Read Apocrypha by Catherynne M. Valente Free Online
Book Title: Apocrypha|
The author of the book: Catherynne M. Valente
Edition: Prime Books
Date of issue: July 1st 2005
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 29.17 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2229 times
Reader ratings: 4.8
ISBN 13: 9780809550746
Read full description of the books:
Rating this collection after reading it only once feels unfair. I am fearful that I missed certain things and I want to read the book again in the hopes of excising that fear.
Valente loves words. I knew this since reading Palimpsest, which I also highly recommend. Valente in verse is even more mesmerizing and frightening at times. Her writing is full of obscene and beautiful imagery described lushly and at times presented abruptly. Apocrypha was an excellent introduction. Specific passages made me gasp in this first poem and in others, such as in Electra Redux,
You gave me this mewling rubber Orestes to love...
So I put my fist in his fontanel and carried him
like a potted geranium
Song For Three Voices and a Lyre was fascinating with how Valente was able to merge ancient and present times. A voice is a voice after all, a feeling a feeling, regardless of the time or place, and I love that this poem made me think of this for near on an entire day.
Cardinales Virtutes may be my favorite. This poem stuck with me beyond the rest. I read it three consecutive times, utterly absorbed by what I can only describe as concerning, beautific, consuming, and offensive religious imagery...
When I was born, the moon was in Virgo.
Perhaps I was meant to be a nun,
and blister my fingers with tallow,
sew up my cunt with copper wire.
Should I have scoured the nipples from my breast
with a paste of consecrated nettles?
The final poem, Z, was rather grand, it being by far the longest section of the book, full of a strange and obscure progression which I had a bit of trouble with at first. I persevered and began the section titled S and was blown away. I read it once and then once again aloud and everything made sense and I had no idea why it suddenly did and then I read the following words and realized I understood this before the words appeared... This is the lingua ignota. This is the cistern-codex. Meaning lies only in the delegation of phrases, which are servile and base, which go beneath our will like lambs. S felt magical.
These poems are all quite wrapped up with women, their perspective, fears, and angers. All were centered on myths, most notably from Japan and Greece, as well as not so pleasant versions of classic Western fairytales. Valente knows her myth and literature. I must mention Still Life with Wicked Stepmother, another poem in this collection I absolutely loved, one of the grotesque fairytales.
I give this book my strongest recommendation for those who are able to appreciate what I consider to be a singular collection of poetry from an author I wish more people would read. And possibly worship. Grovel, those with vocabulary reserves miniscule in comparison!! :)
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd, Sonia, thank you, thank you, thank you for making this part of my prize for the Dark Fiction Challenge. You could not have chosen anything I wanted or ended up loving more than this book. Notice, this is on my read-or-die shelf. So few make the final cut these days. :)
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Read information about the authorCatherynne M. Valente was born on Cinco de Mayo, 1979 in Seattle, WA, but grew up in in the wheatgrass paradise of Northern California. She graduated from high school at age 15, going on to UC San Diego and Edinburgh University, receiving her B.A. in Classics with an emphasis in Ancient Greek Linguistics. She then drifted away from her M.A. program and into a long residence in the concrete and camphor wilds of Japan.
She currently lives in Maine with her partner, two dogs, and three cats, having drifted back to America and the mythic frontier of the Midwest.
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