Tuesday, July 26, 2022

What is Kathleen Rooney reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kathleen Rooney, author of Where Are the Snows: Poems.

Her entry begins:
Earlier this year, I read (and reviewed) Nuar Alsadir’s Animal Joy: A Book of Laughter and Resuscitation, a fantastic exploration of how honest, uninhibited laughter connects us to our truest selves.

In it, she mentions Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers by Janet Malcolm, so I’ve gotten around to reading it myself and it’s great. Malcolm’s perceptive, deadpan, voracious critical intelligence makes it a thrill to see her analyses of everything from the cottage industry of writing that’s sprung up around Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’s Bloomsbury to the poorly-aged 1909 sentimental children’s novel A Girl of the Limberlost.

The title essay alone—in which she really does present 41 possible beginnings of a feature on the postmodernist American painter and 1980s art world superstar David Salle, and which ultimately becomes the whole feature itself—is worth the price of admission. I mean, just...[read on]
About Where Are the Snows, from the publisher:
Where Are the Snows takes its title from the famous refrain of Fran├žois Villon’s 15th Century poem “Ballad of the Ladies of Times Past.” Like that poem, the book functions, among other things, as an ubi sunt, Latin for “Where are they?” as in “Where are the ones who came before us?”—the beautiful, the strong, the virtuous, all of them? In keeping with that long tradition, these poems offer a way to think about life’s transience—its beauty, its absurdity, and of course its mortality. Allusive and associative, anti-capitalist and unapologetically political, aligned somewhere between comedy and anger, this poetry juxtaposes the triumphs and tragedies (mostly tragedies) of our current age with those of history, and—by wondering “Where are they?”—explores the questions of where we are now and where we might be going.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen Rooney's website.

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Writers Read: Kathleen Rooney.

--Marshal Zeringue