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The Disappearance of the Outside: A Manifesto for Escape
This cultural-literary-social critique examines why, when a society moves from a repressive system of government wrought with censorship and oppression to a free state representing unlimited possibilities, the art once created and treasured by that population is taken for granted. Taking into account his own exile from Stalinist Romania, as well as the plights of such grea ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Ruminator Books
(first published 1990)
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May 21, 2017 Alan rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aliens, backsliders, contrarians, dissidents, émigrés, flaneurs... observers, poets, refugees...
Recommended to Alan by: A sonorous voice, crying from the wilderness of exile
Feb 01, 2008 Wiljago Cook rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Artists, poets, everyone who lives in an industrialized country
Recommended to Wiljago by: I picked it at random
Despite the mind-boggling absence of women and the bizarre exclusion of any culture with non-European roots, this is actually a really, really good book. I say "mind-boggling" and "bizarre" because the absence becomes so hard to ignore as to be distracting. Still, you should read it for sure.
Not a review, but a conversation tonight reminded me of this book by Romanian ex-pat Codrescu, who fled one of the most awful Eastern European regimes, so who would blame him for hating Communism. But instead he wrote this book which worries about Western democracy without an opponent. And while it seemed premature then--remember the Clinton years?--seems kinda true now. So many alternate paths are seen as conspiracies or cults now, or are simply forgotten. It would be good to remember.
Andrei Codrescu is a poet, novelist, essayist, and NPR commentator. His many books include Whatever Gets You through the Night, The Postmodern Dada Guide, and The Poetry Lesson. He was Mac Curdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University from 1984 until his retirement in 2009.