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Republics of Reality: 1975-1995 (Sun & Moon Classics) Paperback – November 1, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At once the most paradoxically controversial and popular, accessible and most difficult of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, Bernstein is also the writer of that group who strove early on to experiment with the extremes of its newly minted methods. Whether highlighting the synaesthesis of the word in its isolation or in the plain phrase as it operates in daily life to convey our most banal thoughts, this collection of long out-of-print chapbooks--none of these poems have appeared in any of Bernstein's many breakthrough volumes, such as Islets/Irritations (1983) or Dark City (1994)--provides a unique overview of his career, and adds to the range of his impressive canon of major and minor works. The first poem from the 1976 volume Parsing titled "Sentences," will surprise anyone expecting text-over-speech, as it is practically a litany of anxieties, attitudes and stuttering intensities. This attention to spoken language makes such dense works as "Poem" (from 1978's Shade) both welcoming and discomforting, expressionistically cinematic but not without its moments of eye-wink satiric narrative. In the short poems collected in The Absent Father in "Dumbo"and Residual Rubbernecking, Bernstein takes the project far from the austere fragments of the early works and deep into a purposely "purple" and unbeautiful lyricism: "Such mortal slurp to strain this sprawl went droopy/ Gadzooks it seems would bend these slopes in girth/ None trailing failed to hear the ship looks loopey/ Who's seen it nailed uptight right at its berth." Bernstein always manages to find the furthest reaches of any norms of "good taste" (be it mainstream or avant-garde), creating a poetics that reveals the social codes hiding behind all of poetry's tropes and forms. Though many of the later poems here seem unfocused and minor compared to the fabulous and ambitious early chapbooks, the volume as a whole presents as many promises as it does relevant problems, as many beauties as it does strange new imaginings. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The Absent Father In Dumbo
The Ache Of The Archivist
After Campion
Air Shaft
All The Tea In China
Almost There
Ambient Detonation
Are You Being Sarcastic?
As If The Trees By Their Very Roots Had Hold Of Us
At The Reading
At The Reading: 2
At The Reading: 3
Autonomy Is Jeopardy
Azoot D'puund
Ballet Russe
The Bean Field
Beginning With Lines Torn From Irby
Bought Off
Buffalo Nights
But Boxes Both Boats, Growing Tireder As The Day Amasses
Butcher Boys
The Critic's Chair
Cumulative Erasure
Custom Blinds
Damage Control
The Dog Is Dead
The Ecology Of Freon
The Elephant Appears
External Market Constraints
Faculty Politics
Fever Of Case
For ---
Forensic Gastronomy
Fugitive Desperation
'get Real'
Hard Copy
Hard Feelings
Have Pen, Will Travel
Hotel Empire
I'll Call When I Get There
Idiopathic Pathogenesis
If There Were A God She Wouldn't Expect Us To Believe In Her
Internal Loss Control
The Iron Ring And The Ecstasy
Is Like A
It's Up Up
The Land And Its People
Lift Off
Liftjar Agate
Like The Days That Fade Away, Reference Of The Months
Likening Then
Lo Disfruto
Long Trails Of Cars Returning From The Beach
Loose Shoes
Mall At Night
Mao Tse Tung Wore Khakis
New Year's
'nickey, Turn Off The Lights'
No Tieing Up
Not Bads Once You're In
Of A Sort
Of Course
'out Of This Inside'
Parsing: 2
Pinky Swear
Plausibly Deniable Link
Playing With A Full Deck
Power Walking
Prehensible Privilege
Railroad Street
Residual Rubbernecking
Revolutionary Poem
Rivulets Of The Dead Jew
Senses Of Responsibility
Sentences: 1
The Sheds Of Our Webs
Soapy Water
Social Pork
Some Nights
Soul Under
Space And Poetry
St. Mcc
Stove's Out
Sunset Sail
Swelled By Certainty
Take Then, These
The Taste Is What Counts
Techniques Of The Observed
To Which I Never Wanted
Under The Pink Tent
The Vanishing Of Aporia
Wading For What
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

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Product Details

  • Series: Sun & Moon Classics (Book 144)
  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Green Integer (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557133042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557133045
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,208,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
look how angry te fool above me got that's why you should read chuck-also he's funny 'nuff said
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By A Customer on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Once again, reading Charles Bernstein is a wasted intellectual exercise. Berbstein's theories about language are old hat, too. Jackson MacLow and many others beat him out for originality long ago. It is a pity to see that people like Marjorie Perloff, coming from the "Gertrude Stein School," so to speak, can be so fooled by Berstein's nonsense. He wastes paper with his over done, old hat experiments. Stein beat him to the things he attempts, too, and in a more interesting whimsical fashion. If one really wants to read about language and its implications, one does better to read Noam Chomsky. The thing is that Chomsky at least never pretends to be a poet, and at best, tops Bernstein for true intellectual power. Charles Bernstein would do well to attempt to really communicate some experience of life on THIS planet, not just his bookish attitudes. His claim to any originality is arrogant. We poets were all doing these sort of experiments all through the 1960's and 1970's before we decided to really write in order to communicate. Gertrude Stein and Jackson MacLow were our leaders, along with the French Dadaists and Symbolists, like Rimbaud. American poetry simply does not need Bernstein's influence or theories at this juncture. He sets things back, not forward. This silly emperor really has not clothes and it doesn't take a child to see it. We grown up poets know it two. And, we must tell the truth from the rooftops to save other younger poets from this foolery with l-a-n-g-u-a-g-e.
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