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Book Title: Notable American Women|
The author of the book: Ben Marcus
ISBN 13: 9780307427052
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 548 KB
Date of issue: December 18th 2007
Read full description of the books Notable American Women:Ben Marcus achieved cult status and gained the admiration of his peers with his first book, The Age of Wire and String. With Notable American Women he goes well beyond that first achievement to create something radically wonderful, a novel set in a world so fully imagined that it creates its own reality.
On a farm in Ohio, American women led by Jane Dark practice all means of behavior modification in an attempt to attain complete stillness and silence. Witnessing (and subjected to) their cultish actions is one Ben Marcus, whose father, Michael Marcus, may be buried in the back yard, and whose mother, Jane Marcus, enthusiastically condones the use of her son for (generally unsuccessful) breeding purposes, among other things. Inventing his own uses for language, the author Ben Marcus has written a harrowing, hilarious, strangely moving, altogether engrossing work of fiction that will be read and argued over for years to come.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Read information about the authorSeemingly the most conspicuous aspect of Ben Marcus' work, to date, is its expansion on one of the most primary concerns of the original Surrealist authors -- perhaps most typified by Benjamin Péret, husband of the acclaimed painter Remedios Varo -- this being a very deep interest in the psychological service and implication of symbols and the manners by which those symbols can be maneuvered and rejuxtaposed in order to provoke new ideas or new points of view -- in other words, the creation of, in a sense, conscious dreams.
While Marcus' writing plays similarly with the meanings of words by either stripping them of their intended meaning or juxtaposing them with other words in critical ways, it also abandons the 'experimental' nature of so much of the Surrealists' writing for stories that describe human psychology and the human condition through a means that has in later years become notably more subjective and sensory in nature than that used in the broad range of fiction, both 'conventional' and 'nonconventional'.
The surreal nature of Marcus' work derives in part from the fact that it comprises sentences that are exact in their structure and syntax, but whose words, though familiar, appear to have abandoned their ordinary meanings; they can be read as experiments in the ways in which language and syntax themselves work to create structures of meaning. Common themes that emerge are family, the Midwest, science, mathematics, and religion, although their treatment in Marcus's writing lends to new interpretations and conceptualizations of those concepts.
Marcus was born in Chicago. He attended New York University (NYU) and Brown University, and currently teaches writing at Columbia University where he was recently promoted to head of the writing MFA program. He is the son of Jane Marcus, a noted feminist critic and Virginia Woolf scholar. He is married to novelist Heidi Julavits.
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