Fiction. "THE SILHOUETTE OF THE BRIDGE (Memory Stand-ins) is a beautifully spare and inventive work of reflection on the elusive nature of memory, perception and experience. As we would expect from Keith Waldrop, it is suffused with a particular humanity and an appreciation for the absurd, even the grotesque, in daily life. The rhythmic apposition ...
Fiction. "THE SILHOUETTE OF THE BRIDGE (Memory Stand-ins) is a beautifully spare and inventive work of reflection on the elusive nature of memory, perception and experience. As we would expect from Keith Waldrop, it is suffused with a particular humanity and an appreciation for the absurd, even the grotesque, in daily life. The rhythmic apposition of prose and poetry brings to mind the freedom, alertness and quality of distillation in Basho's classic travel sketches. With his quietly precise sense of modulation and his unerring gaze, Waldrop remains one of the vital and requisite, semi-secret presences in American letters" - Michael Palmer.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-07-28 Waldrop, not as well known as he should be, is among the most important writers, translators and publishers of avant-garde literature in our time. Like his "fictional memoir," Light While There Is Light (1993), Waldrop's latest book is for the most part autobiographical. His general subject?memory, the mother of the muses?is classical, while the form, mixing poetry and prose fragments, is more experimental. The result is a highly engaging and eclectic exploration of the follies of memory. There are short anecdotes involving Waldrop's kooky elderly neighbors; asides concerning violins, friends and teeth; and aphoristic phrases such as "isolated, the most casual scene becomes formal." Although there is little sense of progression (narrative or otherwise), Waldrop's light touch and understated humor cast a sustained spell. The opening sequence of prose fragments begins with Waldrop listening to a lecturer who tells a story about a man whose heavy burdens were lifted when the bottom of the basket dropped out and who continues to refer "to enlightenment as the experience of `dropping our bottoms.'" Waldrop knows his insights are provisional, which is why he calls them "Stand-Ins." Perhaps in explanation of his project, he writes: "I'm trying to remember what I will be"; we are privileged to listen in as he does so. (Sept.) FYI: Waldrop is married to Rosmarie Waldrop, whose Another Language was reviewed in Forecasts, Apr. 28.
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