Pathetic Literature


Product Details

$34.00  $31.62
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 9.0 X 2.1 inches | 2.07 pounds
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About the Author

EILEEN MYLES (they/them) came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet. Their books include For Now (an essay/talk about writing), Afterglow (a dog memoir), I Must Be Living Twice: new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. The Trip, their super-8 puppet road film can be seen on YouTube. Eileen has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was recently elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. They live in New York and Marfa, TX.


Praise for Pathetic Literature: "Huge--and (I hope) hugely influential . . . A collection that makes an argument or, even more, aspires to frame a counter-tradition of literature . . . An anthology rich in allusions: One piece speaks to another across geography and time . . . The weave is so all-encompassing, the associations so multilayered, that I feel like fireworks are popping off inside my head . . . Pathetic Literature represents not so much a collection as it does an ethos: 'almost a poem, ' its creator observes. These texts and voices take us someplace unexpected, beyond the individual and into the realm of a collective, a tapestry of words that add up to a way of being in the world."--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times"For the quirky and the weird--and who among us is not?--this singularly unexpected assemblage curated by Lambda Award-winning poet and writer Eileen Myles is an anthology like no other . . . What Myles has captured here is simply this: the power of literature."--Oprah Daily"Bits and bobs to make you feel, excerpted from poems, plays, and prose, from Franz Kafka to Porochista Khakpour."--Vanity Fair"In this powerful anthology, poet Myles shares a wide-ranging but deeply focused reading list linked by the concept of pathos . . . The collection amounts to a solid argument for the value of literature that lays bare its author's personal investment."--Publishers Weekly"Maybe the way these pieces relate to each other seems opaque, but I am 672 pages inside Eileen Myles's head, and it all makes perfect sense to me. Spending time on this book gave me the same feeling that reading Kafka gives me, the same feeling that I've been going through the world with after reading nothing but Dennis Cooper for a month or so. I grin to myself--really grin--when I come across both names in Pathetic Literature, feeling like I've discovered something incredible, like Myles knows me . . . I would recommend Pathetic Literature. It's pessimistic, kinky, and mean. There's lots of scat and descriptions of genitals. It might depress you, but probably only if you were depressed beforehand. What I know is that I'll keep the book with me, just like I keep a German copy of Kafka's diaries on my bedside."--Noelle McManus, LiberPraise for Eileen Myles: "In Eileen Myles's newest book of poetry, Evolution, we encounter an arrival, a voice always becoming, unpinnable and queer. Myles's new poems are transformations, and perhaps a culmination of the poet's previous inquiries into love, gender, poetry, America, and its politics . . . The form of Myles's work rivals its subject matter in intimacy. The lines in Evolution are physical, a body unleashed but not yet comfortable and not without fear. The short lines rush down the page, movement as touch, touch as freedom."--Natalie Diaz, New York Times Book Review
"Myles's poetry is kinetic, ecstatic, muscular, hilarious, sorrowful, valiant, original, necessary, and timeless."--Maggie Nelson"Explore[s] and document the limits of language, both visual and literary."--Artforum, on Evolution"I loved Evolution . . . Poems that lope along, chatty, restless and limber."--Olivia Laing, New Statesman"Eileen Myles's essential poetry is the hip kid leaning against their locker secretly burning with intensity, the smartest boy in the class who doesn't care he has a scar down his face, the thing you just wish you'd said."--Lena Dunham"Lopes forward in the strutting style of the witnessing and sincere, but gorgeously nonaustere, poet in New York . . . The gift of Evolution is its bold depiction of the textually-rendered 'I'-Eileen."--Kenyon Review"With the publication of their new book of poetry, Evolution, Myles explores, among other things, the loss of their mother, who died in April of last year; this current political era; past relationships; and their new dog, Honey . . . Myles [wants] people to find the accessibility of poetry: in life, in love, in Instagram, in everything."--Vanity Fair"Evolution, Eileen Myles's first all-new collection of poetry since 2011, circles back to classic themes such as their love of dogs, loneliness, and parental loss. These poems, however, are also immediate and pressingly contemporary. Myles is conducting an intimate exchange with the government, peering into their computer and saying hello to whoever might be surveilling them."--Lambda Literary"A mutt elegy in a million . . . Myles gets at something no other dog book I've read has gotten at quite this distinctly: The sense of wordless connection and spiritual expansion you feel when you love and are loved by a creature who's not human."--Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air, on Afterglow (a dog memoir)"A wry, gorgeous, psychedelic effort to plumb the subject of dog-human partnership."--New Yorker, on Afterglow (a dog memoir)"Cosmic, and charming . . . Far-flung, and wonderfully loving."--Boston Globe, on Afterglow (a dog memoir)