Friday, August 27, 2010

Psychosocial Tendencies

Mark Wallace, who is kind of a pseudo-hero of mine, wrote a very nice mini-review of The French Exit on his blog, Thinking Again. Here's an excerpt:
The high energy and exuberantly dark poems in [Thanks for Sending the Engine] are reprinted here, along with a number of other pieces. The book shows a much larger range in Gabbert’s poetic talents than has been on display before now. The biting, mordant psychosocial wit with which readers of her earlier work are familiar is surrounded by poems with a more sombre and melancholy tone, not to mention with some genuinely, although casually, brilliant social and even philosophical insights.
I love "biting, mordant psychosocial wit." I'm going to try to work that into future bio notes.

Mark also wrote a little review of John's novel:
I doubt many people will like the characters in Under The Small Lights, but we’re not supposed to. This narrative of the young, aimless, and well to do, with their desperately literary sexual desires and confusions, pinions its subjects keenly, while somehow managing to teeter effectively on the edge between satire and believable sympathy.
As you can see, Mark writes great reviews, just one of the reasons to check out his blog (his poetry and fiction are excellent too). Perhaps the most important quality in a reviewer is the ability to approach a book on its own terms, as my friend Josh recently reminded me, as opposed to condemning the book for failing to accomplish what it never set out to do.

SOTD: Calyx, composed in 1986 by Sophia Grojsman, the genius behind White Linen. The sillage and lasting power are weak, but the top notes are stupendous.

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