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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: 9 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,884 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

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Pleasant and insightful from start to finish.
Health Science Nutrition
Madden's language carried an esoteric air yet down-to-earth tone with his pop-culture allusions and personal experiences.
k.wix
Madden's work is a great introduction to the creative essay.
Sydney A. Wright

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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1 of 1 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 William J. Grigg on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is for everyone, not just those interested in the personal essay. It was able to engage and entice me even while doing everything that I had once considered cliché about the genre. Frankly that says a lot about a work--when it is able break all your rules about what constitutes good/bad in an essay and still allow you to enjoy and praise its skill.
One preferred example occurs in "Laughter" in which wanders around common sayings about laughter like an investigation of the same. The originality and interest peak with four blank lines at the bottom of the page you've been noticing out of the corner of your eye since you started reading where Madden instructs you to "Add your own laugh aphorism."
The one drawback, only in my opinion because I know some appreciate this, is the discussion of writing. I personally dislike when writers use their creative pieces to discuss what writing is or how to write an essay or why they feel compelled to write. There seems to be an ongoing treatise in all common place essays as to what exactly such an essay constitutes. This book suffers from the latter two (the beginning of the very first essay begins with a quote that details all that the essayist requires") and if you are of the same inclination be prepared, but don't let it keep you from enjoying all of Maddens other witticisms and enjoyable to endearing anecdotes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Health Science Nutrition on February 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because Ego Vici Mundum was the first essay I really loved. This book contains that essay, and a couple of my new favorites. "Laughter" had me scribbling LOL and smiley faces in the margins. And even though he points out the fact with laughter you often "had to be there", he invites you in. My new favorite essay is Panis Angelicus. I've never really cried in a touching moment, but I came close, and this essay certainly raises the bar for the next touching moment to overpass.

Overall, great book. Pleasant and insightful from start to finish.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Doyle on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Funny, erudite, seemingly wandering but always gently stitched, wide-ranging, witty, and a quiet clarity and lack of self-absorption that is a real pleasure to read. The essay as a glorious American form is in very fine hands here.
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