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The Totality for Kids (New California Poetry)

The Totality for Kids (New California Poetry)
Author: Joshua Clover
ISBN 13: 9780520246003
ISBN 10: 520246004
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2006-04-03
Format: Paperback
Pages: 76
List Price: $24.95

"Fierce intelligence, fierce understanding of social issues, and fierce sense of the power of artifice. This is major work, haunted by a sense of totality always present in the formal intricacy and in the roles cities and architecture play. I think of these poems as crossing the cool, allusive intricacy of Quentin Tarantino with the abstract, intense social passion of Walter Benjamin."—Charles Altieri, author of The Art of Twentieth-Century American Poetry: Modernism and After

"The Totality for Kids is a stunning collection that charts the 'the modern and its endnotes,' as voiced in one Clover poem. There is no conceptual abstraction here without its color, motion, and syntax. The poems form an urban and linguistic landscape of contemporary life, in many ways, written in the shadow of Adorno who himself wrote in the shadows of the modern.
In this brilliant volume, the fragmented world of a late and lost modernity has its own moving and lucid affect, its forms of aliveness. We encounter here an enormous clarity of language in the service of a poetics that brilliantly queries our historical moment in and as form."—Judith Butler, author of Precarious Life: Powers of Mourning and Violence

Publishers Weekly

Clover's long-awaited second collection follows Madonna anno domini (1997), whose inimitable stanzas take in everything from Guy Debord's situationism to New Mexico's WWII nuclear plantationism, and Clover's terrific critical monograph published last year on The Matrix. If what one looks for in a poet is a unique voice, no one else could get away with calling the World Trade Center "twin cruets of jizz and sang" (and placing them "in the time of garbage in the vale of lang"), and no one else could compose a poem out of the DVD chapter titles for Godard's Vivre sa vie and make it beautiful. Hemistichic prose, free-verse sonnets, orbiting text spirals, faux pronouncements, multilingual puns and forlorn addresses to Paris comprise a singular set of ideas about what a globalized first-person subject-"a client of chance where client is the only role available"-might be. The poems take forms that draw toxins out of history ("the ferris wheel where they had garrisoned their horses") and infuse them into 21st-century atmosphere: "the April air with silver quotation marks." It's totally great. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.