Paul Auster's penetrating and charged verse resembles little else in recent American poetry. This collection of Auster's poetry, translations, and composition notes from early in his career do much to reinforce the idea that Paul Auster is, indeed, a unique and masterful figure in the literary world.
Taut, densely lyrical, and everywhere informed by a powerful and subtle music, this selection of writings begins with the compact verse fragments of "Spokes" (written when Auster was in his early twenties) and "Unearth," continues on through the more ample meditations of "Wall Writing, Disappearances, Effigies, Fragments From the Cold, Facing the Music," and "White Spaces," then moves further back in time to include Auster's revealing translations of many of the French poets who influenced his own writing, as well as the provocative and previously unpublished ?Notes From A Composition Book? (1967). An introduction by Norman Finkelstein connects biographical elements to a consideration of the work, and takes in Auster's early literary and philosophical influences.
Powerful, haunting, and precise, this view from the past to the present will appeal to those unfamiliar with this aspect of Auster's work, as well as those already acquainted with his poetry.