The Word Pretty

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9781939568267.jpg
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The Word Pretty

15.00 18.95

by Elisa Gabbert
Softcover / 184 p. / Essays
ISBN: 978-1-939568-26-7

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In The Word Pretty Elisa Gabbert brings together her unique humor and observational intelligence to create a roving and curious series of lyrical essays, which combine elements of criticism, meditation, and personal essay reminiscent of  the work of Wayne Koestenbaum, Sven Birkerts, and Maggie Nelson. Here you will find works on crying, dreams, and notebooking alongside critical engagements with aphorism, the art of the paragraph, the difference between poetry and prose, and the appeal of translator’s notes, as well as a discussion of John Berger, reflecting on beauty and the male gaze.

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Black Ocean :: Undercurrents publishes new and compelling voices in literary nonfiction. From lyric essays to manifestos and poetics, the series combines criticism, meditation, and reflection to experience elevated modes of consciousness and vital ways of operating in the world.

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Gabbert is a critic and literary essayist for our post-everything times. She writes with focused yet relaxed intimacy about all aspects of the ‘writing trade,’ and her eye for detail and nuance is evident from the first page. This is one of those books where you tell yourself you will take a break soon, but then don’t.
— Sven Birkerts, author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age
I feel lucky to be alive and writing at the same time as Elisa Gabbert. Her prose is as tough and lucid as Sontag, but her concerns are lonely pleasures—taking notes, crying, dreaming, and lots of reading—familiar mysteries, and our quiet, hidden human interiors. Her criticism is utterly precise, but she explodes minutiae into a universe, showing the execution of punctuation and paragraphs for what they are: movements of the human mind. She writes about language and cognition so intimately that at times I got the impression that she was showing me my own brain.
— Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession