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Joys: a catalogue of disappointments by Christophe Casamassima

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Joys: a catalogue of disappointments Christophe Casamassima BlazeVOX [books]

Quietude = qui  etude: the study of the who , and who's studying it motivates this marvelous book, full of sharp moves based on acute attention to language.  At times directly honoring his sources­-- Jabès, Creeley­--and at times indirectly quoting many others from Joyce to Cendrars  to Lezama Lima, Casamassima proves himself a worthy inheritor of the postmodern tradition of writing that inscribes (and in doing so, refuses) its own impossibility.

- Cole Swensen

Casamassima's title sequence, "Joys," cannily links the philosophical lines of Jabès with the disjoint imagery of Breton.   It intersperses quotes from Joyce, Ashbery, Rilke with nuggets which rather than (more typically) continuing or reconstruing, contribute to a loopy quotability just beyond sense, where the reader volunteers meanings. Rewarded with several contradictions, the reader studies the poet's study, which resulting world wound is riddled with fable and falsehood.

-Catherine Daly

Christophe Casamassima knows that paradox, enigma, and impossibility can really get a poem going. Short, often aphoristic meditations on the act of writing and its place in the world make joys: a catalogue of disappointments one of those books that shows us the value of not progressing, of living in the contradictions we too often seek to avoid. If any poem is no more than a subtraction from the sum total of possible words, why write one? Casamassima's answer is that there's no reason except that he must. Either that's no answer at all or it makes perfect sense. The pleasure of these poems is bound up in the way the poet is determined to explore writing on the verge when there's no clear “of what?” to cling to.

-Mark Wallace

You know this is the back of the book by reading this blurb. It is still. There are pages. ‘And words, alas, drive us ever farther from our goal.' The author, Christophe Casamassima, pulls us in, mining the words that are and aren't there, & spaces provoking silence in a stab at how the mind grapples, creates, and takes for granted the forceful acts of looking at a piece of paper with words on it, or searing into it, erasing, & fighting it to create and then recreate the important, intangible, & inescapable record of those moments. ‘strangely happy/and happily mystified/by my own dissolution'. Casamassima's skillfull & philosophic examinations, oddly laced with humor, bring you into a space that isn't there & keep your mind returning.

-Edmund Berrigan

These Joys are, like life, irreducible. It is, here, as it sounds, a moving made explicit, framed, whilst   sought. His movement as reader writing-- now each of ours, then, & also. "It occurs when we hear / in the words we form / our own tongues /   illumined in the ear." In other words, "perhaps we'll die/ in each other's   I," as sign of these Joys , like a living book, "imagining the last word."  

-Rod Smith 

Book Information:

· Paperback: 85 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 1-934289-77-9

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