In this Book

The Front Matter, Dead Souls
summary
Leslie Scalapino is widely regarded as one of the best avant-garde writers in America today. This extraordinary new book is essay-fiction-poetry, an experiment in form, "a serial novel for publication in the newspaper" that collapses the distinction between documentary and fiction. Loosely set in Los Angeles, the book scrutinizes our image-making, producing extreme and vivid images-hyena, Muscle Beach in Venice, the Supreme Court, subway rides-in order for them to be real. Countering contemporary trends toward interiority, Scalapino's work constitutes a unique effort to "be" objectively in the world. The writing is an action, a dynamic push to make intimacy in the public realm. She does not distinguish between poetry and "real events": her writing is analogous to Buddhist notions of dreaming one is a butterfly, and becoming aware that actually being the butterfly is as real as dreaming it.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. THE FRONT MATTER
  2. pp. 2-18
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  1. NEXT CHAPTER
  2. pp. 18-34
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  1. THE LATTER
  2. pp. 34-44
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  1. DEAD SOULS
  2. pp. 45-54
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  1. NOW
  2. pp. 54-69
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  1. NEW
  2. pp. 69-80
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  1. Appendix: The Sky of Text
  2. pp. 81-95
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