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Eunoiaby Christian Bok
Synopses & Reviews
The word eunoia, which literally means beautiful thinking, is the shortest word in English that contains all five vowels. Directly inspired by the Oulipo (lOuvroir de Littérature Potentielle), a French writers group interested in experimenting with different forms of literary constraint, Eunoia is a five-chapter book in which each chapter is a univocal lipogram the first chapter has A as its only vowel, the second chapter E, etc. Each vowel takes on a distinct personality: the I is egotistical and romantic, the O jocular and obscene, the E elegiac and epic (including a retelling of the Iliad!).
Stunning in its implications and masterful in its execution, Eunoia has developed a cult following, garnering extensive praise and winning the Griffin Poetry Prize. The original edition was never released in the U.S., but it has already been a bestseller in Canada and the U.K. (published by Canongate Books), where it was listed as one of the Times top ten books of 2008.
This edition features several new but related poems by Christian Bök and an expanded afterword.
Stunning and masterful in its execution, Eunoia is a five-chapter book in which each chapter is a univocal lipogram.
Poetry. Fiction. Cross Genre. "A marvelous, musical texture of rhymes and echoes"--Harry Matthews. "Eunoia" is the shortest word in English to contain all five vowels, and the word quite literally means "beautiful thinking." EUNOIA is a universal lipogram, in which each chapter restricts itself to the use of a single vowel. Directly inspired by the exploits of Oulipo--the avant-garde coterie renowned for its literary experimentation with extreme formalistic constraints--the text makes a Sisyphean spectacle of its labor, willfully crippling its language in order to show that, even under such improbable conditions of duress, language can still express uncanny thought. A triumphant feat, seven years in the making, this work of literature is "an exemplary monument for 21st-century poetry"--Charles Bernstein.
About the Author
Christian Bök is the author of Crystallography (Coach House Press, 1994), a pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award for Best Poetic Debut, and Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science (Northwestern University Press, 2001). His book Eunoia won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize and is the best-selling Canadian poetry book of all time. Bök has created artificial languages for Gene Roddenberrys Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchleys Amazon. His conceptual artwork has appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. He currently teaches at the University of Calgary.
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