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The Voices of Things
Francis Ponge
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The Voices of Things

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Published in 1942 and considered the keystone of Francis Ponge's large body of work, Le parti pris des choses appears here in its entirety as The Nature of Things .Ponge's first full volume, it reveals his preoccupation with nature and its metaphoric transformation through the creative ambiguity of language. Language is both subject and means. For all the critical analysis ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 1974 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published 1967)
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Ma chi è veramente Ponge? E cosa aspira a trasmettere un titoletto così poco accattivante?
La risposta alla prima delle due domande ambirà forse ad essere banale: Ponge è un poeta: ma davvero?; la seconda infine, illuminante sotto molti aspetti si rivelerà non appena si inumidirà la punta del naso fra le pagine di questo libricino. In barba ai poeti metafisici, di cui, probabilmente, Ponge fu il barbiere, questa raccolta rivolge tutta la propria attenzione alle piccole cose, all'intrinseca mangia
Ben Loory
i was about halfway through this, and really liking it, when i got to "notes for a sea shell" and was hit by the sudden realization that THIS BOOK IS FUCKING AWESOME!

it's hard to describe what ponge is doing here. he's writing very short semi-scientific prose poem essays about natural objects. descriptions, mainly. rain. pebbles. candle. snail. they're a little bit like haiku, but much longer and for the most part with no formal structure. also, they're not impressionistic at all, but pretty muc
Ponge is a repeatedly interesting poet to me, if, at times, I feel like there's no way into his work. Being a cornerstone of his praxis, this slim volume is fascinating as it presents the moment of Ponge's solidity into French poetry--there's a sort of diversion from the idea of this being such a phenomenological text for me, I think, as perhaps my idea of phenomenology is distracted by being an idea that exists in 2013 instead of in 1940 or so, when this book was initially published and made wa ...more
I borrowed a copy of this book from a high school teacher I had, and sadly have not found another one, but Ponge's work is fascinating. Each of the prose poems in here is devoted to a common household object, which he tries to look at in as fresh a way as possible, describing what it is not, other objects it looks like, etc. Sounds banal, but every single poem in here will surprise you with unforeseen connections. I need to track this down.
Every once in a while, amidst generally accomplished writing, something jumps out and grabs onto part of you perhaps never vociferated or thought long dead. A testament to literary diligence and, like most anthologies (thought perhaps more distilled), echoes the elations and disappointments, dynamics of sensation, better than any consistent, preconceived narrative ever could.

Long->short: read "The Pebble" if nothing else.
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Reading Ponge's Soap many years ago turned me into a lifelong fan. Lee Fahnestock's translation of his first book seems both fluid and graceful.
Pure. Gorgeous. Prose poems about ordinary things that make them deeply interesting.
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Francis Jean Gaston Alfred Ponge was a French essayist and poet. Influenced by surrealism, he developed a form of prose poem, minutely examining everyday objects.
More about Francis Ponge...
Selected Poems Soap Le Parti pris des choses / Douze petits écrits / Proêmes Mute Objects of Expression Vegetation

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