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The Village on Horseback: Prose and Verse, 2003-2008

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4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  68 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
This second volume of poetry by experimental writer Jesse Ball is a philosophical recasting of myth and legend. Employing an eerie narrative simplicity, these always unpredictable poems are cautionary tales of the oppressiveness of monolithic culture on the development of artistic, philosophical, and political leadership. Alternating from the personal to the public, Ball a ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Milkweed Editions
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Zach
Oct 20, 2011 Zach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Village on Horseback is a collection of little moments, which is sort of the opposite of Ball's novels, in which the reader is swept up in the universe he creates and the smaller scale is less important than the feeling of being carried away. There are still the trademarks of Ball's writing here: the crispness of the prose, the almost unintentional humor, the uniqueness of the vision. But these elements are discovered more on the level of the phrase and of the sentence, and with the exceptio ...more
Nick Today
Feb 29, 2012 Nick Today rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Some of the prose was very intense in large doses. Some seemed extremely stream of consciousness, maybe even a little bit of the nonsensical and large amounts of the absurd. The thing is, Jesse Ball is the only author I know who can turn those elements into a masterpiece. Though I still think Samedi is his best bit of writing by far, reading the village on horseback feels a bit like peering into mind of a genius. It feels raw and powerful, though sometimes hard to grasp. I'm sure I will read it ...more
David Glines
Jun 01, 2017 David Glines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it hits, it hits like Kafka and Borges and Calvino. When it misses, I'm falling asleep or daydreaming and it's a stone crawling into my pockets and dragging me into a shallow puddle. Still gets 4/5 overall, because its good much more often than its not. Fairy tales for a new era. A tour guide of dreams in cities built by myth and madness.
uena
May 22, 2012 uena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The world is old, and wherever there is room for a body to sleep, there something has died.
___

The sadness of colored glass bottles stands in rows
in the disused pharmacy.

I went there once thinking to play a trick. Oh what a trick.
___

And that there is

at the core of all the great artists, all the great thinkers, some severe misunderstanding, arrived at in childhood and never disclosed, never brought to light. Such a generative force propels imagination, skews thought, forces realization. And since
...more
Elizabeth Gambeski
this work put words to a lot of feelings deep down inside. often when i did not know where the words were headed, i was still fascinated just by the way they were put together. i would find myself saying "that was a beautiful combination of words!" there was so much beauty in the details, in the description, and in the deep emotion expressed. i loved being able to feel the power of the words through their simplicity, vulnerability, and honesty. i look forward to reading more of Ball's work.
Les
3.5+ Least favorite JB so far and yet I still want to read it again.
Natalie
Jul 02, 2011 Natalie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Two new Jesse Ball books in one summer?!!
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Robert
Apr 21, 2017 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books I've ever read in my life. Ball has changed the way I approach writing. Affected me so profoundly there's not enough space here for me to properly address it.
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Jesse Ball (1978-) Born in New York. The author of fourteen books, most recently, the novel How To Set a Fire and Why. His prizewinning works of absurdity have been published to acclaim in many parts of the world and translated into more than a dozen languages. The recipient of the Paris Review's Plimpton Prize, as well as fellowships from the NEA, the Heinz foundation, and others, he is on the fa ...more
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