- Paperback: 104 pages
- Publisher: Graywolf Press (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1555977642
- ISBN-13: 978-1555977641
- Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.3 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $4.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
300 Arguments: Essays Paperback – February 7, 2017
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“This collection transcends any category to be something totally its own. . . . Manguso's captured the argumentative voice of a mindsifting through a problem, circling it, animated by sorting it out. . . . If this is poetry, it's the poems of quarrel. And if it's nonfiction, it's not the nonfiction of fact. Instead, it's the nonfiction which maps us to our own thinking. We enter Manguso's mind - her puzzle,pleased to be puzzled, too.”―NPR “All Things Considered”
“[300 Arguments] reads like you've jumped into someone's mind.”―NPR “Weekend Edition”
“300 Arguments is a delectation, a book whose great precision and honesty constitute an irresistible incitement to think.”―San Francisco Chronicle
“[300 Arguments is] inimitably Manguso, but, suddenly, wonderfully, universally, ours.”―Washington Independent Review of Books
“[Manguso’s arguments] are pithy and wry, with a melancholy undercurrent that takes a beat to set in―like a vaccine whose pinch gives rise to a muscular ache.”―The Nation
“Sarah Manguso paints a mostly opaque, but at times penetratingly clear, self-portrait of a female writer at work. . . . The narrator’stemper is mercurial; economical sentences range in tone from pithy and sardonic to tender and deeply empathetic. . . . But by theflip of a page, this wise and compassionate narrator descends into punchy one-liners that are darkly funny and sharper around theedges.”―Hazlitt
“300 Arguments is the book of aphorisms that I’ve been waiting for: trenchant, witty, and sometimes absurd. . . . Perhaps that’s whyI’m so drawn to it: each nugget of wisdom is something I’m tempted to share on social media or email to a friend. Sometimesbrevity is exactly what we need to make sense of the complicated world we live in.”―Michele Filgate, Literary Hub
“Perspective-altering. . . . The accumulation of these entries has a certain difficult-to-deny power. . . . I wanted to gift it to everyone Iknow, read it aloud to strangers on the bus, and transcribe it by hand in its entirety like a holy text.”―Joshua James Amberson, Portland Mercury
“Manguso’s prose is as succinct and revelatory as ever in this collection of aphorisms that quickly gathers momentum, becoming the self-portrait of a writer whose wisdom leaves one dazzled.”―Booksmith recommendation, San Francisco Chronicle
“[300 Arguments] beckons the reader to return, to read a sentence, and put it down again. . . . Her arguments . . . are crystallineand often walloping. . . . There is ambition leaking out of every page.”―New Republic
“Manguso resuscitates the aphorism from its descent into maxim, bringing it back as a spur to thought. . . . Manguso’s unsettlingarguments deliver the world back to the reader at 300 different, jarring angles.”―Literary Hub
“Manguso’s experience of life, in the little prose sachets that open and blossom page by page, are fragrant with undisclosed potentials. . . . Cosmos bloom and fold back up again, such that the work’s insights pulse line by line, and begin to hum. . . . The inherent volition of one epigram glides you into the next, transports you. . . . The Arguments has that rarer bird among the specimens: poignancy.”―Third Coast Review
“This remarkable work of art is a masterpiece of compression, each section its own unique piece to a larger puzzle that eventually builds an entire universe, with lines that streak like comets through the space breaks, such as: ‘Bad art is from no one to no one’ and ‘Happiness begins to deteriorate once it is named.’”―Hannah Tinti, BookPage
“Manguso’s arguments speak to mortality, anxiety, depression, heartbreak, and motherhood. Her blatant truth-telling is addictive; readers will find it difficult not to devour these 90 pages filled with wisdom, witticisms, and humor in one sitting.”―City Pages (Minneapolis)
“[300 Arguments] merits a wide audience. . . . Manguso writes powerfully about desire, [and]. . . offers a master class in a specific strain of desire: envy. . . . My field test for writing is like this: Does it produce a rueful inner smile or shudder of recognition? Manguso’s arguments do so many times.”―Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“300 Arguments is a minimalist’s handbook: wisdom delivered in tiny doses.”―San Jose Mercury News
“Part memoir, part advice, part laughter, and all unflinching honesty. . . . This is life experience and real wisdom distilled onto a few short pages.”―Rain Taxi Review of Books
