Books Acquired Recently: Rocky Mountain MLA Edition

I’m currently at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference, which has been fun so far although the conference hotel does not have free internet access. This afternoon I took a stroll through the book fair and picked up a few things (plus ordered several more that I will write about when I receive them):

Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land and Other Poems. Ed. Joseph Black, et al. Peterborough: Broadview, 2011.

I love Eliot–he’s another one of those Modernists that I enjoy, but feel guilty about enjoying–and teach him from time to time. This volume, which I got free as an exam copy and might actually assign sometime, includes Eliot’s first three books of poems. I’ve assigned Broadview’s texts before, and have always been happy with them because they are handsome (much nicer looking than Norton critical editions), inexpensive, and well-supplemented by scholarly paratext.

Max, D.T. Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. New York: Viking, 2012.

I love Wallace’s writing (everyone who cares about literature should read Infinite Jest) and have wanted to read this biography since I read a review of it in the New Yorker and a short excerpt in Newsweek (of all places!). The Penguin publishing group always has fantastic deals at these kinds of conferences, as was the case here: I paid $10.00 for a $27.95 book!

Moon, Michael. Darger’s Resources. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.

I picked this up for free as a review copy from the Rocky Mountain Review. A free book in exchange for writing a review that will be published sounds like a swindle to me! The book is about Henry Darger, a janitor who wrote and illustrated an epic (over 15,000 pages) story about a children’s war in his spare time that was not discovered until after his death. The story of him as an outsider artist is quite fascinating and very controversial (some call his illustrations child pornography because the children are often naked, but others argue that the children’s nudity is innocent because there is evidence that Darger was mentally disabled [e.g., the naked girls in his book have penises, apparently because Darger had so little sexual knowledge that he did not realize how females differ from males]), so I am excited to read Moon’s book.

Patell, Cyrus R.K., and Bryan Waterman, eds. The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.

I find the Cambridge Companions series very useful, thus as a New York City native I was intrigued by this volume. It was on sale for $11.00, down from $24.99. Aside from looking generally interesting, it has chapters on several of my particular interests, including Walt Whitman and the city’s role in LGBT literature.

 

 

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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