Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. "James Richardson's VECTORS is a book of subversive wonders. Stunningly precise, these brilliant aphorisms and ten-second essays show a mind assessing, reassessing, discovering, and interrogating assumptions in ways that feel diamond-sharp, at once good-natured, quietly sly at times, and always, always, very shrewd. 'It can never be satisfied, the mind, never,' wrote Wallace Stevens. VECTORS is a remarkable testament to such questing, vivid minding, as these aphorisms alight on everything from the nature of perception, to God, success, fear, shame, self-consciousness, love and friendship. 'There is no virgin past. The mind is like one of those floating islands of vegetation whose roots grasp not the earth but each other,' he writes. And: 'As hard as other people are to talk to, I'm glad I don't have to sit next to myself.' And: 'Let me have my dreams, but not what I dream of.' Such incisive expressions remind us why Pascal believed so passionately that aphorisms have a particularly uncanny way of engraving themselves so deeply in our memory. VECTORS enters the tradition carried forth by Pascal, Blake, Stevens, Antonio Porchia, and even Emily Dickinson, whose epigrammatic statements arise so vividly from her poems. Page after page there is the exciting sense of something hidden and true coming to light, bringing with it a sense of delighted recognition and discovery for the reader, and articulated in a way that has never quite been done before. I can think of no deeper pleasure a work can bring. From the time Hippocrates coined the term `aphorism' and published his first one, 'Life is short, Art long,' this is an art form that has periodically renewed itself with astonishing results. Vectors can now be added to the short list of such works that will truly last"--Laurie Sheck.
500 aphorisms. Our best-seller. In Boston Review, Brenda O’Shaughnessy wrote, “Readers will be obsessed by this book; they will memorize passages, give copies to friends, proselytize. That’s because Vectors so generously provides the best that poetry can offer. It is a masterpiece of practicality, beauty, and solace.”
Our best-seller. The best bathroom book ever for serious readers.
About the Author
James Richardson is the author of the best-selling VECTORS: APHORISMS and TEN-SECOND ESSAYS (Ausable Press, 2001). His poetry includes Reservations, Second Guesses, As If, which was chosen by Amy Clampitt for the National Poetry Series, A Suite for Lucretians, How Things Are, and INTERGLACIAL: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS and APHORISMS (Ausable Press, 2004). He is the author of two critical studies, Thomas Hardy: The Poetry of Necessity, and Vanishing Lives: Tennyson, Rossetti, Swinburne, and Yeats. The recipient of the Cecil Hemley and Robert H. Winner Prizes from the Poetry Society of America and fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, he is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Princeton University.