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The Journal of Albion Moonlight (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – January 17, 1961


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Putting Modernism Together by Daniel Albright
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972) was one of the most prolific American poets of his time. He was born in Niles, Ohio. He attended school at the University of Madison-Wisconsin where he met his wife, Miriam Oikemus. They moved to Greenwich Village and befriended many writers including E.E. Cummings, Anais Nïn, and Henry Miller. An accident occurred after his first publication that would eventually leave him an invalid. He and his wife later moved to San Francisco during the early years of the Beat Movement. Many Beat poets would cite Patchen as a major influence. His "experimental protests" in poetry, painting, and prose remain unprecedented. Aside from his many books of poetry, his acclaimed novels, and his concrete visual works, Kenneth Patchen also collaborated with John Cage for the radio-play The City Wears a Slouch Hat, and worked with Charles Mingus developing jazz poetry. Patchen was an unwavering pacifist and many of his works have a political bent. Patchen was the first recipient of an NEA Literary Grant in 1967.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (January 17, 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811201449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811201445
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Levy on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life. I can't tell you exactly how, but I wasn't the same afterward. I had never seen a book written with such searing honesty, such naked vulnerability, such savage and wild howling at the insanity that was engulfing the planet in 1940.

Get this book. If you love poetry, if you love language, if you love passionate expression and beauty...get it. Patchen was like no one else. That's why Henry Miller wrote about him in an essay called "Kenneth Patchen: Man of Anger & Light."
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By rmenna@journalist.com on November 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This novel contains some of the most compelling images I have ever read. It is a measure of Patchen's courage that he wrote it at the height of WWII--not a popular time for anti-war activism. The depth of his thinking about pacifism emerges in this novel on every level. Patchen was a lifelong scholar and student of the works of William Blake and it shows: "Moonlight" challenges us not only in content but in form as well, using metaphor and image to create a powerful non-linear world of story and thought. Kenneth Patchen's work is beginning to experience a resurgence, and I would suggest buying this novel (along with Kenneth's love poetry) if you want to discover this great American poet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Goodman on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'd never been a tremendous fan of Mr. Patchen's poetry (though I do like it).. but did not know this "Journal" existed, till I chanced upon the book--not in a bookstore, but in the dusty basement of an antique store. The Journal of Albion Moonlight is a work of incredibly inspired genius, LOADED with memorable lines. Never predictable, it is truly a wonder to behold, a book which pulls no punches, written while World War II was raging. I've read the other positive reviews here and many of them provide excellent descriptions of this relatively unknown masterpiece. I just wanted to add my 5 stars.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Donald Ford (dford@midrivers.com) on June 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This "novel" is more of a primitive, surreal, hallucinatory, dream-like rage against WW2 & mankind's hatred in general than a standard book. Form gets tossed out the window, and this does make the book a bit of a struggle at times, but that's just the point. It shouldn't be easy to understand another man's feelings & it isn't easy getting Patchen's. This book is definately not for everyone, and I'd almost say "read the last half of the book first if you wanna get it from the get-go." It took me a few weeks to read this, reading several other things while mulling over parts of this "journal", but I'm glad I stuck with it & kept thinking about it. It's a very powerful work that crackles like a thundercloud. Just don't expect a straightforward novel. That ain't what this is...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Holt on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Hands down one of the best books I have ever read. Every narrative convention is completely challenged. It is impossible for any two readers to read this novel the same way. Comical and impossible to understand yet steeped in meaning and depth. A tape recorded conversation of Hitler and Jesus in a taxi, murder, the invasion of the United States during World War II (which at the time of composition was a reality), ...what's not to like? "The Journal..." is a work of art and challenges you. There are readers who seek to open their minds with the unpredictable results of experimentation and there are readers who seek to reinforce the familiar (=boring) objects of shallow and spiritless minds.
This work created in a time when artists made art and put their energies into more than "appearing" as an artist.
Quit being a p!@#$* and read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank on May 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Imagine you could look directly into the subconscious mindsoul of possibly the most creative and moral writer who ever lived...You can: just read this anti-novel. If you're average or less than in terms of seeking truth, then I suggest you stick to the sports page instead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Cook on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life. It etched a tattoo on my brain. Patchen's words are like chisel blows. True poetry. Just buy it for the experience alone!!!The Journal of Albion Moonlight
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry G. Bierman on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
After about 30 years I have started reading "The Journal of Albion Moonlight" again and find it as magical and mad as when I first read it as a senior in High School. Reading again I realize that what set me apart from so many of my friends was this novel, and Patchen's poetry. Most of the kids my age were into Jack Kerouac and "On the Road."

"Journal of Albion Moonlight" is not "On The Road." The only other novel I have read that compares to it in any way is Frank Stanford's "The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You."

I admit that two or three decades of experience do make The Journal more intelligible, and I will probably always have a bookmark or two in this novel--because sometimes I am just in the mood for it.
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The Journal of Albion Moonlight (New Directions Paperbook)
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