NYTBR on The Anthologist

I am not a big poetry person so I was a little worried about reading The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker.  The NYTBR review makes me want to read it however:

And let’s face it, stories involving poets tend to be hokey or, worse, excruciatingly literary. Maybe the spires of libraries rise darkly in the gloaming; maybe bookish amour unfolds amid bosomy fields laden with the fleeting fruits of summer. At best, the author follows the course Stephen King takes in “The Tommyknockers” and skims over his protagonist’s occupation in order to concentrate on the perilous effects of buried alien spacecraft.

Yet somehow Nicholson Baker has written a novel about poetry that’s actually about poetry — and that is also startlingly perceptive and ardent, both as a work of fiction and as a representation of the kind of thinking that poetry readers do.

I also like this quote about The New Yorker and poetry:

The New Yorker is a terrific magazine, but placing a poem there is like finding a hundred bucks in an old coat pocket: it’s great, but you can’t build your world around it. You build your world around what’s there for you on a daily basis, which for poets, famous or otherwise, means literary journals.

So The Anthologist is moved up a few notched on the towering TBR pile!

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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