Vectors Aphorisms And Ten-Second Essays

Vectors: Aphorisms & Ten-Second Essaysreally liked it4.0 · Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews

James Richardson is one of the finest poets now writing, and the best contemporary practitioner of the art of aphorism."—Publishers Weekly

"Not since the appearance of W. S. Merwin's translations and adaptations of aphorisms in Asian Figures, some thirty years ago, has an American poet managed to put down so much delightful and compelling wisdom."—American Literary Review

"NJames Richardson is one of the finest poets now writing, and the best contemporary practitioner of the art of aphorism."—Publishers Weekly

"Not since the appearance of W. S. Merwin's translations and adaptations of aphorisms in Asian Figures, some thirty years ago, has an American poet managed to put down so much delightful and compelling wisdom."—American Literary Review

"No one theme or moral pervades these tesserae of specificity. Rather, Richardson's elegant compression invites the reader to fill in the blanks with personal experience… Richardson's knack for the quintessential, sustained for more than a hundred pages, left me satisfied yet hungry for more."— Times Literary Supplement

"Readers will be obsessed by this book; they will memorize passages, give copies to friends, proselytize. That's because Vectors so generously provides the best that poetry can offer. It is a masterpiece of practicality, beauty, and solace."— Boston Review

"James Richardson's Vectors... penetrates to the very heart of human nature. I stand looking in the mirror, alert to my own foibles, shaking my head as I tolerate what I know he knows about who I am."— The Georgia Review

"Almost every entry... introduces a new insight, provides a revelation, supplies a surprise... it is a book one wants to spend time with, a wonderfully friendly book, generous, witty and entertaining."— Gulf Coast

"Vectors is the kind of book you read, reread, thumb through, and pick up several extra copies because you want to share the joy you found in perusing it with friends."— Barrow Street

"James Richardson's Vectors is a book of subversive wonders. Stunningly precise, these brilliant aphorisms and ten-second essays show a mind assessing, reassessing, discovering, and interrogating assumptions in ways that feel diamond-sharp, at once good-natured, quietly sly at times, and always, always, very shrewd. 'It can never be satisfied, the mind, never,' wrote Wallace Stevens. Vectors is a remarkable testament to such questing, vivid minding, as these aphorisms alight on everything from the nature of perception, to God, success, fear, shame, self-consciousness, love and friendship."—Laurie Sheck


...more

Paperback, 120 pages

Published October 1st 2001 by Ausable Press

“On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays

1. A beginning ends what an end begins.

2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full.

3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself.

4. The best time is stolen time.

5. All work is the avoidance of harder work.

6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing.

7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music.

8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear?

9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation.

10. Writer: how books read each other.

11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love.

12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything.

13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough.

14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear.

15. There are silences harder to take back than words.

16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery.

17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself.

18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean.

19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism.

20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do.

21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of.

22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday.

23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open).

24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?”
― James Richardson

Like

0 Thoughts to “Vectors Aphorisms And Ten-Second Essays

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *