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The anthologist av Nicholson Baker
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The anthologist (urspr publ 2009; utgåvan 2009)

av Nicholson Baker

Serier: Paul Chowder (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9395716,511 (3.87)51
The Anthologist is narrated by Paul Chowder--a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started because his career is floundering; his girlfriend Roz has recently left him; and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets and tips and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he'd thought. What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of the New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredible important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.… (mer)
Medlem:RWAbington
Titel:The anthologist
Författare:Nicholson Baker
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Anthologist av Nicholson Baker (2009)

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» Se även 51 omnämnanden

engelska (56)  piratspråk (1)  Alla språk (57)
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I read this book only after accidentally reading its sequel (The Traveling Sprinkler) first. I loved the sequel and loved this one even more. Paul Chowder is a wonderful character, innocent and sweet and earnest but with the occasional hint of darkness; his voice is a real delight. All the bits about poetic scansion and history appealed to me and almost made me want to start reading poetry again; I don't know how broad the appeal of these parts could possibly be. I'll read this one again. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
I want to read Paul Chowder all the time, from the most mundane antics to his musings on poetry and rhyme there wasn't a moment in this book I wasn't entirely engrossed in his menial day-to-day activities. Perhaps this reflects as much on my own neurosis as anything else but either way I highly recommend this one. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
This really isn’t my kind of thing but I recognize and am fully aware of its exquisite craft.

If this is your kind of thing, then this is a great example of that kind of thing and you should read it. ( )
  sansmerci | Feb 7, 2020 |
This is SO good. I am laughing. I am enjoying this - AND learning something about poetry. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
I've read Nicholson Baker's essays—they're great—but never before read his fiction. It seems that this particular bit of fiction, which is entertaining all the way through, is in essence a vehicle for non-fiction: Baker has written an introduction to poetry in the shape of a novel. And it's marvelous. If, like me, you've dipped your mental toes into the uncomfortable water of poetry a few times, only to wonder if you really like water at all, this may be the book for you. Iambic pentameter? Bah, says protagonist Paul Chowder, it's been misused and overhyped. "The four-beat line"—not the five beats of pentameter—"is the soul of English poetry."

Chowder is trying to write the introduction to a poetry anthology called Only Rhyme, which is ironic, because he's a poet who writes free verse (poetry without beats—meter—or rhyme). Here's what Chowder says about free verse:

----
Free verse is, as we know, merely a heartfelt arrangement of plummy words requesting to be read slowly. So you can break the line anywhere you want. In fact you want to

break against any
moments of natural

pause, not with
them, to keep

everyone on their toes and off balance. So at the end of a line, you might find a word like "the" that requires another word to go along with it.
---

Elsewhere, Baker riffs on the mixed joys of coming across a poem in a magazine like The New Yorker:

"Let's have a look at this poem. Here it is, going down. You can tell it's a poem because it's swimming in a little gel pack of white space. That shows that it's a poem. All the typography on all sides has drawn back. The words are making room, they're saying, Rumble, rumble, stand back now, this is going to be good. Here the magician will do his thing. Here's the guy who's going to eat razor blades. Or pour gasoline in his mouth and spit it out. Or lie on a bed of broken glass. So, stand back, you crowded onlookers of prose. This is not prose. This is the blank white playing field of Eton."

You either like this kind of voice or you don't. I do. I think it's super smart, playful, and enjoyably provocative. This book is delightful because it tells me that my reaction to poetry is perfectly valid, and if I don't like some poems it's not because I'm stupid—they may very well be bad, or at least problematic enough to be justifiably disappointing to as many people as appreciate them.

There is a novel in here, too, about Paul's struggle to complete his introduction and come to terms with the loss of his lover, Roz. These characters are well drawn, but they're not as interesting as the others we meet, namely Poe, Kipling, Hardy, Roethke, Bogan, Lindsay, Oliver, Swinburne... Baker drops some musical recommendations as well. There's a lot to learn, in the easiest and most enjoyable way. This is the funnest textbook you'll ever read. ( )
  john.cooper | Apr 22, 2019 |
Visa 1-5 av 57 (nästa | visa alla)
The Anthologist is an enjoyable novel with many shrewd and hilarious observations on poets and poetry that regretfully leaves out the most important thing about the hero.
tillagd av jburlinson | ändraNew York Review of Books, Charles Simic (betaljsajt) (Oct 22, 2009)
 
The romance is a thing of sweetness and delicacy, but the events are small, as they so often are in Baker's books. In his hands, remember, even World War II, the Greatest Generation's greatest epic, turned into a string of anecdotal pearls, most of them no longer than a paragraph. Like watching paint dry, is the dismissive phrase some might apply to his micro-narratives, which is exactly the wrong one, since I'm sure Baker could write a charming, brilliant book about paint drying if he felt like it.
 
Mr. Baker has written “The Anthologist” (a mild-mannered effort that could not be less like his previous book, “Human Smoke”) as if it were a rambling... monologue, a long chat emanating from the sock level of the poetry world. He slips effortlessly into the eager, friendless voice of a man who is every bit as glamorous and dynamic as his name suggests.
 
Nicholson Baker has written a novel about poetry that’s actually about poetry — and that is also startlingly perceptive and ardent, both as a work of fiction and as a representation of the kind of thinking that poetry readers do.
 
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Hello, this is Paul Chowder, and I'm going to try to tell you everything I know.
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What did she mean by "It doesn't have to rhyme?" Did she mean it could rhyme but it didn't have to? No. She meant _don't rhyme_. She meant: I am going to manacle your poor pliable brains with freedom. I'm going to insist that you must be free. She wrote "FREE VERSE" on the board.
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)

The Anthologist is narrated by Paul Chowder--a once-in-a-while-published kind of poet who is writing the introduction to a new anthology of poetry. He's having a hard time getting started because his career is floundering; his girlfriend Roz has recently left him; and he is thinking about the great poets throughout history who have suffered far worse and deserve to feel sorry for themselves. He has also promised to reveal many wonderful secrets and tips and tricks about poetry, and it looks like the introduction will be a little longer than he'd thought. What unfolds is a wholly entertaining and beguiling love story about poetry: from Tennyson, Swinburne, and Yeats to the moderns (Roethke, Bogan, Merwin) to the staff of the New Yorker, what Paul reveals is astonishing and makes one realize how incredible important poetry is to our lives. At the same time, Paul barely manages to realize all of this himself, and the result is a tenderly romantic, hilarious, and inspired novel.

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