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"Purpura is the real deal, and so is every successive sentence in this collection. A cornucopiac vocabulary is married to a strict economy of expression; an offbeat curiosity is married to the courage of difficult witnessing. . . ."--Albert Goldbarth
"Purpura's prose is a system of delicate shocks--leaps and connections and syncopated revelations, all in the service of the spirit negotiating the truth of its experience."--Sven Birkerts
Lia Purpura's daring new book of lyric essays, "On Looking," is concerned with the aesthetics and ethics of seeing. In these elegantly wrought meditations, patterns and meanings emerge from confusion, the commonplace grows strange and complex, beauty reveals its flaws, and even the most repulsive object turns gorgeous. Purpura's hand is clearly guided by poetry and behaves unpredictably, weaving together, in one lit instance, sugar eggs, binoculars, and Emerson's words: "I like the silent church before the sermon begins."
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