Posts Tagged: Ben Lerner

A Death Blow Can Be a Life Blow to Some

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What does it mean to be carried away? To be captured, carried off, liberated? To lose control of oneself? Lerner doesn’t show concern for questions like these. More generally, The Hatred of Poetry takes little interest in the rarities of technique across a poet’s body of work and avoids questions about his or her sense of history.

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Monica Youn

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club chats with Monica Youn about her new collection Blackacre, hypothetical tracts of land, Milton, and infertility. ...more

The Hope Whose Death It Announces

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Poetry is defined by a failure to live up to the hype it generates, promising divine transcendence through a medium that is essentially human. This is the paradox Ben Lerner articulates in his dissertation on The Hatred of Poetry. At The New Republic, Ken Chen doesn’t buy it:

You get the sense Lerner’s intellectualized peevishness about poetry is simply an elaborate defense, one that distances an author from the shame, discomfort, and vulnerability that comes from experiencing one’s own emotions.

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Ben Lerner’s First Time

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If you’re referring to a bomb as a daisy cutter it’s easier to distance yourself from the embodied reality of the consequence of a policy.

The Paris Review talks with Ben Lerner about his first book of poems, The Lichtenberg Figures: his first inspirations in Marjorie Welish and wine, the anxiety and self-doubt of the first book, and the violence of Topeka, Kansas.

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The Rumpus Interview with Elisa Gabbert

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Author Elisa Gabbert talks about her books, The Self Unstable and The French Exit, diversity, publishing, whiteness, and writing in the Internet Age. ...more

The Art of Literature

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Literature often depends on the strategic disappointment of expectation. Sometimes, the effect of that is humorous; at other times, it’s unnerving: I consider it crucial to the composition of a novel. Laughter is physical; it involves the body of the reader in the book in a way that other responses don’t.

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An Inconvenient Fiction

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Invoking his new play, Buzz, Benjamin Kunkel writes in the New Yorker about how “few imaginative writers have dealt with the present-day experience of global warming in a direct and concentrated way” and why this might be the case:

If climate change has, to date, proved hard to write about, that’s because it exists for most of us, to date, as something that afflicts different neighborhoods, distant cities, or future times.

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Word of the Day: Atelier

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(n.); artist’s studio or workshop; c. 1840, from the old French astelier (“carpenter’s workshop, woodpile”)

“Part of what I loved about poetry was how the distinction between fiction and nonfiction didn’t obtain,” [Lerner] says, “how the correspondence between text and world was less important than the intensities of the poem itself.”

From “With Storms Outside, Inner Conflicts Swirl”

How the old French word for a splinter of wood (astelle, likely from the Latin astula) evolved to eventually refer to an artist’s abode may be fodder only for the most archaic linguist.

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Another Station

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When the The New York Times asked for his background, Ben Lerner answered the best he could:

“Suburban-white-kid crime, Columbine High School sort of thing,” he said. “A violence of numbness and identitylessness.”

In the Parul Sehgal’s piece, the author of Leaving the Atocha Station also touches on parenthood, Joan of Arc, and his upcoming novel, “10:04”.

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Notable NYC: 3/8–3/14

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Saturday 3/8: Ben Marcus talks about his new story collection, Leaving the Sea (January 2014), Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House. Brooklyn Public Library, 4 p.m., free.

Craig Morgan Teicher, Wendy Lotterman, Nicole Steinberg, Sarah V. Schweig, Ted Dodson, Krystal Languell, Joanna C.

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Ben Lerner in The New Yorker

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“In the name of clarity, a lot of authors offer what strike me as basically pre-fabricated structures of feeling, leaving no room for the reader to participate in the construction of meaning.”

Ben Lerner, poet and author of Leaving the Atocha Station, touches on his different approaches to poetry and fiction, balancing clarity and complexity, and pareidolia in an interview with The New Yorker.

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