From Publishers Weekly
In his long-awaited second full-length book, the playfully serious Ostashevsky (Iterature
) draws on the Jewish philosopher Spinoza to create his alter ego, who wields logic like a weapon (On a periodic table/ he lays out his definitions/ axioms/ propositions/ like a dentist's tools before drilling a cavity). Adversaries such as the Begriffin (Frightful is the Begriffin and sharp are his claws/ .../ He is full of effects but do they have a cause?) counter the DJ with Ostashevsky's brand of wit, as well as the rhythms and rhymes of everything from fairy tales to hip-hop: Let us dismiss words// in toto
/as the unionized janitors of reality! And characters such as Joseph Bédier, God, MC Squared and the Peepeesaurus offer whimsical and often dubious insight: you're famous for your scores/ on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, but/ what good is a brain, if you're an idiot? In meticulous de- and reconstructions of language that are at once mischievous (The Origin of the Specious, Myopia Is Youropia) and thought-provoking, Ostashevsky continues his slant exploration of the convergence of the poetic traditions of Eastern Europe and the U.S. (Jan.)
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About the Author
Eugene Ostashevsky is the author of Iterature (UDP 2005) and of eight chapbooks. He is also the editor and main translator of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism, (NUP 2006). A recipient of fellowships from the Wyttner Bynner Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts, Ostashevsky teaches at NYU.