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A Several World: Brian Blanchfield (James Laughlin Award Winner, 2014)

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Selected by Lee Ann Brown, Tina Chang, and C. S. Giscombe as winner of the 2014 James Laughlin Award.

 

"Robert Herrick wrote, “Here we are all, by day. By night we’re hurl’d / by dreams, each one, into a several world.” Where Herrick’s several is implicitly separate, Blanchfield’s book examines and contests commonality. That is, A Several World unsettles the world—all and several alike—by reading its associations and memberships and public languages with an unnerving exactingness. And, for all that, it’s a very finely-ranging travelogue, though not in the usual senses: “Consider the milieu durance,” Blanchfield invites as the book sets sail, and then responds, in the next line, to his own invitation—“Way out there now.”" —C. S. Giscombe

 

 

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