Pure Poetry: A Novel
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Rezension: Lila Moscowitz, the Jewish-American heroine of Binnie Kirshenbaum's novel Pure Poetry, is a witty mess. She lies her head off, bribes little kids with candy, writes smutty poems in highly rigid forms, and advises students in her poetry class not to read books. She overdramatizes everything that happens to her, avoids her true feelings, and whips up a frenzy of neuroses at the drop of a zipper. In other words, she's like most people you know.
As her 35th birthday approaches, Lila begins to miss her ex-husband, a German cartographer whose parents were Nazis (Albert Speer was his uncle). What she misses most about Max is the great sex, which was unpredictable and ferociously exciting--especially rousing because of rassenschande, or the taboo mingling of the races. This makes her new relationship with blue-blooded Henry seem all the more stifling. She's getting tired of Henry's fastidiously protective attitude toward his silverware and soup tureens, not to mention his contention "that he does not have fantasies, that he is perfectly content with average sex, whatever that is." But she tries to stay with him, because at a certain age the bohemian lifestyle turns into something irresponsible, even pathetic, particularly in New York City. Lila herself understands that this is the source of her irony: "I mock feelings," she says blithely. "I make jokes to deflect the sorry truths about myself, and I use snide comments to camouflage hurt, and I'm good at it."
Lila wants to live freely in a world that favors discipline and orderly existence, especially for women approaching the end of their childbearing years. Her quest to balance freedom and form, or freedom within form, plays out metaphorically in Pure Poetry's structure: each chapter is headed by a definition of a poetic term that is somehow related ("fabliau" before a sex scene, "elegy" before a funeral, and so on). Certain readers might appreciate Kirshenbaum's attempt to impose some order on her narrative. The rest of us can race past these epigraphs (they're short) in favor of the narrative itself--wild, silly, and uncompromisingly fun, it's no more grown-up than Lila. --John Ponyicsanyi
Titel: Pure Poetry: A Novel
Verlag: Simon & Schuster, New York
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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