Nicole Brossard: Selections

Nicole Brossard: Selections

Nicole Brossard: Selections

Nicole Brossard: Selections

Synopsis

"Pleasure," Jennifer Moxley writes in her introduction to this volume, "is the word that first comes to mind at the mention of Nicole Brossard's poetry." This volume provides English-language readers with an overview of the life and work of Nicole Brossard, poet, novelist, and essayist, who is widely recognized in her native Québec and throughout the French-speaking world as one of the greatest writers of her generation. Brossard's poetry is rooted in her investigations of language, her abiding commitment to a feminist consciousness, and her capacity for renewing meaning as a virtual space of desire. The reader enters a poetic world in which the aesthetic is joined with the political, and the meaning of both is enriched in the process. The selections in this volume include translations of some of Brossard's best-known works- Lovhers, Ultra Sounds, Museum of Bone and Water, Notebook of Roses and Civilization -along with short prose works, an interview with Brossard, and a bibliography of works in French and English, and constitute the most substantial English-language sampling published to date of one of Canada's greatest living poets.

Excerpt

I don’t believe that one becomes a writer to reinforce common values
or common perspectives on reality
.

—Nicole Brossard

Pleasure. This is the word that first comes to mind at the mention of Nicole Brossard’s poetry. There are other words, of course, words with historical and political resonance— Québécoise, avant-garde, feminist, lesbian—words which cannot be uttered casually, words which cause some to stop listening and others to lean in and listen more closely. Brossard puts such words at risk, for under her pen they magically change. Heavy words become light yet still maintain their gravitas, their restrictive weight (“labels” as some dismissively call them), becoming expansive, utopian, inspiring. Specific historical moments turn into universals, personal desire into the condition we all share of being incorporated—in our bodies and in the body of language. Like a mystic’s vision, turning the arduous climb to enlightenment into a flash of brightest intensity, Brossard’s pen lifts these heavy words into an ether of lightest thought. The result is pleasure, the pleasure of thinking, of reading, of having a body, of being in love, of being alive. The pleasure is ours, but it is also hers: “For my part, I have always made writing a place of pleasure, of quest, a space of dangerous intensity, a space for turbulence having its own dynamic.” Of course, ever since . . .

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