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tearing the rag off the bush again
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Julia Older, Tales of the Francois Vase (with a CD of the NPR radio play). From the publisher: "Julia Older's obsession with the Famous Francois Vase led to both a radio play and this book-length poem. The dramatic journey of twenty five centuries of this vase winds through a subterranean inferno of greed, passion, and terror. Twice it was smashed into 600-plus pieces, came unglued, and was puzzled back together, each time with a piece missing. A third time --during the 1966 Florence Flood-- a scientist intentionally broke the vase. He restored it with the missing piece, and at last it was whole. Older's book offers readers the entire fascinating story." From me, on the back cover: "Before printed books there were talking vases. Julia OLder found one Greek vase that talked and is still talking, in defiance of weather, war, and malevolece. Julia Older renders the voices that attended the Francois Vase from its birth in the potter's hands to what its admirers and enemies said when they held, lost, hunted, or broke it. All these voices speak in rhythms the poet fancied or chanelled, and they tell a picareque and musical drama of the Western mind that flows from ancient Greece to X-rays. Once a talking vase, it's now Julia's singing vase. You can sing along."

Andrei Oisteanu
, Inventing the Jew, Antisemitic Stereotypes in Romanian and Other Central-East European Cultures by Andrei Oisteanu
Foreword by Moshe Idel, Translated by Mirela Adascalitei
University of Nebraska Press, 2009,
http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Inventing-the-Jew,674083.aspx    

Exquisite Corpse is proud to see this major work by one of our most cherished contributors, translated into English. We have published Andrei Oisteanu’s groundbreaking essays on hallucinogens and the Romanian avantgarde. Every book by Oisteanu is an event, but the English translation of  this book, containing decades of research, is worthy of serious and attentive focus by every  one of our readers. “Inventing the Jew” is a phenomenon. Andrei Oisteanu is a researcher at the Institute for the History of Religions in Bucharest, and associate professor at the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Bucharest. He is the author of several books, including The Image of the Jew in Romanian Culture, Order and Chaos: Myth and Magic in Romanian Traditional Culture, and Religion, Politics, and Myth: Texts about Mircea Eliade and Ioan Petru Culianu.

Inventing the Jew follows the evolution of stereotypes of Jews from the level of traditional Romanian and other Central-East European cultures (their legends, fairy tales, ballads, carols, anecdotes, superstitions, and iconographic representations) to that of “high” cultures (including literature, essays, journalism, and sociopolitical writings), showing how motifs specific to “folkloric antisemitism” migrated to “intellectual antisemitism.” This comparative perspective also highlights how the images of Jews have differed from that of other “strangers” such as Hungarians, Germans, Roma, Turks, Armenians, and Greeks. The gap between the conception of the “imaginary Jew” and the “real Jew” is a cultural distance that differs over time and place, here seen through the lens of cultural anthropology.

Stereotypes of the “generic Jew” were not exclusively negative, and are described in five chapters depicting physical, occupational, moral and intellectual, mythical and magical, and religious portraits of “the Jew.”

Some Praise:

 “This scrupulously researched study is a profound revelation of ‘the other’ in western culture. The ‘imaginary Jew,’ in its specifically Romanian and central-east-European incarnation, reverberates through all of Europe’s hellish myth-making, beginning in the first Christian century. The layering of stories and images has the effect of a masterful horror-film. Andrei Oisteanu’s book is an unflinching look at Europe’s darkest secret. It is therefore an indispensible text.”—Andrei Codrescu, MacCurdy Distinguished Professor at Louisiana State University

“This book is erudite, richly documented and intelligently written. Though both a comprehensive and explicit analysis of so many themes concerning the images of the Jews, it is at the same time an implicit critique of an important component of Romanian culture. However, Andrei Oisteanu's book is above all a very courageous one.”—Moshe Idel, Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University in Jerusalem

“A profound and illuminating anthropological study, with many cultural, historical, social-political, and religious layers about an old-new topic. The image of the stranger says a lot about the stranger’s own history and psychology but perhaps even more so about his neighbor-observer. Between the fictionalized Jew and the real one rests an entire history of thousands of years. The author of this fascinating book offers a thorough, subtle, and lucid description and analysis of a certain location, but its meaning goes well beyond it.”—Norman Manea, Professor of European Literature and writer-in-residence at Bard College.

John Olson
, Backscatter: New and Selected Poems, Boston: Black Widow Press, www.blackwidowpress.com. The Black Widow Press project began with the re-issue of unavailable Surrealist work by Andrè Breton, Tristan Tzara, Paul Eluard, Gherasim Luca, and others, and has grown to include some of the most monstrous poets working that vein today, including Clayton Eshleman, Ruxandra Cesereanu, and John Olson. We enter Olson’s world with some trepidation, and for good reason: he’s fabulous and sticky, “music teeming with intimation,” as he puts it.
 
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