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The Collected Writings

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  21 reviews
An artist associated with the New York School of poets, Joe Brainard (1942-1994) was a wonderful writer whose one-of-a-kind autobiographical work I Remember ("a completely original book" -Edmund White) has had a wide and growing influence. It is joined in this major new retrospective with many other pieces that for the first time present the full range of Brainard's writin ...more
Hardcover, 541 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Library of America (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.34  · 
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 ·  154 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book.
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-bought
Joe Brainard may be my favorite writer. As I was reading "The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard" I didn't want the book to end, and its over 500 pages. What strikes me the most brilliant aspect of Brainard is that he's not overly writer-like, but just naturally breathes as a writer. He is mostly famous for his "I Remember" which is an unique form of memoir writing, that to this day is taught by writing teachers. It is an effective way to open up the writing process, but in the hands (and mind) ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Iris by: Dana Stevens on the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast
If my list of favorite authors says anything, it's that I love longueur and extreme brevity. 19th century novels, for the first category; and Lydia Davis's short-short-stories, for the second. What she does in two paragraphs sings a lifetime of experience. Only today did I meet Joe Brainard's work from the 60s and 70s, and I see the bridge that connects Oulipo (experimental "potential literature") to Lydia Davis. This volume is special because it compiles writings that he did through the years, ...more
Eddie Watkins
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
from What I Did This Summer
It seems to me that we just keep learning the same fucking things over and over again.

I must say tho, that for a hopeless situation, we do pretty good at taking advantage of it.
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The first part of this book "I Remember" rates 3 stars.
The rest of the writings are disjointed memories and vignettes from Brainard's life.
It's interesting to read about his thoughts, feelings and ideas but 500 pages of this was too long.
Mildly Annoyed Rabbit
3.5 stars
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Driving around the silly world with Joe Brainard

Joe Brainard (1942-1994) was born in Salem, Arkansas and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. An artist, poet, and theater set designer he moved to New York City at age 19. There, he joined the community of New York School poets and painters who would later become his artistic collaborators, including Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan, John Ashbery, and Ron Padgett. One of Brainard's most frequent collaborators was his longtime partner, the writer Kenward Elmslie.

Joseph Pfeffer
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In reviewing Joe Brainard's book, I don't want to criticize him, pro or con. I want to quote him.
I remember laundromats at night all lit up with nobody in them.
I remember when I decided to be a minister. I don't remember when I decided not to be.
I remember how very black and white early "art" movies were.
My work never turns out like I think it is going to. I start something. It turns into a big mess. And then, I clear up the mess.
I remember angel food cake and wondering why the hole in the middl
Guttersnipe Das
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
feel as though I had a small important love affair with this book. For weeks I carried it with me everywhere, clutching it, telling everyone about it, reading aloud from it as if from a scripture. I imitated it, I copied down its moves, I argued with it. More than once I got annoyed. Sometimes, particularly toward the end, I wish it tried a little harder. I admit I feel a little like I had an affair with Joe Brainard himself -- a liberty for which I hope he would forgive me. I think he would. I ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOE BRAINARD. (2012). Ron Padgett (ed.). ****.
Before picking up this book, I had never heard of Joe Brainard. He was apparently a well-known figure in the New York art world – his primary activity being the design of jacket covers for books based on, mostly, his techniques using collages. This is a special publication of The Library of America, and comes with an introduction by Paul Auster. The centerpiece of this collection is Brainard’s book, “I Remember,” (1970), a
Jeff Buddle
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Joe Brainard is an inspiration. This book includes "I Remember" in its entirety and this reading makes the third time I've read it. It never fails to inspire me, Brainard's memories touching off my own. "The Collected Writings" also includes a wealth of material: diaries, comics, poems, and stories that exhibit Brainard's unique style: witty and personal, sometimes surreal, sometimes playful in the way that Gertrude Stein is playful, but always wonderfully honest. Brainard's writing is often ver ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joe Brainard had a wonderful mind, and this collection of (mostly) diary-entry writing lets you live inside it. Also contains great interviews (the Tim Dlugos interview is not to be missed!), drawings, comics, and of course, the wonderful I Remember. A great read that shows the inner thoughts of a charming and endearing artist who refuses to call himself a poet, but is clearly worthy of the title. ~500 pages goes surprisingly fast. As a side note, Brainard would have had an amazing Twitter accou ...more
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
As innocent yet momentous as the decision to go to the breakfast place around the corner, Brainard's wit is relatable and comforting. I disagree with the mighty sage John Ashbery's assertion on the back flap that Brainard is somehow a "recognizable American phenomenon, the oddball classicist." However, I love the author's own quote on the back: "If I'm as normal as I think I am, we're all a bunch of weirdos".
Glen Retief
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Joe Brainard's "I Remember" was a revelation. A completely brilliant book, and a study of how intense feeling can infuse the most ordinary details with artistic and emotional power. Like Proust or Nabokov, this is all about trying to remember the texture of life, and not lose it to forgetfulness. Written in an innovative nonfiction form for its time, the "poetic list."
Paul Guenther
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
The first part of the book: "I remember" is fantastic

The rest of the book I found it difficult to connect with; very small segments, almost like a personal journal

If I could do it again, I would have just purchased 'I remember' and left the other 300 pages go
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this for a poetry class and totally fell in love with Brainard's openness and style of writing. It was a really unexpectedly meaningful reading experience that made me think about memory in a completely new way.
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: made-ups
This book has the most intense cock sucking description I have ever read outside of queer erotica... maybe even just ever. Pretty badass.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
He's so cheeky, so smart, and altogether sad in that way only genuine idealists may be. He gives you little glimpses of a better world
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Non dovrei dirlo perché l'ho tradotto io in italiano, ma è me-ra-vi-glio-so.
Mills College Library
818.54 B8145c 2012
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May 23, 2018
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Aug 18, 2013
Matthew Carbery
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Nov 26, 2016
Katherine Koch
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Mar 20, 2015
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