The Ruins of Nostalgia
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
Sales Date: 2023-10-10
Published: October 2023
Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
Page Count: 80 Pages
Illustrations: 1 halftone
Dimensions: 6.80 x 9.80
80 Pages, 6.80 x 9.80 x 0.20 in, 1 halftone
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What is it to feel nostalgia, to be skeptical of it yet cleave intently to the complex truths of feeling and thought? In a series of 64 gorgeous, ramifying, unsettling prose poems addressing late-twentieth- and twenty-first century experience and its discontents, The Ruins of Nostalgia offers a strikingly original exploration of the misunderstood phenomenon of nostalgia as both feeling-state and historical phenomenon. Each poem, also titled The Ruins of Nostalgia, is a kind of lyrical mini-essay, playful, passionate, analytic. Some poems take a location, memory, conceit, or object as their theme. Throughout the series, the poems recognize and celebrate the nostalgias they ironize, which are in turn celebrated and then ironized again. Written often in the fictional persona of the first-person plural, The Ruins of Nostalgia explores the rich territory where individual response meets a collective phenomenon.
The Ruins of Nostalgia 13
Where once there had been a low-end stationery store minded by an elderly beauty queen, there was now a store for high-end espresso machines minded by nobody. Where once there had been an illegal beer garden in a weedy lot, there was now a complex of luxury lofts with Parisian-style ivory façades. Where once there had been a bookstore and a bike shop and a bakery, there was now a wax museum for tourists. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been an empty lot there was now a building. Where once there had been farms there were now subdivisions. Where once there had been subdivisions there were now sub-subdivisions. We lived in a sub-subdivision of a subdivision. We ourselves had become subdivided?where once we had merely been of two minds. * Where once there had been a river there was now a road. A vocal local group had started a movement to break up the road and "daylight" the river, which still flowed, in the dark, underneath the road. * Could we daylight the farms, the empty lots, the stationery store, the elderly beauty queen, the city we moved to? Was it still flowing somewhere, under the luxury lofts, deliquescing in the dark, inhabited by our luxury selves, not yet subdivided, because not yet whole? * Could we daylight the ruins of nostalgia?
"Stonecipher is a master of the prose poem, a hybrid form that, in the words of literary scholar Jeremy Noel-Tod, 'drives the reading mind beyond the city limits'... Stonecipher takes the idea of nostalgia, which originally meant a kind of homesickness, and examines it with irony and earnestness."?Unknown Reviewer, Exberliner