7 dic. 2008


*Clark Coolidge. Keys to the Caverns. 1995. 51 pp.

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*American Ones (Notes and Presentiments. 1981 46 pp.

Here are two books by Coolidge. American Ones is all in prose and divided into ten sections. I have heard Coolidge read this, and so was familiar with it. It has its moments, but also its non-moments, where it seems to gone on randomly for a bit before he finds his groove again.

Keys to the Caverns is divided into 135 numbered paragraphs, some only one or two sentences long. It is perhaps one of the best works by Coolidge I have read.

Look at #77

Now this is the ground it is autumn beneath. Now about this ground it is audient. This void, these roads all in throne and sequent tassle. How is it known what below is missed? How can one savor the whistle between some and gone? That anyhow to be going on about the autumn road is hollow. What prime beneath it a pin has taken root, then managed flight, ground out a sound. There is a choice of encroachments.

That's good like Beckett. The metaphorical treatment of the cave and caverns of the title is effective because it isn't a metaphor. They are real caves. If sometimes Hades and death comes up, well that's because it is a literal space of death at times.

1 comentario:

Mike Hauser dijo...

I just reread "Cave Remain" from Own Face and I was thinking "What if someone presented this as a fiction piece?" But I scrapped that because though the cave is of obvious importance in Coolidge, the power of the piece does come from the fact of "real caves". That the memory isn't just like a cave, but the act of excvating one can so easily run into the act of excavating the other. They share a common domain that is memory itself.

In a way (is this sacreligious?) I relate to Coolidge's treatment of memory more than Joe Brainard's.