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Crystallography Paperback – April 19, 1999

5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Christian Bok is the author of Crystallography (Coach House Press, 1994), a 'pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award for Best Poetic Debut, and 'Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science (Northwestern University Press, 2001). His book Eunoia won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize and is the best-selling Canadian poetry book of all time. Bok has created artificial languages for Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley's Amazon. His conceptual artwork has appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. He currently teaches at the University of Calgary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Coach House Books; 1 edition (April 19, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552451194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552451199
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #577,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carl G. on December 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I forget what I paid for it--$12? $16? Something like that. Cheap. It has paragraphs you'll never read anywhere else, using long strings of words that have never before been next to one another. It's a testament to what can be done--because Christian Bok did it--if one goes off in a hole somewhere and focuses, and that's a good lesson any ol' time.
How much is one fantastic, comprehensible, and yet on the surface bizarre sentence worth to you? In entertainment or inspiration or education? I'd say--for me-- a dollar at least, and five at most. Applying that standard, this book is worth hundreds of dollars. I'm no intellectual, and I'm no freak, but I like language and words, and I like this book a lot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on August 11, 2007
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This is a fascinating book exploring language through crystallography that fits nicely into the Oupilo experiments. In general the book is accessible - word squares, concrete poems, charts and, yes, some poetry as "commonly understood." The most personal poems are under "Diamonds" which explores the relationship with his father, a diamond cutter. The layout of the poems in this section remains a puzzle to me. As I do Merrill's "The Changing Light at Sandover", I found myself wanting a crib sheet to point out what I felt I was missing of the author's intent.

The linguistic "games" that I found most interesting were the classification of letters by their axis of symmetry and the "dripping line" (think of water dripping from a cave ceiling). (Unfortunately the web removes multiple spaces so it is not easy to give an illustration - just think of fewer and fewer letters falling into the next line, always spelling out meaningful clauses, phrases, words.)

This book is a major tour-de-force of experimental writing. It will get under your skin. You'll read and reread digging deep to find the underlying principles. You may even become obsessed. Or you may read through it quickly dismissing it as a mere experiment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Wilcox on September 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a geology major and I usually tend to avoid poetry, however, this book is quite an exception. This book took the science of geology and the art of poetry and combined them into a masterpiece. This analysis of these two fields of study is incredible and is a definite must read.
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My view is that this is where Bok's work on chemistry + poetry really started to emerge strongly. The more recent biological poems - living poems made of DNA chains, can be linked to to passages herein on the structure of crystals, and their inherent portal-like qualities. It's unique from assemblage type poems, wherein archival information is assembled to make "sciency" found poems. And it's not translation, where the material of another work is used, as in "Parse". Rather, the material of the crystallography is taken from the basic components of our thought on crystals themselves.
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By M on March 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
IBWT.
It's a club I'm starting it.
Who's in.
This bok is great if you like jewelry.
And/or the english.
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