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Girly Man

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  93 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
After 9/11, postmodernism and irony were declared dead. Charles Bernstein here proves them alive and well in poems elegiac, defiant, and resilient to the point of approaching song. Heir to the democratic and poetic sensibilities of Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg, Bernstein has always crafted verse that responds to its historical moment, but no previous collection of his p ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 15th 2006 by University of Chicago Press (first published 2006)
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Jason Skiano
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Girly Man is the kind of poetry the world still needs. In this anthology of collected works, Bernstein captures the conundrum of masculinity in the age of terror, the quandary of avant-garde literature without a direction, and the seemingly unnecessary value of art and poetry. In one poignant section, he writes prose-poems about living in Manhattan in September 2001 with grace, immediacy, and honesty that transports you to the most influential week of this century. He makes the case for taking p ...more
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
His best in a long time. While Bernstein's most public statements of poetics and politics haven't changed much since about 1980, his writing has again managed to exceed itself here, actualizing the dizzying variety only suggested in his criticism. The direct and the opaque, the moving and the hilarious, all coexist here in an urgent unsettledness. It may also be the first book I've read of his that contains explicitly political poetry. In any case, Bernstein's refusal to settle on a style was al ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have a lot to say about this collection, but for now I'll just copy two of my favorite lines from the poem "Sign Under Test": "If language could talk we would refuse to understand it. / Hue is a property of optics not objects." I'll also drop a few of the book's key topics: modern/postmodernism, post-9/11 America, the role of art in society, the value of perspective, irony and sincerity, stylistic repetition, and authorship and interpretation. A real good read.
Oct 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Charles Bernstein is a badass. Girly Man is the funniest poetry I've read in a while, and when I finished the collection I found myself asking and answering some interesting questions:

1. What is the point of poetry? Is it really just pretentious crap?
2. What exactly is a L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet?
3. What is Bernstein trying to say about the media?

When I woke up the next morning after reading this, I was like, "damn. I feel hungover. I guess I had too much to think last night." BAM.

Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thebrooklynrail
Bernstein is in top form. The influence of revolutionary poetics is apparent now across the internet, film, television and literature. Bernstein is without a doubt a fundamental contributor to these evolutions, and this book should not be missed.
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
actually downloaded a pdf version from gigapedia, seems to have got a lot of the poems in all the whiskey in heaven, the new selected from FSG. love how sincere and childlike it is. boyish man.
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Charles Bernstein is an American poet, theorist, editor, and literary scholar. Bernstein holds the Donald T. Regan Chair in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of the most prominent members of the Language poets (or L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets). In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2005, Bernstein was awarded the Dean's Award ...more
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