate following. . . . Testimony is a chronicle of industrial accidents, domestic violence, racism. It tells the story of America's forgotten, those who suffer without redress, without name, without hope; yet the soul of these States is found in books like this; the acknowledgment of these peripheral stories turns a waste land into holy ground." - Charles Bernstein

 

About Charles Reznikoff

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Eliot Weinberger (b. NYC, 1949), is an essayist and translator. He won PEN s first Gregory Kolovakos Award for promoting Hispanic literature in the US, and he is America s first literary writer to receive Mexico s Order of the Aztec Eagle. He lives in New York City.
 
Published April 14, 2015 by Black Sparrow Press. 480 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction