Saturday, February 25, 2012
by Chris Pusateri
Normal, IL: Steerage Press
Release date: February 22, 2012
ISBN: 0983632626 ISBN-13: 9780983632627
Price: $9.99 (paper)
Hot off the press, with a beautiful cover by HR Hegnauer, and a steal at only $9.99. The superlatives below will tell you all about it, and you can order from these guys until SPD has copies available, which should be soon. For those of you who don’t delight in the sound of trees screaming, a Kindle edition will also be released shortly (and for only 99 cents!).
Originally conceived as three discrete books, Common Time takes pianist Glenn Gould’s notion of the two-take as its procedural centerpiece, soldering together sections from each of the three finished versions and combining them to make one final work. But unlike Gould’s idea of an authoritative masterwork built from multiple versions of an original piece, Chris Pusateri turns the telescope backwards, making of this brokenness a meditation on what it means to compose, to couple, to comprehend.
“Common Time is a ‘collection’ in the best sense, a self-consciously accretive book; here, meanings precipitate out of the nonsense detritus of the working day and observations tighten into aphorism. Pusateri’s method exposes the paths that obstruct meaning and those that allow it to accrue: ‘There is a grid within/what we utter,/within phonemes, associations form/and dissolve like flies on bison.’ A humane, wise, and wicked smart book.”
– CATHERINE WAGNER