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Quotidiana Hardcover – March 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0803222960 ISBN-10: 0803222963

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803222963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803222960
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,736,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Words form constellations; they glitter on the pages. . . . There is a religiosity here, though not the usual kind. It's a glow on the horizon, a low light, something to think our way toward."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
(Susan Salter Reynolds Los Angeles Times 2010-02-28)

"Charming and liberating."—Robert Birnbaum, Morning News
(Robert Birnbaum Morning News 2010-02-17)

"Flutter the pages of Patrick Madden's Quotidiana, and entering it becomes irresistable. . . . At once an approachable and postmodern composition, Quotidiana presents an enthralled, reflexive mind at work. Readers will eagerly await his next thought."—Janelle Adsit, ForeWord Reviews
(Janelle Adsit ForeWord Reviews)

"If Madden is a prophet of the essay, if his words seem inspired by the classical masters of the form, then he is at his most inspired when he essays upon the essay."—Joey Franklin, New Letters
(Joey Franklin New Letters)

"For readers who wince at the sentimentality of some creative nonfictional writing, Madden's book might be the ideal transition into the genre. Madden, who was once on a scientific path himself, not only embraces academic research, he joins it with his personal accounts, holding out his hand to readers who crave objective data."—Eric d'Evegnee, BYU Studies
(Eric d'Evegnee BYU Studies)

"Quotidiana is a book written in the West with its eye casting outward, to the world, to us. By turns comic and sacred, Quotidiana invites us to consider our place in the West and our place in the world. This is as fine a collection of essays as I have read in recent memory."—Brandon R Schrand, Western American Literature
(Brandon R Schrand Western American Literature)

About the Author

Patrick Madden is an assistant professor of English at Brigham Young University. His essays have appeared in the Iowa Review, Portland Magazine, Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, and other journals, as well as in the The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. Visit his Web site www.quotidiana.org.
 

 


More About the Author

Patrick Madden, author of Quotidiana (Nebraska, 2010), teaches creative nonfiction at Brigham Young University. His essays have appeared in the Iowa Review, Portland Magazine, Fourth Genre, Hotel Amerika, and other journals, as well as in the The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. He maintains an anthology of classical essays and essay resources at http://quotidiana.org/.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book contains that essay, and a couple of my new favorites.
Health Science Nutrition
The essays have such a smooth, conversational style that makes them so easy to just read and enjoy, and I really think that's great.
Nicole Nielsen Ellsworth
Madden's language carried an esoteric air yet down-to-earth tone with his pop-culture allusions and personal experiences.
k.wix

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Clawson on April 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As no doubt many reviews have noted, the title "Quotidiana" suggests a connection with the everyday, the commonplace. After all, there are many times when people pass through a day, filling out the hours with the dictates of routines, and miss the nuance of the world around them. It is precisely this nuance that Patrick Madden strives to connect with, and it is ultimately the source of the work's greatest strengths and most obvious weaknesses.

There is little doubt that Madden's collection of essays is entertaining. He is able to take some of the most esoteric concepts, like asymptosy and Fibonacci numbers, and connect them to everyday experience, like loving the band Rush or trying not to laugh at inopportune moments, in a way that seems both surprising and inevitable. Each essay opens up a new world that has always existed in that all toofamiliar realm of unnoticed experience. Those who read this work will no doubt find themselves thinking about the seemingly magical connections between seemingly far and discrete points of their everyday lives.

Still, a few of the essays seem to think that writing an essay is "quotidian" as well. The focus that Madden places on writing itself, on essaying about essays, seems to be a tad too heavy-handed and self-conscious. Yet, this is probably more indicative of some of the more endemic problems within the genre of creative non-fiction than with Madden's style itself. Indeed, despite this literary navel-gazing, the collection still provides insight and entertainment that would make it a worthwhile read for anyone who has a mind to, though he would loathe this cliché, stop to smell the roses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sydney A. Wright on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. The essay "On Laughter" was my first introduction to creative nonfiction in a Creative Writing class. Ever since reading it and realizing creative nonfiction could be interesting and entertaining, I've longed to get my hands on this. I was not disappointed. Madden approaches his subjects in a down-to-earth way, making them easy to relate to for the reader whether or not they have experienced it for themselves. I truly appreciated that he drew attention to the little things in life, the everyday occurrences that we may pass over and not give a second thought to. He made everything so personal and real. It was hard to not be drawn in. It was easy to feel as if you were there, physically present in the situations and ideas presented in the essays. Madden's work is a great introduction to the creative essay. I have used "On Laughter" as a model for many of my own projects. He taught me to see the commonplace things and to find the beauty in them. This collection is worth anyone's time. It opens your eyes to life around you. His writing is real. Having attended a reading of his and having him as a professor, I can attest to this. He is an honest and sincere writer. He bares a part of himself through his essays. I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they like reading or not. It is worth the time it takes to read it and entertaining until the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Buckley on November 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
Patrick Madden’s Quotidiana is a fascinating collection of essays. His website of the same name defines ‘quotidiana’ as “The land of everyday, commonplace things,” and this is exactly what I found in his book. His essays lead the reader to a place where they can examine, in a very simple yet abstract way, what it means to be human. And when we return from this “land of everyday things,” we return better and more aware of ourselves. What is delivered in each of his essays are poignant fragments of everyday life, highlighting his ability to capture the intricacies of thought in his writing. He brings common actions and moments to life through the very mature connections he makes between things. He talks, for example, about the origins of language, the healing potential of laughter, the poignance of death, gravity and the cosmos, and perhaps most important to him, the joys and challenges of fatherhood.
The University of Nebraska Press describes his book thus: “Sparked by considerations of selling garlic, washing grapes, changing a diaper, or chipping a tooth, his essays are an antidote to the harried hullabaloo of talk-show and tabloid culture—and a reminder that we are surrounded by wonders that whisper to the curious and attentive.” I found this to be the case in my reading of Quotidiana. I was able to re-examine the intricacies of everyday life, and in the ordinary find something extraordinary. I liked in his essay “The Infinite Suggestiveness of Common Things” how he seemed to both search for and defend his essay genre. He says “I want a genre that allows for the staid, mundane life of a loafer, that reaches for new connections, that recognizes the world in a grain of sand” (6). I am confident to say that he has succeeded in his original endeavor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sophfronia Scott on November 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What is "Quotidiana?" It's a word--and a beautiful one at that--meaning "everyday life." And that's what Patrick Madden delivers in this intriguing collection of essays--a slice of his experience of everyday life. This slice can be as simple as noticing his baby girl's first laugh and the joy of singing with his father, or it can be as complex as a series of mathematical formulas which Madden fearlessly lays out on the pages and discusses in full. I never knew what to expect, essay to essay, and I found that refreshing. My favorite piece was "Panis Angelicus" in which Madden manages to track down, through relatives he'd never met before, an old recording of his grandmother singing. This essay radiates love and meaning and it feels like the author still carries the emotions of this piece within him. It's that real.

In the interest of disclosure, I'm an MFA student at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Patrick Madden is my advisor for the semester I'm just completing. He didn't ask me to read or review "Quotidiana," but I sought it out on my own because in working with him I've come to appreciate how much he is a knowledgable and skilled master of the essay form. I wanted to see how his skills manifest on the page and I was not disappointed. He pushes the limits of the essay because he is not just telling stories--he is seeking to make connections, and many of them are unexpected. I'm blown away, for instance, by the number of plausible ways the rock band Rush gets mentioned in the flow of Madden's prose! I liked accompanying Madden as he expertly ran down the essence of various thoughts and inspirations. I felt it was very much a journey well worth taking.
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