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moving under skies

NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy:  you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com. 

The Anthologist

The Anthologist - Nicholson Baker

I disagreed with Baker's base Poetics (rhyme is not and has never been what draws me to poetry & I actually really enjoy iambic pentameter), and I often found his prose as purple as the plum on the cover--but even so I adored this book, as I adore practically everything else Baker has written. He never writes about much--tackling the subject & love of poetry is actually quote ambitious for a novelist who usually works on the scale of the beauty of staplers and the difficulty of heating up a bottle of milk for an infant--but he does it with such verve and unabashed excitement that I am always caught up in the emotion of it all. This book is actually a bit of an anomaly if I remember correctly: it's got a sort-of plot, with actual character arc and everything. Even if it hadn't I'd probably still love it. Baker has an incredible sense of joy that is so often dampened, or lost completely, in the stuffy pretentious of modern fiction. It's glorious to see this enthusiasm keyed on poetry, a subject that I actually care about. I'd reread this in a heartbeat--it really galvanized my (at the time) flagging faith in Literature.