“A writer's life, solitary and complex, broken apart―not into shards but puzzle pieces. . . . A slim, poetic self-portrait that opens up as you read it and stays in the mind.”―Kirkus Reviews
“Inventive. . . . All of life’s great subjects are here―love, relationships, happiness, desire, and vulnerability on the personal side; effort, luck, envy, and success vs. failure on the professional side―in one- and two-sentence nuggets of compressed insight. . . . It will require multiple rereadings to absorb the book’s rewarding wisdom.”―Publishers Weekly
“Alternately insightful, humorous and thought-provoking, [Manguso’s] 300 Arguments offers enough variety, depth and substance torange from the deeply personal to the universally relatable. . . . 300 Arguments paints a vivid, intimately nuanced portrait of itsauthor in the way few long-form essays manage. . . . [It] should be required reading for all those experiencing crises of confidenceand the otherwise deleterious effects of the human condition.”―Spectrum Culture
“300 Arguments shook me. It’s dark, but the darkness comes from a refusal to look away. Its humor is wounded but present. Is it possibly a sort of novel? The writer says somewhere, ‘This book is the good sentences from the novel I didn’t write.’ The idea holds up when applied, and the attentive reader will intuit an encompassing narrative. Sarah Manguso deserves many such readers.”―John Jeremiah Sullivan
“A new book by Sarah Manguso is always a cause for celebration. She is a poet-philosopher of the highest order who combines a laser-sharp intellect with a lyric gift and a capacious, generous heart. She is one of my favorite writers, and with 300 Arguments she deepens her inquiry into the very essence of what it is to be human.”―Dani Shapiro
About the Author
Sarah Manguso is the author of three memoirs, Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay; a story collection; and two poetry collections. She lives in Los Angeles.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
I'd recommend this to fans of Samuel Richardson's Vectors. Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, Davenport's translations of Greek fragments, and of course Manguso's poetry.
I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone outright. But 300 Arguments is very good at doing what it sets out to do--offer the reader some razor sharp impressions on this or that topic.
"I don't envy great writers. I envy those who believe they might be great."
"You aren't the same person after a good night's sleep as you are after a sleepless night. But which person is you?"
"So many things I'll never try again. People my age who are still trying--I don't know where that energy comes from. Perhaps they're unhappy. Perhaps I'm happy, but I never thought happiness would feel like this."
If only all/most/half were that interesting. She needed an editor, who would best have been herself, to say, "Keep this one. Keep this one."
That way, she'd end up with perhaps 20 percent of what is presently in this book (the reason I give it 2 out of 5 stars) and could have held onto it until she had a sufficient number of adages and insights to make up the 90 pages herein.
Every one of these should be good--they're too naked in this open, well-designed format not to be.
She seems to know this, for she often castigates/questions herself for being engaged in such superficial skating across the surface of profundity. It's to her credit that she recognizes the general banality of the book: "I wish someone would tell me what I should be doing instead of this, that he'd be right, and that I'd believe him."
Or he might have said, "Here are some to keep to yourself:"
"I don't miss the city. I miss the place it was in the nineties, when everyone else also was twenty-two and broke."
"On the page, these might look like the stones of a ruin, strewn by time and weather, but I was here."
"Think of this as a short book composed of what I hoped would be a long book's quotable passages." (She should have hoped longer.)
"Biographies should also contain the events that failed to foreshadow." (That seems misstated.)
"My first dozen romances weren't interesting because I wasn't learning anything because I was trying not to. I was trying to stop time." Now that would have been a fine and interesting statement, if only the final six words (which render the entire thing banal) had been excised.
I could go on, but I'd rather close with some wonderful statements that make the book only that more heartbreaking (for what it might have been):
"Anger conceals pain. It also conceals love."
"I look at young people and marvel at their ignorance of what's coming, and the old people look at me."
"For a little attention, complain a lot. For a lot of attention, stop complaining."
"Everything has to be paid for, especially money."
Especially impatience, too, for a writer.