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The Age of Huts (New California Poetry #21)

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Between the Age of Innocence and the Age of Experience comes The Age of Huts. This book brings together for the first time all of the poems in Ron Silliman's Age of Huts cycle, including Ketjak, Sunset Debris, The Chinese Notebook, and 2197, as well as two key satellite texts, Sitting Up, Standing, Taking Steps, and BART. Each poem offers a radically different approach to...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published April 9th 2007 by University of California Press (first published 1986)
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Many people have many different opinions about Ron Silliman, but those opinions are usually about the man, or the ideas of the man. Let's talk about his poems! BY FAR his writing is more interesting than most poets of his generation, and especially his peers. The Age of Huts has lines which RING in the head long after having read them! Few poets get better with age, and fewer still reach greatness. With this book, and other recent books of poetry by Ron Silliman, he can say, or it can be said. H...more
"If the distance becomes more, world
distance becomes real"

And the syntax multiplies and becomes more. About distances: the flex and stretch. Whose? I keep thinking. Phasing between word and world, text and metatext. I love that it ends on the fatiguing momentum of BART.

This book was good exercise, valuable tedium, a long residence and accumulations. I learned a lot.

It was helpful in thinking about closed systems.
Ted Burke
May 18, 2008 Ted Burke rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Robert Peake, Steve Mort
Ron Silliman is one of the most interesting poets working today, a writer who has road tested the limits of given phrases and circumlocutions to frame experience and create a steadfast idea of the world being as it should be as it appears before our senses. We find instead that , in Silliman's choice conflations and decoding, that language is a something that doesn't describe the world is , fixed and in place despite our moods, but rather is a medium in which the world is changed, it's purpose a...more
You know, this isn't exactly a book I'd say is core to the modern literary canon (which is how it's been touted). It's thick, tricky, wordy, insightful, silly...and far too self-congratulatory. Silliman is a notoriously brash blowhard when it comes to poetic theory, and also incredibly knowledgeable. OK, fine. But rarely do you find a theorist who can actually write the form he/she so criticizes. Case in point for Age of Huts.

It has plenty to offer, and is definitely worth cracking, for its shee...more
Like a big dictionary or a household Bible, there to be dipped into rather than taken in all at once. "Sunset Debris" (the all-questions section) and "Ketjak" (the Fibonacci section) are some of my favorite poetry, but there's other stuff in here my attention has skimmed and slipped right over without taking a thing away.

On another note, it's a pleasure to read Silliman in a passionate, caught-up mode. I've loved a lot of his prose-on-poetry, but it's tough stuff -- theoretical and didactic. Aft...more
So I thought I would hate this book because the premise sounded so pretentious and wooden and gimmicky (the first poem is 100 pages long. It is comprised of "ballooning" paragraphs. Each one contains everything in the previous one, so you start with just phrase, then pretty soon they're 10 pages long).

OH HOW I WAS WRONG! Exactly opposite of what I expected, this was one of the most human, meaningful, compelling books I've ever read. The patterns build meanings into themselves and you develop re...more
John Hyland
i picked this up when UCP was having a sale last fall . . . & have slowly been making my way in, thru, & around it . . .

update--september 14, 2009--saw silliman's blog post of three days ago & cannot get that very bizarre appropriation of spicer's work out of my while i read age of--or all things--"huts"!
Silliman is brilliant. In this piece, he is channeling Derrida (and de Saussure). The text has a physical momentum.

I know Silliman has written work based on the Fibonacci sequence - this text might be the one, I can't remember. Either way, he plays with rhythm.
Anne Sophie

Weird kind of the 'stream of consciousness' department, but his words repeat and expand from on sentence to 70 pages of insightful comments sprinkled in a fluff of nonsense...was only okay to me.
Ron Silliman's most satisfyingly ambitious work, from a time when Language Poetry was still figuring out what it might be.
THIS blog was written during a read of this book.
not a cop
"Can you feel it?" Yes.
"Does it hurt?" Yes.
Goes a long way toward convincing me that this is the guy we SHOULD have exploring the internet for us. A great collection. I still haven't picked up the Alphabet, but Age of Huts is fantastic.
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Ron Silliman has written and edited 30 books to date, most recently articipating in the multi-volume collaborative autobiography, The Grand Piano. Between 1979 & 2004, Silliman wrote a single poem, entitled The Alphabet. In addition to Woundwood, a part of VOG, volumes published thus far from that project have included ABC, Demo to Ink, Jones, Lit, Manifest, N/O, Paradise, (R), Toner, What and...more
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