Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Eunoia is a novel that will drive everybody sane." Samuel Delany
"Eunoia takes the lipogram and renders it obsolete." Kenneth Goldsmith
"A marvellous, musical texture of rhymes and echoes." Harry Mathews
"An exemplary monument for 21st century poetry." Charles Bernstein
"Brilliant...beautiful and strange." Today Programme, BBC Radio 4
, one feels as if the poet could narrate these stories and poems forever, even with such rigid restraints. But what is most impressive about this book of poetry is its inherent sense of rhythm and its genuine delight in playing with words. Eunoia
triumphantly shouts why reading, writing, manipulating, and listening to words sometimes is both magical and mythical. It's a paean to the pliability of language itself." Salvatore Ruggiero, Rain Taxi
(read the entire Rain Taxi review
The word 'eunoia', which literally means 'beautiful thinking', is the shortest word in English that contains all five vowels. 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 only 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. Stunning in its implications and masterful in its execution, Eunoia is one of the most unusual and important books of the decade.
Over five years in the making, poet, 'pataphysican, performer and artist Christian Bok's much-anticipated second book Eunoia
is about to change your percep tion of your own language forever.
About the Author
Christian Bok 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. Bok has created artificial languages for Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley's 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.