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A Faithful Existence

Reading, Memory, and Transcendence

List Price: $24.00

September 21, 2005 | Hardcover | 6 x 9, 224 Pages | ISBN 9781593760717
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“In the midst of... questioning, the only reality is the poet’s unflinchingly curious mind.” —New York Times Book Review

A Faithful Existence is a thrilling, lyrical exploration of what it means to be faithful in the act of translation, in scientific and spiritual inquiry, in philosophies of perception, in friendship, and in poetry. Sensual, erudite, and operatic in scope, these essays pay homage to the landscape of the American South, to snapping turtles and anti-particles, to iconoclastic physicists and writers from various countries and epochs, to visionary poets and to poetic hoaxes.

Forrest Gander pops the hood of the standard-issue essay and hotwires it for the 21st century, re-tuning compelling associations and vivid bursts of insight into the quality of immediate experience. He connects with an ethical vision, a bodily consciousness, and a mode of language that might help us to survive the streams of data, the discombobulating media, and the predatory march of “information” that defines our age.

FORREST GANDER is the author of five poetry books, including Science & Steepleflower and Torn Awake. His essays have appeared widely in such journals as The Nation and The Boston Review. With degrees in geology and English, he is Director of the Graduate Program in Literary Arts and Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University.


“In the midst of… questioning, the only reality is the poet’s unflinchingly curious mind.” —New York Times Book Review

“Forrest Gander is a Southern poet of a relatively rare kind, a restlessly experimental writer… Be ready for a ride. It is a strange mélange of pungent, physical detail, scraps of geological and evolutionary science, oddly erotic images, and almost surreally exact bits of description: a poet moving through words, through time, in a way that seems at once precise and hallucinatory.” —Washington Post Book World

“Forrest Gander is insistently, often gorgeously, a poet of space… If Gander’s philosophical strain and flamboyant lingo suggest Wallace Stevens, and his conversance with science and his stress on the ‘ongoing’ recall A.R. Ammons, he insinuates a knotty, digressive intensity that is fully his own.” —Bookforum

“Love of the physical world and an attendant desire to crack open its untranslatable nature has long been at the core of Forrest Gander’s poetic investigations.” —Rain Taxi Review of Books

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