Prose Poems by Pat Nolan
Nearly a century ago Max Jacob wrote “Many prose poems have been written in the last thirty or forty years; I hardly know of any poet who’s understood what it’s all about and who’s known how to sacrifice his ambitions as an author to the prose poem’s formal constitution. Dimension counts for nothing in the beauty of a work, its situation and style are everything.” Those words are presciently accurate today.
The prose poems in Pat Nolan’s Intellectual Pretensions draw their inspiration directly from the mysticism of the French poet Max Jacob and his revolutionary volume, Le cornet à dés, first published in 1916. Here, each prose poem, paragraph or sequence of paragraphs is a portal into a separate and uniquely fantastic universe that runs the gamut from the phantasm of a dream landscape to the playful meandering byways of a shaggy dog tale.
Intellectual Pretension was published in 2009 in a limited edition on Gainsborough cover stock, the design mimicking that of editions of Max Jacob’s poems published by Gallimard/Nouvelle Revue Française, and individually hand sewn in the Japanese side stitch style binding. 41 pages, 8.5×5.5 inches (21.5×14.1 cm) Copies of Intellectual Pretension are no longer available. However, you may view the pdf of INTELLECTUAL PRETENSIONS 2009 here.
Intellectual Pretension was also published in its entirety in The Corpse Annual #2 (2010), and reviewed by Gabriel Ricard in the Unlikely Stories blog.
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