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Nilling by Lisa Robertson

Nilling by Lisa Robertson

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Nilling is a sequence of 6 loosely linked prose essays about noise, pornography, the codex, melancholy, Lucretius, folds, cities and related aporias: in short, these are essays on reading.

I have tried to make a sketch or a model in several dimensions of the potency of Arendt's idea of invisibility, the necessary inconspicuousness of thinking and reading, and the ambivalently joyous and knotted agency to be found there. Just beneath the surface of the phonemes, a gendered name rhythmically explodes into a founding variousness. And then the strictures of the text assert again themselves. I want to claim for this inconspicuousness a transformational agency that runs counter to the teleology of readerly intention. Syllables might call to gods who do and don't exist. That is, they appear in the text's absences and densities as a motile graphic and phonemic force that abnegates its own necessity. Overwhelmingly in my submission to reading's supple snare, I feel love.

"It represents a possible future. It offers a deep respect for the present. It honours me with doubt."
– Sina Queyras via

"I felt myself hypnotically inducted into the whirling galaxy of this book, one of whose foci, indeed, is the mechanism (although that is too cold a word) - the miracle, really - of reading"
– Nada Gordon, via her blog

"I should have been a proper scholar, I think ruefully, reading this." – Nada Gordon, via her blog

Lisa Robertson lives in the Vienne region of France. Her most recent books of poetry are Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip, which was selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 best books of 2010, and R's Boat, shortlisted for The Believer's 2011 Poetry award. In 2006, BookThug published The Men: a Lyric Book.

March 2012 | Essays
6x9 inches | 96 pages
Trade Paper: 9781897388891

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