Paul Auster's penetrating and charged verse resembles little else in recent American poetry. Taut, densely lyrical, and everywhere informed by a powerful and subtle music, this collection begins with the compact fragments of Spokes and Unearth ...
(both written when Auster was in his early twenties), continues on through the more ample meditations of "Wall Writing," "Disappearances," "Effigies," "Fragments From the Cold," "Facing the Music" and "White Spaces," then moves further back in time to include Auster's revealing translations of many of the French poets who influenced his own writing--including Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara, Philippe Soupault, Robert Desnos, and Rene Char--as well as the provocative and previously unpublished "Notes From a Composition Book" (1967). An introduction by Normal Finkelstein connects the biographical elements to a consideration of the work and takes in Auster's early literary and philosophical influences. Penetrating, lyric, and tempered with the same brooding intelligence that informs The New York Trilogy, these poems offer a unique window into postmodern consciousness.