eBook - 2013
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A rare and beautifully produced "accordion" book by renowned novelist and poet Anne Michaels and acclaimed artist and writer Bernice Eisenstein that will cause a stir for both its form and its content. Anne Michaels's resonant book-length poem--which unfolds on one side of the pages of this accordion book--ranges from the universal to the intimate, as she writes of historical figures for whom language was the closest thing to salvation; on the other side, we have Bernice Eisenstein's luminous portraits of and quotes from such twentieth-century writers and thinkers as Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs, W. G. Sebald, Anna Akhmatova, Primo Levi, and Albert Einstein. The poetry and portraits join together in a dialogue that can be read in any direction and any order, in a format that perfectly reflects the thematic interconnectedness of this collaboration: "an alphabet of spirits and spirit; an elegy of remembrance" (Eisenstein); "just as a conversation becomes the third side of the page . . . the moment one life becomes another" (Michaels).
Publisher: [S.I.] : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013.
ISBN: 9780307962515
Branch Call Number: eBOOK OVERDRI
Additional Contributors: Eisenstein, Bernice
OverDrive, Inc


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Jan 08, 2014

Reminiscent in exquisite form and haunting tone of Anne Carson’s Nox, Correspondences actually takes the gatefold book structure and the unfurling conceit even further. There are, in fact, at least two literary streams contained in this beautiful package. The first stream is a series of dour but entrancing portraits by Bernice Eisenstein of artists, philosophers, intellectuals and activists (including Paul Celan, Fernando Pessoa, Frank Kafka, Primo Levi and Anna Akhmatova) alive during and affected directly by the Second World War. The portraits are matched with excerpts from each portrait subject’s words or writings.

Before you turn the book over to discover the second literary stream, you’ll observe that the volume’s endpapers (in both “directions”) contain brief biographies of each of the portrait subjects. Those biographies reveal that many of the subjects crossed paths in varied and interesting ways.

The second literary stream is Anne Michael’s long poem that gives this beautiful bound compendium its title. In large part an elegy to her father, the poem also intertwines references to the intense and unusual correspondence between Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs, as well as individual poetic experiments and set pieces.


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Jan 08, 2014

not two to make one,
but two to make
the third,

just as a conversation can become
the third side of the page


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