Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Work from Memory: Proust as Written by Dan Beachy-Quick and Matthew Goulish

Rejoice!  Work from Memory, a new book by Dan Beachy-Quick and Matthew Goulish, has just hit the shelves!  The book, from Ahsahta Press, is a kind of poetic investigation into Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, more personal than scholarly, more creative than critical.  You know I'm a sucker for any kind of rewriting, textual repurposing, or détournement, so I had to get behind the project as it was percolating.  Here's a paragraph I wrote about it for the press, an excerpt of which appears on the back cover:

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari began their great work A Thousand Plateaus by explaining the nature of their collaborative authorship.  “The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together,” they say, “since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd.” Work from Memory, which combines Dan Beachy-Quick’s poems with prose by Matthew Goulish, is a splendidly crowded book.  Not only does it alternate between work by each author: the book is haunted by a third writer, Marcel Proust, whose À la recherche du temps perdu provides the three passages over which Beachy-Quick and Goulish meditate.  Sometimes they think their way into Proust’s text, interpreting passages and reworking famous images.  Sometimes they think their way out from Proust, meditating on the traumatic disruption of memory in individuals and whole cultures.  Sometimes they reflect on their own act of collaboration.  Realizing that “to think is to interpret and translate,” they ponder the very meaning of their little crowd of authors, asking “what produces closure? How does the multiple cohere?” and “what constitutes individual expression?” and concluding that “memory is that chorus whose countless voices sing from within a single throat.”  Interrogating the nature of memory, of the book, and of authorship in pages one hesitates to label as merely criticism, memoir, or lyric, Goulish and Beachy-Quick have stepped out of the house of genre and into an altogether more shimmering place.

You can find the book here.